Social Studies/Christmas Update: Austin Liberals Lose Once Again at State Board of Education

January 18, 2010

See blog entry below.  Check back this week for detailed analysis.


Social Studies Summary/Votes Today-Live Blogging

January 14, 2010

UPDATE: NOW, OVER 5,000 TEXANS HAVE SIGNED OUR CHRISTMAS PETITION!!  HAVE YOU?  www.christmastextbooks.com

10:45 p.m.- hearing concludes at end of 8th grade.  Rest of Social Studies will be taken up tomorrow.  And we’ll be here.

10:33 p.m. – SBOE Member Dunbar gets right to work: John Locke, William Blackstone added to Grade 8.

10:15 p.m. Wealth of Nations book, added.

9:58 p.m. SBOE Member Cynthia Dunbar is now in the room.  She appears to have had a schedule conflict over the past two days.

9:10 – Grade 6. Terri Leo brings amendment to go back to original list of holidays: Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah.  Would mean Vaisakhi and the annual hajj.  Amendment fails.

New list of holidays.  Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hoshanah, Vaisakhi, Diwali, and the annual hajj.

8:58 p.m. SBOE meeting is back on.  Up to be added-“understand the importance of morality and ethics in maintaining a functional  free enterprise system”  7 Vote for, looks like mostly Republicans.  It passes.  Mavis Knight votes against it.  Bob Craig doesn’t vote.  Is this a controversial statement?  Come on, where’s the leadership

7:17 p.m. Describe the significance of the Second Great Awakening.  SBOE Member Cargill brings the motion.  Voted down.

6:50 p.m. – Grade 5, Discussion over Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Paine, Sons of Liberty sought to be added.  Motivations of Founding Fathers. Approved. Thomas Paine doesn’t make the cut, but he’s still in Grade 8.

5:54 p.m. Justice Raul A. Gonzalez is added to Grade 4.

See below for our part in the America is Exceptional Press Conference yesterday.

5:38 p.m. Grade 3.  Agosto asks to put Henry Cisneros back (he was removed by writing teams).  Hardy objects to him, his role as HUD director led to housing debacle, according to her.  Amendment fails, Cisneros stays out.

5:27 p.m. Sam Walton is added in grade 3, section 8(C).  Milton Hershey also added.

5:14 p.m. James A. Lovell, pilot of Apollo 13, added by SBOE Member Mercer, others.  And Juliet Gordon Lowe.  Ellen Ochoa, first Hispanic astronaut, added.

5:02 p.m. “The Four Chaplains” added. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Chaplains  

Methodist Reverend George L. Fox, the Jewish Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, the Roman Catholic Priest John P. Washington and the Reformed Church in America Reverend Clark V. Poling

4:45 p.m. Paul Revere goes back in, he was taken out. American love of individualism, inventiveness, and freedom is in.  W.E. DuBois is in.

4:22 p.m. SBOE Member Mercer-add Nathan Hale to grade 1.  Passes. Hardy objects.

3:50 p.m. Social Studies debate and vote has started.  Columbus getting some love, and John Smith.  Added to Kindergarten grade, barely.  SBOE Members, Nunez, Berlanga, Allen, and Knight voted against, at least.  Couldn’t see the other hands against.

Jose Antonio Navarro also gets added to Kindergarten, with no objections.

Richard Alleen added to Grade 1, no objections.

SBOE Member Pat Hardy wants to strike the words “holding public officials to their word.”  SBOE Member Bob Craig is also against this phrase.  Reminds me of when he made rude comments about the 10,000 plus people that called on SBOE members to prevent censorship in the Science classrooms.

SBOE Member Allen opposes the phrase. SBOE Member Miller supports the phrase.

Phrase passes.

3:25 p.m.  Social Studies debate and Vote about to begin.

UNANIMOUS CONSENT ITEMS:

Democratic Republic is how our government will be described.

Grades 3-12, Celebrate Freedom Week information will be the same in all grades.

Specific Reading selections are removed from all grades, not just some.

We’ll be providing live blog updates for the State Board of Education meeting today when they vote on important Social Studies issues. 

