Senator Dan Patrick and Rep. Sid Miller interviewed on Texas Legislative Session

September 12, 2011

As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 5th and 6th interviews are with Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller.  Senator Patrick and Rep. Miller, authors of the Sonogram Bill in the Senate and House respectively, discuss the victory we had this session in passing the Sonogram Bill. Senator Patrick also discusses the key efforts to support and defend the State Board of Education.


New Legislation Goes Into Effect Today

September 1, 2011

Today, September 1, most of the new legislation passed in the recently completed legislation session goes into effect.

Highlights of the session include passage of  (1) the Sonogram bill, (2) Voter I.D. bill,  (3) Choose Life license plate bill; (4) the defunding of millions of taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood; (5) the protection of the elected State Board of Education, (6) the protection of citizens whose constitutional rights have been violated, (7) the defeat of attacks on marriage and efforts to expand gambling, and (8) the balancing of the 2012-2013 budget without raising taxes or using the rainy day fund.

Check out our Legislative Wrap-up video for a quick overview of the 82nd Legislative Session with insights from several key conservative legislators.


Rep. Charlie Howard interview on Gambling

August 16, 2011

As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 4th interview is with Rep. Charlie Howard.  We talked with Rep. Howard about the important battle to defeat the expansion of gambling in the state of Texas.


Travis County Ends Taxpayer Funded Abortions

August 15, 2011

Late last week, board members of Central Health (formerly Travis County Healthcare District) voted unanimously to end using $450,000 of taxpayer money annually to fund abortion. Travis County was the first Texas county to use taxpayer money for abortion, which it distributed to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.

During the Texas Legislative Session, Liberty Institute worked on and supported a bill that passed, ending state funding for healthcare districts that use taxpayer money to pay for abortions. Existing law prevented federal and state-level taxpayer funding for abortion, but this law closes the loophole to make sure that no taxpayer money in the State of Texas funds abortion.

While this is a great step forward for life in Austin, the war continues nationwide as the Obama administration continues to expand abortion services covered under insurance, including several controversial birth control medications.


Rep. Phil King Interview on Budget

August 9, 2011

As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 3rd interview is with Rep. Phil King.  We talked with Rep. King about the important battle on the budget, including his leadership in efforts to cut spending, not raise taxes, and to protect the state’s rainy day fund.


Video Update: Overview and Wrap-Up of the 82nd Texas Legislative Session

July 1, 2011

While the 82nd Texas Legislative session has ended, our work at the Texas Capitol has not.  Over the coming days, we will be providing recaps of the main issues and votes from throughout the session.  Our first video is a recap of the major issues from the legislative session.

Check back on the blog frequently as we will be providing more detailed summaries of the session including links to important votes and a series of exclusive interviews from some of the influential legislators from the session.


Liberty Institute Statement on 82nd Legislative Session End: Life, Liberty Proctected With Some Exceptions

June 30, 2011

The Texas Legislature adjourned sine die the special session, and presumably concludes its official legislative work for the 82nd Texas Legislative Session.  Highlights of the session include passage of  (1) the Sonogram bill, (2) Voter I.D. bill,  (3) Choose Life license plate bill; (4) the defunding of millions of taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood; (5) the protection of the elected State Board of Education, (6) the protection of citizens whose constitutional rights have been violated, (7) the defeat of attacks on marriage and efforts to expand gambling, and (8) the balancing of the 2012-2013 budget without raising taxes or using the rainy day fund.

Liberty Institute released the following statement:

“While some religious liberty and conservative legislation did not pass, we are proud that Texas showed it stands for protecting women, protecting of innocent human life and taxpayer dollars and protecting the elected State Board of Education that has so valiantly defended teaching about our religious heritage, our U.S. Constitution and American exceptionalism.

“We are so thankful that Texas has distinguished itself from Washington, and Texas leaders have shown the rest of the country how to pass a balanced budget without raising taxes.

“Many elected officials responded to the will of the people, and that’s good government.”

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal and policy group dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families. Liberty Institute maintains a full-time office in Austin, two blocks from the Texas Capitol and has a daily presence at the Capitol to advocate and assist in the legislative process.  Visit www.libertyinstitute.org for more information.

View the full statement in pdf form here.

Editor’s Note:  Jonathan Saenz, director of Legislative Affairs for Liberty Institute, can help round out your coverage of the Texas 82nd Legislative Session.  Call Jennifer Grisham to schedule an interview.

If you like the work Liberty Institute is involved in, please support us by making a donation today.  We are a nonprofit organization.


Important Legislative Update Video

May 20, 2011

Important updates as we move toward the final days of the Texas Legislative Session. Highlights include an update on the Sonogram Bill and other Pro-Life Legislation.


