While several bills — including the heinous bathroom bill — have been sent to the State Affairs Committee, where, usually, bills are sent to die, several that have passed the Senate are getting hearings in the House of Representatives where they could pass.
A replacement bill for SB 6 — HB2899 — will be heard in the State Affairs committee on Wednesday and Equality Texas urges anyone who is available to be in Austin that day for the hearing. The bill would invalidate local non-discrimination laws, such as those in place in Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano. Sexual orientation was first added to Dallas city code in 1993 for city employees.
More from Equality Texas:
Religious Refusal by child welfare agencies
On Wednesday, April 12, the House State Affairs committee voted out HB 3859, a religious refusal bill that would provide child welfare providers the right to refuse to service clients if doing so conflicts with a “sincerely held religious belief”. The bill is currently being considered by the House Calendars Committee, which will meet next week to discuss placing on the general floor calendar.
On Tuesday by a vote of 21-10, the Texas Senate voted out SB 522, a religious refusal bill that would allow clerks to discriminate and refuse to issue marriage licenses based on a “sincerely held religious belief”. Like many of the religious refusal bills filed in the legislature this session, SB 522 radically redefines religious liberty in Texas and seeks to use religion as another way to discriminate against same-sex couples. Sen. Sylvia Garcia said this about SB 522:“Each county clerk and judge in Texas said they would ‘faithfully fulfill their duties and follow the laws of this state and this country so help me God’ and that includes their duties to process eligible marriage certificates for same-sex couples.”
SB 522 now moves to the House, where it has not yet been referred to a committee.
Also in the legislature:
In addition, SB4, the sanctuary cities bill, cleared committee with this ominous provision: Local police would be deputized as federal immigration law officers and leaders could be jailed for up to a year for failing to assist federal immigration.
At the Mega March, County Judge Clay Jenkins spoke and said our police are already short-staffed and overworked. Their job is to protect the public by fighting crime and no one — not victims or witnesses — should be afraid to call police because of fear of deportation.
Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a target of this bill, said she has cooperated with federal immigration officials when someone in Dallas County custody has a criminal record.
And for the record, Texas has no sanctuary cities.