Austin Liberals Are DESPARATE!  THEY HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO OREGON TO FIND AN “ACADEMIC”  THAT AGREED WITH THEIR ATTEMPTS TO CENSOR RELIGIOUS HERITAGE AND FACTS IN HISTORY, GOVERNMENT AND CULTURE. See yesterday’s blog post from hearing for details.

2:45 p.m. SBOE is still not on the Social Studies issue.  Stay tuned!

1:05- SBOE is still on another issue.  Should get to Social Studies soon.

11:05 a.m. The SBOE is taking up other unrelated issues at this point, but should get to the Social Studies issue soon!

For now, check out some coverage from yesterday! http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=852762 

http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=20444

Have you signed our Christmas petition?  There’s still time!  www.christmastextbooks.com

RECAP OF SOCIAL STUDIES ISSUES AT STAKE:

Mary Kay Ash in one place as she is mentioned more often than Christopher Columbus. 

●          Mary Kay-Grade 3, page 23 of Social Studies (remove), U.S. History, page 10

●          Christopher Columbus-Grade 3, page 21.

 Columbus needs to be added back in one section.

● Christopher Columbus has been removed(needs to be put back): Grade 4, page 30;

● Columbus Day does remain: Grade 5, page 45.

●          Return of Significant Figures Such as Neil Armstrong and George Patton Should Remain.

●          Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein should be put back in. Removed from World History,   

            section 26(c).

●          USSR reference as “expansionism” should be changed back to “aggression.” U.S. History 7(A):

●          U.S. “expansion” has been changed to “imperialism”.  It should be changed back to “expansionism”. U.S. History section 3(A).

*          Neil Armstrong and George Patton should stay in (they were taken out in 2009, but put back in after public outcry). Grade 5, section 23(A)http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/pdf/ElementaryTEKSOct2009.pdf

& U.S. History 6(E) http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/pdf/USHistoryTEKSOct2009.pdf

*  Keep Christmas in list of holidays.  (was taken out by appointed committee in July 2009 draft, but put back in by appointed committee, not SBOE, after public outcry.

* While Christmas has been attacked and taken out at one point, Diwali, Vaisakhi, and the annual hajj were added. Grade 6, 19(B), http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/pdf/MSTEKSOct2009.pdf


Christmas & Social Studies Vote Next Week! Sign the Petition & Act Now!

January 5, 2010

Click here for an update on this issuehttps://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/

Sign the “Keep Christmas” Petition. http://www.christmastextbooks.com/

Will Christmas stay or go? Will the Founding Fathers be given the respect they deserve? Will Columbus be buried in a lone corner of the curriculum? Will the effort to remove Veterans Day be stopped once and for all.  Will teaching about our state and national religious heritage be changed?  And much more!

Just a few questions that could receive more clear answers next week at the State Board of Education hearing & VOTE on all of the statewide Social Studies curriculum for K-12, next Wednesday.  This hearing and VOTE will affect every public school student.

SIGN OUR PETITION!!!  (Click link for petition) http://www.christmastextbooks.com/  Don’t Mess With Christmas in Texas!!

We will deliver the petition results and numbers to the SBOE members next week. 

After months of discussion……………..THE SBOE WILL VOTE ON THESE ISSUES NEXT WEEK!!

We need educators (former and current) and parents, and others to come testify with us at the hearing!

This Friday from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., you can call  512-463-9581  or fax: 512-936-4319 to have your name on the testimony list for the Wednesday, January 13th hearing at the TEA building, here in Austin.

You want to testify on Item #6 for next Wednesday. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=7691

If you plan to testify and/or attend, please let us know so we can be of help to you.  email us at legislative@freemarket.org

If you cannot come to testify, please call your State Board of Education member and let them know your concern for the future of Social Studies curriculum in Texas. Tell them to keep Christmas, respect the Founding Fathers and preserve our religious heritage in Social Studies classes.  Click here for contact information. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/texas-state-board-of-education-contact-information/


Want to Make A Difference for Faith, Family & Freedoms? Give A Year-End Gift

December 28, 2009

Click here to Donate to our work TODAY!

(President of Free Market Foundation shown above as legal counsel for Hannah Giles, who helping take down ACORN.)