Weekly Legislative Update Video

March 18, 2011

Legislative update video for the week of March 14-18.

 


Live Blogging-House Sonogram Debate & Vote

March 2, 2011

Sonogram bill being referred back to State Affairs, back to Calendars, and then on the floor again tomorrow morning at 10 am.  Still time to call your Representative.

Point of order raised and overruled. Another point of order raised.

Rep. Jessica Farrar speaking against the bill.

Rep. Sid Miller has laid out his sonogram bill, H.B. 15. Rep. Carol Alvarado expressing her apparent opposition to the bill.

Point of order raised and overruled.  Another point of order raised.  Rep. Sid Miller pulls the bill down, and recommits it to the State Affairs.  Not sure, but looks like there was an issue regarding something during the House State Affairs hearing on HB 15.  Appears House State Affairs will hear the bill this afternoon again, vote it out quickly, and HB 15 will be on the House floor again tomorrow for a vote. We’ll keep you posted.


Texas House Could Pass Sonogram Bill Today!

March 2, 2011

Today, the Texas House of Representatives will hear HB 15, the sonogram bill filed by Rep. Sid Miller, which was passed out of committee last week.  The bill requires that a doctor perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion and give the women a chance to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

Liberty Institute strongly supports passing legislation in the State of Texas that would require doctors to provide women with all the medically-relevant information they need before having an abortion, much like anyone receiving any other medical treatment.  The bill could save thousands of lives if it is anywhere near as effective as sonograms have been in other parts of the country.

Please call your Representative today to ask him or her to vote FOR HB 15 on the House floor!  You can keep up-to-date on this blog as we will be blogging live from the capitol.

Also, last week we had the opportunity to film some of the brave testimony of several women after they spoke to the House Committee in favor of Sonogram legislation.  Please share these videos wherever you can as it is vitally important to get their heart felt messages heard.

Carrie Holland, Juda Myers, and Misty Ramshur, Choices4Life:

Terry Williams, Central Texas LifeCare:

Threesa Sadler, Chrysalis Abortion Recovery Ministry:


House Committee Hearing on Sonogram Bills

February 23, 2011

4:55 p.m. HB 15 passes 9-3, now headed to Calendars Committee.

4:45 p.m. Rep. Sid Miller is now discussion his sonogram bill, HB 15.

4:05 p.m. Rep. Geanie Morrison discussing her bill, HB 201. Rep. Menendez asking questions about the bill. Rep. Gallego has an issue with law giving a right to the woman to have the sonogram image shown to her. Rep. Morrison asks for HB 201 to be left pending, as the companion bill is SB 16, which is coming over from the Senate

3:51 p.m. Jason Collins, attorney testifying in favor of sonogram legislation.

3:40 p.m. Just finished testifying. No questions.

3:20 p.m. Harvard grad lawyer testifying that sonogram bills are constitutional. Christian Ward is a partner at the local law firm, Yetter Coleman. A very well-respected firm.

2:52 p.m. Dr. Linda Flower, physician, chairman of the Texas Physicians Resource Council, testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation. Over 30 years of experience including OBGYN and obstetrics. She is a member of the Texas Medical Association (TMA).

2:44 p.m. Margaret Hotze, Life Advocates testifying.

2:25 p.m. Woman testifying, her mother was raped. She is the “rape baby” that was born from her mother. She just held up two pictures of sonogram images, one of a “rape baby”, one not. “Can you tell the difference? There is none?” “ABORTION NEVER UNRAPES A WOMAN”.

2:13 p.m. Jennifer Allmon, testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation, Texas Catholic Conference. Discussing pro-life position of protection from conception to natural death.

2:11 p.m. Kyleen Wright of Texans for Life, testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation.

2:00 p.m. Man testifying against sonogram legislation, it appears.

1:56 p.m. Ann Hettinger testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation.

1:34 p.m. Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director from Texas, testifying FOR sonogram legislation. Abby no longer works for Planned Parenthood. She is now a pro-life advocate. She says that at Planned Parenthood, women ARE NEVER ALLOWED TO SEE THE SONOGRAM IMAGE!!

1:31 p.m. Terry Williams from Central Texas Pregnancy Center, testifying about couple who was told by an abortion center that the woman who was pregnant, that the child was not viable. She then went to a pregnancy care center and found out that the baby was viable and did have a heartbeat.

House Hearing in State Affairs begins. Rep. Leo Berman begins the testimony.

Note: Just about every single person that has come up to testify in favor of sonogram and informed consent legislation has been a woman.


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.


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/


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