State Rep. Eric Johnson testifies before a House committee in Austin (courtesy office of Eric Johnson)

State Rep. Jason Villalba has voted with Democrats on the House Committee on Business and Industry to get Rep. Eric Johnson’s HB 225 to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression out of committee.

Texas ENDA now moves to the Calendars Committee to schedule the bill’s hearing on the House floor.

Employment non-discrimination bills have been submitted in most sessions of Congress since the 1990s and have always failed. An ENDA bill has never gotten out of committee in the Texas Legislature.

Whether or not ENDA passes the House, time spent debating employment non-discrimination is time not spent discussing bathrooms or the “right” to discriminate based on religious beliefs.

To thank Villalba for his vote and encourage him to get fellow Republicans to vote for the bill, call his local office at 214-363-8700.

Todd Hunter is the Republican chair of the Calendars Committee. Contact his office at 512-463-0672.

Donna Howard is the Democratic co-chair of the committee.You can call her at 512-463-0631. Dallas-area Democrats on the committee are Roberto Alonzo, Helen Giddings and Toni Rose. Poncho Nevarez is from Eagle Pass.

Republican LGBT allies on the committee are Linda Koop of Dallas and Sarah Davis of Houston. Contact Koop at 512-463-0454 and Davis at 512-463-0389.

Other Republicans on the committee are Byron Cook, Charlie Geren, Kyle Kacal, Ken King, Chris Paddie and Dade Phelan.