As you know, we, at Free Market Foundation/Liberty Legal Institute, are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.  We are funded solely by private donations.  We could not do the work we do without the support of so many generous persons. 

But our battles (and victories) have been many this year, and we need a strong December and finish for 2009 to cover the expenses for defending freedoms and family values in the courts, legislature and media.

Click here to donate to our work today!

2009 HIGHLIGHTS/VICTORIES!!!

In the Courts

  • We won our third landmark case on religious freedom in the past three years at the Texas Supreme Court – this time protecting all churches in an opinion that national experts hailed as “groundbreaking”. 
  • We won the first written decision from the IRS for pastors and churches nationwide in over a decade, explicitly protecting pastors’ rights to speak to the political issues of the day and equip their congregants to vote their values.
  • We argued, along with the Texas Solicitor General, at the Federal Court of Appeals to defend the Texas Moment of Silence law, and we won! Now, we’re fighting again at federal appeals to defend the words “under God” in the Texas pledge in a lawsuit brought by an atheist plaintiff.
  • And there’s more- our brief was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Summum case; we’ve won numerous victories for churches literally being banned from existing; we represent Hannah Giles, who has been sued by ACORN; we represent all the major veterans groups in the Mojave Desert Cross case at the U.S. Supreme Court; and, we represent Houston City Councilwoman, Ann Clutterbuck, in a lawsuit brought to try to ban prayers at city council meetings.

In the Legislature

  • We won the major battle at our State Board of Education, stopping the liberal attempt to strip our students of academic freedom and their right to test the strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories, including evolution.
  • We led the charge, reversing the State Board of Education committee decision to remove Christmas from the coverage of religious holidays in our Social Studies books and standards.
  • We won a last-minute veto from the Governor on a frightening bill which would have changed the Texas law on parental rights to allow government officials to take away and interrogate anyone’s children with no notice or requirement of “just cause.”
  • Defeated Planned Parenthood’s attempt to takeover sex education in Texas.
  • Defeated dangerous so-called “Hate Crimes” legislation.
  • We helped lead the largest Pro-Life lobby day at the Capitol, with live ultrasounds performed for legislators.
  • We tracked over 150 bills, testified in 25 legislative hearings, and held 9 press conferences during the Texas Legislative Session.
  • Had nearly 50,000 hits on our Texas Legislative Update Blog

In the Media/Culture


$450,000 Taxpayer Dollars for Abortions & Planned Parenthood in Texas? Action Item!

December 2, 2009

Update!  A vote will come this Thursday, December 10 by the Travis Count Health District (TCHD)!  The sign up for the meeting will start at 5:00 p.m. and the meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and this is only issue on the agenda for the meeting.  Call now (512-978-8000) to stop this! Email us if you can come testify against this proposal this week, on Thursday, or if you would just like to stand with us at the hearing!  legislative@freemarket.org

See Details below. Click here to DOWNLOAD & SIGN THE PETITION! Petition against TCHD property tax-funded abortions  Fill up the the petition and send it back to us by Wednesday, Dec. 9th; FAX to: 512-478-2229.

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The Travis County Health District will meet this week, Thursday, December 10th, at 5:00 p.m., to have a public hearing,  only to discuss and vote on $450,000 of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions.  We also have reason to believe that Planned Parenthood will be seeking a portion of this money. See more details from the last hearing on this  by clicking here.

STAND WITH US & STOP THIS IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING: Call the Travis County Health District (512-978-8000) and tell them you don’t want your tax dollars to be used to pay for abortions.  If you live in the Travis County area or know people that do, PLEASE alert them to this problem! They TCHD will vote next week and you can rest assured they are being heavily influenced by the pro-abortion lobbyists and staff.

Planned Parenthood had two persons there testifying IN FAVOR of tax dollars being used for abortions at the last TCHD meeting on this issue.

Email us at legislative@freemarket.org if you would like to come to the hearing next week.  We need your local support!

Make a Call! 512-978-8000

Send a Fax! 512-978-8156

LOCATION for Hearing on December 10th:
Travis County Commissioners Courtroom

Granger Building, First Floor

314 West 11th Street

Austin, Texas

We will be testifying ourselves, but we need a huge turnout from Travis county residents to also testify!  We will help you prepare for the 1-3 minutes you will have to speak.

