Dallas Republican Jason Villalba just completed his freshman year in the state House, managing to finish the session with a D-minus on Equality Texas’ Legislative Scorecard.
Villalba was one of only three freshmen Republicans to score above an F on the scorecard. Gatesville’s J.D. Sheffield also got a D-minus, and Austin’s Tony Dale got a D.
Villalba discussed the session Tuesday at the Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas’ June meeting, focusing on education, transportation and water conservation. But he talked LGBT issues with Dallas Voice before the meeting.
His Equality Texas score resulted from his voting to table two amendments affecting the LGBT community and voting against Republican Matt Krause’s discriminatory amendment.
He said he also opposed the anti-gay bill by Drew Springer, R-Muenster, that would have defunded school districts that offered domestic partner benefits.
“I believe strongly that in Texas we need to keep the government out of our private lives and I want to make sure that we do that,” he said. “With respect to an issue like that, it’s a very sensitive topic. I think with respect to state money, we need to give that some very deep consideration.”
Asked if he supports offering DP benefits, he said it should remain a local control issue.
“I believe for private corporations, that if they want to provide benefits for same-sex partners, that that should be within their ability. I believe with respect state government agencies — agencies that receive federal resources or state resources — that should be up to the city or that should be under local control,” Villalba said. “I don’t believe the state of Texas should be making those kinds of decisions. I think that should be left to the local groups. If [Springer’s] local school district or local community wants to provide it, they should be able to do that. But if they want to prohibit that, they should be able to do that.”