Click here for details of more Government funding of PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN TEXAS. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/planned-parenthood-sex-ed-with-goverment-funding-controversy-continues/


Christmas out, Diwali in for Texas Social Studies

September 11, 2009

See details/press release below.  Media is already picking up on this story. http://www.kbmt12.com/news/state/59048292.html


Bible Curriculum Starts in Public Schools!

August 26, 2009

Click below for more details about how we successfully fought off attacks by the ACLU and Austin Liberals to defend the well-established constitutional right to having Bible curriculum in public school.  This link includes details about the new state law that went into effect this school year and how the ACLU agreed that a Bible can be used as a textbook in public schools!! 

Click here for important details http://www.freemarket.org/Legislature_Issues_BibleCurriculum.aspx

Here’s some of our analysis on Bible curriculum:

Purpose – to help students understand history and culture, and great works of art and literature. See the following examples:

  • Literary works – Shakespeare, John Milton, Canterbury Tales
    They presuppose that one has some knowledge of the Bible and that knowledge will assist in a greater understanding of such literature.
  • Arts – Painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (considered “one of the most widely appreciated masterpieces in the world).
  • The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy -“No one in the English-speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible…The Bible is also essential for understanding many of the moral and spiritual values of our culture, whatever our religious beliefs.”
  • The American School Board Journal reported in 1998 that 80% of the respondents to its poll favor teaching the Bible in public schools.

Constitutional: The United States Supreme Court has stated –

  • “[I]t might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment,” School Dist. of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225 (1963)(June 17, 1963)
  • The “study of religions and of the Bible from a literary and historic viewpoint, presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, need not collide with the First Amendment’s prohibition…” Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 106 (1968)(November 12, 1968)

For more on Bible curriculum, visit http://www.freemarket.org/Legislature_Issues_BibleCurriculum.aspx.


Texas County Votes on Potential Planned Parenthood Funding: Free Market Foundation Speaks Out on Funding for Sex Ed

August 26, 2009

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Today, Free Market Foundation testified before the Nueces County Commissioner’s Court (Corpus Christi, Texas) meeting regarding its fiscal budget which is to include funding of teen pregnancy prevention sought by Planned Parenthood. We were joined by a large group of local concerned citizens, many of whom were successful in getting the Corpus Christi City Council to deny funding the Planned Parenthood at the city level. Even as numerous Planned Parenthood facilities across Texas are shutting their doors, the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas, hopes it will receive funding from Nueces County for controversial sex education funding.

“As government entities at all levels are looking to make responsible decisions, government resources should not be spent on organizations that stand to profit from failed sex education policies,” said Jonathan Saenz, legislative director at Free Market Foundation, who testified in the public hearing. “We should not ‘bail out’ Planned Parenthood with public funds.”

Today’s meeting in the Nueces County Commissioner’s Court is a public hearing on the county’s fiscal budget, which includes allowances for reduction of teen pregnancy. The result of this meeting will finalize the budget and determine the amount of money distributed to groups such as Planned Parenthood, which has already requested funding, that provide sex education.

In Texas, teen pregnancies, births, and abortions have continued to decrease since 1991. In 1995, Texas began requiring that abstinence is taught as the preferred method of pregnancy prevention, an approach that Planned Parenthood opposes.

The Nueces County Hospital District is due to review the grant application of Planned Parenthood for government funds for their explicit form of sex education in September. 

According to Jonny Hipp, the CEO of the Nueces County Hospital District, there will likely be a public hearing in September on the grant application review for Planned Parenthood.  http://www.nchdcc.org/

You’ll recall, we helped stop Planned Parenthood’s legisltaive attack on abstinence-based education in Texas during the recent Texas Legislative session.  With your help we were able to defeat HB 741 by Rep. Castro (D-San Antonio), and Rep. Villareal, (D-San Antonio). 

Click here to read more about the dangerous legislation Planned Parenthood supported. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/attack-on-abstinence-bill-update-planned-parenthood-buddies-lead-the-charge/

Free Market Foundation stands for the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, religious liberties, and limited government, and frequently testifies in the Texas Legislature and works in the courts on these issues.
–30 —


Stop the Abortion Mandate!! Stop Planned Parenthood Funding by Taxpayers!! Live Webcast Tomorrow!!

July 22, 2009

Tomorrow, on Thursday, July 23rd, a live webcast will take place at 8 p.m. Central.  You’ll remember we informed you that Planned Parenthood was busted in April for performing illegal abortions in TEXAS!!  click here for details. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/state-orders-cease-desist-against-illegal-planned-parenthood-facilities-in-texas/.

You’ll also recall that Planned Parenthood just closed all of its El Paso facilities, So They Are On The Run and THEY WANT MORE MONEY FROM YOU, THE TAXPAYER!!  https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/planned-parenthood-closes-6-clinics-in-el-paso/

“Help block one of the greatest threats to human life since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision imposed abortion on America…”

Join the URGENT nationwide webcast event on Thursday,
July 23, to prevent Washington D.C. bureaucrats and abortion industry lobbyists from forcing YOU to pay for abortions.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, received more than $350 million in taxpayer funding last year and ended the year with a $112 million surplus.

Now they want EVEN MORE!

Click here for details and to REGISTER for the WEBCAST!  http://www.stoptheabortionmandate.com/

 Click here to Contact your Congressman and tell he/she to vote against taxpayer funded abortions http://capwiz.com/freemarket/home/

Read the CNN story on this issue. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/22/health.care.abortion/index.html


Social Studies Revisions: Religious Heritage, Independence Day Out?

July 15, 2009

Non-elected member of writing teams are considering changes to Social Studies curriculim which is up for review this year and next year, before the State Board of Education.

Proposed changes  to particular sections include:

   *Removing Independence Day & Veterans Day, in the section on holidays, customs, and celebrations.

   * Removing the current requirement to “describe how religion contributed to the growth of representative government in the American colonies.” (in the history of the revolution section).

   *  Removes Abraham Lincoln from suggested reading for children’s biography.

Wow, does this sound like revisionist history and a direct assault religion?  The religious discrimination and target on Texas values continues.  These are not changes being proposed by SBOE members.  These proposed changes are being made by non-elected persons.  Thank God the SBOE has the authority to accept or reject “writing team” proposed changes.  Just as 13 of the 15 SBOE members did with the Science issue.

Also, thank God that this information became available before these writing teams got further down the road and unloaded these bombshells later on when it would be harder to revise these proposed changes.

I am glad we have people in our state that believe in being good “watchdogs” and not letting this information by hidden from the public.

Click here to see the full excellent analysis by Brooke Terry of TPPF.  http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2009-03-26-socialstudies-testimony-bt.pdf

This is just the beginning of the Social Studies review, but more is sure to come and we’ll be at the SBOE meetings, observing and keeping you informed.


SBOE Announcement!! Gov. Perry Appoints Conservative to SBOE Chair

July 10, 2009

Update: Opposition is in full panic mode:  I don’t like to say “I told you so”, but the usual small group of Austin critics are already unleashing their fury on Gail Lowe, loosely throwing around words like “personal beliefs” and “creationist” (unsubtle code words for their targeted attack on Lowe for her religious beliefs) in their unhinged verbal attack of Lowe.  Even though at least one political news source considers Lowe a “moderate” of conservatives, it doesn’t matter to the Austin extreme left. Our point exactly — it doesn’t matter if its McLeroy, Dunbar, or Lowe, or any other SBOE conservative member, these political and religious attacks will continue, pretending to be something else.

The reason for the appointment is because 11 (all Democrats) of the 31 Texas Senators blocked the confirmation of Don McLeroy, citing to the New York Times for reasons to oppose McLeroy.  So Gov. Perry was forced to appoint another sitting SBOE member, to be chairman.  19 (all Republican) of the 31 (a majority) Texas Senators voted for McLeroy.

Gov. Perry Appoints Gail Lowe to State Board Chair

Free Market Foundation Applauds Conservative Appointment

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, Gov. Perry selected Gail Lowe to be the next chair of the State Board of Education (SBOE).  Gail Lowe, of Lampasas, Texas, is one of the more conservative SBOE members, and was first elected to the SBOE in 2002.  She previously served on the Lampasas Independent School District Board of Trustees and has volunteered countless hours in the classroom.  Following the Governor’s announcement, Free Market Foundation released the following statement:

“We applaud Gov. Perry for making an excellent choice for our new State Board of Education chair,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of Free Market Foundation.  “Gail Lowe is a strong conservative, representing Texas values, and has long been a leader in the field of education, in her local community, and in various roles as a State Board of Education member.” 

“Our state and our schoolchildren will benefit greatly from Mrs. Lowe’s service, care, and commitment as the new State Board of Education Chair,” said Jonathan Saenz, legislative director at Free Market Foundation.  “We hope that the usual critics will rise above their religious discrimination of the past and allow Mrs. Lowe to focus on the important education issues of our state,” said Jonathan Saenz, legislative director at Free Market Foundation.  

Free Market Foundation has worked on numerous issues before the State Board of Education, including recent testimony and key analysis on the science curriculum standards and Bible curriculum standards for Texas public schools.

For more information or for interviews, please call or email Jennifer Grisham, director of media, at (972) 423-8889 extension 102, media@freemarket.org, or (512) 879-7995.

_____________________________________________________________

You recall, that Don McLeroy’s confirmation as SBOE chairman was rejected earlier this year by 11 (all Democrats) of 31 Texas Senators.  Even though 19 of 31 Texas Senators voted “FOR” McLeroy, he needed a 2/3rds majority to be confirmed.  So 11 Texas Senators were able to block the will of the majority. 

The New York Times was cited as a source for basis of criticism on McLeroy, which lead some Senators to vote against him.  Some Texas Senators care more about what the N.Y. Times thinks, and less about Texans.


ACTION ALERT! House Sponsor, Rep. Jerry Madden, Expects Veto; Coalition Letter to Gov. Perry: Protect Children & Parents, VETO SB 1440

June 16, 2009

SB 1440, which is an unconstitutional attack on children and parental rights as a result of a drastic 4 page amendment on the last days of the session, has still not been acted on by Gov. Perry.  Children should not be torn from their homes and be traumatized because of an uncorroborated, anonymous tip.  Gov. Perry has just a few days left to sign or VETO SB 1440.  click here to read more about this issue details from previous posts. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/parental-rights-in-jeopardy-ask-gov-perry-to-veto-sb-1440/

We helped draft a legal analysis letter, joined by a broad coalition of national and Texas groups, and sent it to Gov. Perry, urging Gov. Perry to VETO SB 1440.  Click here for Letter to Gov. Perry SB1440 VETOrequest TheHonR Perry 06 15 09

Click here to see the long list of very diverse groups/entities/persons calling for a VETO of SB 1440(we keep updating it as it keeps growing!): VETO SB1440.  Call us at 512-478-2220 if you want to add your organization to the VETO SB 1440 list.

Cecilia Wood, Board Certified Family Law Attorney & Texas Family Foundation Member is on of the many attorneys supporting a VETO of SB 1440.

Also, in the letter is a statement from the House Sponsor of SB 1440, Rep. Jerry Madden (R-Plano) who now says he expects for Gov. Perry to VETO SB 1440 and that a mistake was made by accepting the amendment with the unconstitutonal language.  Please call Rep. Madden and thank him (512) 463-0544.

Please Call Gov. Perry TODAY and ask him to VETO SB 1440  (512)-463-2000.

Also, Call your State House Represenative and your State Senator and ask him/her to VETO SB 1440.

Click here to find your State House and Senate Member.  http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

We respectfully request the VETO of SB 1440, as it:  

1. Circumvents Constitutional Protections in the Fifth Circuit’s Gates v. TDPRS decision.

2. Entices State Actors to Violate Clearly Established Law, Subjecting Them to Personal Liability.

3. Allows DFPS to Violate Parental Rights.

4. Removes the “Good Cause” Standard Currently in the Texas Family Code.

5. Authorizes Medical and Other Confidential Records to be Given to Untrained Investigators.

6. Contains Weakened Evidence Standards.

7. Grants Sweeping Powers to Investigators Without Notice or a Hearing.

8. Lacks Parental Protections for Execution of Orders.

9. Emergency/Imminent Danger Situations Are Not At Issue, Not Affected by Veto of SB 1440.

“Liberal” blogs such as the DailyKos.com and others are also supporting a VETO of SB 1440. http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/1424581.html and http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/06/conservative-veto-call-for-expanded-cps.html

Video from Press Conference on SB 1440


2009 Texas Legislative Session Summary

June 11, 2009

Click here for our summary. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/texas-legislatve-session-summary-taxes-rejected-family-values-protected/


Texas Legislative Session Summary: Taxes Rejected, Family Values Protected

June 4, 2009

         ultrasound   

From the front lines of the Texas Legislature:  Despite a change in D.C. and a more liberal coup in the Texas House (which helped many dangerous bill have progress that would have previously never moved an inch), there is good news to report, but also some unfinished business.  It must be noted that even though there was a more liberal coup in the Texas House, extreme legislation was still soundly defeated because they are massively out of step with mainstream Texas values. 

Taxes:  The business/franchise tax now exempts from the tax, businesses with a revenue of less than $1 million (HB 4765- House Record Vote http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY64FINAL.PDF#page=9 ; Senate Record Vote http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-27-F.PDF#page=388) and property tax appraisers now must include foreclosure sales when computing the market value of a homestead (HB 1038: House Record Vote-http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY41FINAL.PDF#page=7 ; Senate Record Vote-http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-26-F.PDF#page=162).  

Also, TEA Party groups, FMF and others, helped end the local-option transportation tax on the last day (HB 300/SB 855-Senate Record Vote-http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ04-14-F.PDF#page=11). This was HUGE! 

Science Prevails, Censorship Rejected: We answered the call and defeated efforts to censor and ban discussion and criticism of evolution in the classroom, before the SBOE.   This issue was intertwined with the Legislature as House members signed a letter supporting our position and filed a bill to protect these freedoms, if necessary. Over 10,000 emails and many phone calls made a difference!  This affects 4 million students and was covered internationally! Final record vote: 
For- Allen, Agosto, Bradley, Cargill, Craig, Dunbar, Hardy, Knight, McLeroy, Mercer, Miller, Leo, Lowe.  AGAINST-Nunez, Berlanga. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS! 

 State Board of Education (SBOE) Attacked, Liberal “Victory” Short Lived: FMF fought successfully against liberal bills that stripped textbook and curriculum authority away from the elected SBOE (SB 2275: Bill never received vote-click here for Supporter of Bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=SB2275) and another, HB 710 (http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY65FINAL.PDF#page=25), would have taken power away from the voters to decide the future and existence of SBOE members and the entity itself.  We were the key to the demise of these and many other SBOE attack bills, with your help. We are outraged that SBOE Chairman, Don McLeroy, was blocked from confirmation by 11 Democrat Senators (the only other Democrat Senator, Sen. Eddie Lucio, chose not to vote on McLeroy, but he was on the Senate Floor). Despite our best efforts to the contrary, the Senate discussion focused on his Christian beliefs and the opinion of the N.Y. Times.  This far-left “victory” will no doubt be short lived, as we believe Gov. Perry will be appointing a new SBOE chairman who is is just as conservative as Dr. McLeroy.  An announcement could come soon. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE DETAILS! 

Planned Parenthood Failed Takeover of Texas Sex Ed:  Planned Parenthood and other groups put all their efforts toward forcing Texas students to learn more about condoms, contraception, and various sexual lifestyles, and less about abstinence (HB 741 -House members who supported this  http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB741, HB 1567- see who suppported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB1567).  Almost every day at the Capitol, you could see small groups of women and children carrying Planned Parenthood bags, working on this issue.  But, we provided key testimony and documentation and pulled together a strong and united coalition of groups across the state in opposition to these bills, which we defeated. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!!  

New Hate Crimes  Law for Children? Not On Our Watch: Can you image your ten year-old child being charged with a “hate crime”?  That’s the bill that almost became law this session, HB 824 (see who vote for this bill  http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY43FINAL.PDF#page=18).  This bill passed the full House, and passed the Senate State Affairs Committee.  Just last week, it was one step away from heading to Gov. Perry’s desk before we were finally able to stop it.  We also stopped a hate crimes bill (HB 2966-see who supported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB2966) and a “bullying” bill (HB 1323-see who supported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB1323) that would have given special class protection to “transgender’ persons. 

Pro-Life, Pro-Family Legislation: Some Gains, Some Setbacks:  The Pro-Life Lobby Day was a huge success with hundreds of you in attendance and live ultrasound performed at the Capitol.  Numerous legislators were able to come face to face with the amazing ultrasound technology, some for the first time.  We also worked on the Ultrasound bill (supporters in the House http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB36 and Senate Record Vote http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-01-F.PDF#page=21). Both the Choose Life license plate bill and Ultrasound had a majority of support by the House and Senate, but the Ultrasound bill was blocked by liberal delays related to Voter I.D. and the Choose Life plate fell victim to political posturing on the last day. Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, bascially blocked the Choose Life license plate from getting out of committee, otherwise it would have passed the House in a stand alone bill, which would have allowed it to become law, as it had already passed the Senate, Instead, we had to amend the plate onto another bill, which had its own problems and eventually died. (See the House members that supported the Choose Life Plate http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB109 and the Senate Record Vote: http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-01-F.PDF#page=47)  Adult Stem cell treatment and research funding of $5 million will continue and the Alternatives to Abortion fund was increased from $5 to $8 million. Adult Stem Cell and Divorce Reform bills ran out of time before a House vote.  We also stifled efforts to undermine parental and informed consent and embryonic stem cell/cloning bills. 

Attack on Voters Guides & Others Dangerous Legislation Averted:  HB 2511- see the record vote in the House-http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY72FINAL.PDF#page=30 which we were able to stop after it passed out of the House, would have had a dramatic negative impact on our voters guide.  I even heard one legislator tell me that he was working on a way to ban our Voters’ Guides from being passed out in churches, something federal law clearly protects!  

Infanticide Bill-We also knocked down efforts to create a new Infanticide law (HB 3318- supporters-http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB3318) mother who murders her infant could have received only 6 months jail time if she claimed postpartum stress, currently this is a Capitol Murder crime). 

Gambling Bills Crushed-numerous bills were filed to expand gambling in Texas, particularly to allow full blown casino gambling in Texas.  We helped defeat them all.   The word around the Capitol was that there were over 200 paid lobbyist working to expand gambling in Texas. 

With our Austin office firmly established, we were at the Capitol every day and we were involved in every part of the legislative process.  We were also able to meet and interact with so many of you when you came to Austin or you called into our office.  We debuted our Texas Legislative Update Blog in January and it received almost 20,000 hits during the session! Thank you for your commitment to stand with us on these important issues.  We could not have had the outcomes on the above legislation without your help.  Please look for more detailed analysis, pictures, and videos of legislative session summaries in the days to come here at our Texas Legislative Update Blog! 

FMF meets with San Antonio pro-life activists at the Capitol

FMF meets with San Antonio pro-life activists at the Capitol


Urgent Action Needed! McLeroy, Choose Life Plate, Ultrasound Votes!!

May 24, 2009

Call YOUR STATE SENATOR NOW AND  ASK HE/SHE TO :

SUPPORT DON MCLEROY FOR SBOE CHAIRMAN-he’s been under attack by one Austin fringe group for his personal religious beliefs and statements he made at church at Sunday school.

SUPPORT THE CHOOSE LIFE LICENSE PLATE as an amendment to HB 300.  Sen. Carona will proposed the Choose Life Plate as an amendment on Monday, on the Senator Floor.

MAKE YOUR CALL NOW-CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR STATE SENATOR !!http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

THEN CALL YOUR STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK HE/SHE TO:

SUPPORT THE “ULTRASOUND BILL” (SB 182)

-EVEN THOUGH IT IS A HOLIDAY, THE STATE HOUSE  AND SENATE MEMBERS ARE MEETING AND WORKING ALL DAY AT THE CAPITOL!!

MAKE YOUR CALL NOW-CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR REP!!http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/


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