Lobbyist, Gay Republican Highlight Texas SBOE Races For Now

November 21, 2011

With all 15 State Board of Education (SBOE) seats on the ballot next year, there will be a lot of talk about the SBOE, particularly by the liberal media and the extreme liberal group Texas Freedom Network, known for regularly losing battles at the SBOE.  Through the election season, we can certainly count on both the media and TFN to continue their attempts to denigrate the board, particularly its conservative members.

Lobbyist, Moderate Republican Ratliff Faces Primary Challenge

There are two races that will likely get the most attention, in our opinion. First, the re-election bid of the only registered lobbyist on the SBOE, Thomas Ratliff, a moderate Republican will be closely watched and discussed.  Mr. Ratliff is still serving in his first term and has probably received more attention and drawn the most scrutiny of any other newly elected SBOE member because of his role as a paid lobbyist in Texas, for clients such as Microsoft.  Thomas Ratliff’s role as a lobbyist resulted in the Texas Attorney General researching the matter and concluding that a registered lobbyist who is paid to lobby on matters relating to SBOE business is, by law, ineligible to serve on the SBOE.  The lobbyist issue came up immediately in Mr. Ratliff’s first round of meetings serving on the SBOE in 2011, when he chose to recuse himself from an SBOE meeting to avoid a conflict of interest.

Mr. Ratliff is being challenged in the Republican primary by Randy Stevenson, a former SBOE member himself.  Mr. Ratliff proudly professes to be a moderate Republican. Mr. Ratliff achieved a narrow primary victory in 2010 over the conservative leader, Don McLeroy, by a mere 402 votes, out of 116,000.

Republican Incumbent Clayton Announces He’s Gay, Challenger is SBOE Veteran

Second, George Clayton’s effort for re-election is sure to draw a lot of attention as he tries to hang on to the seat he won in 2010 from longtime SBOE member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller.  Mrs. Miller had served on the SBOE for over 25 years prior to her narrow defeat by Mr. Clayton in the 2010 Republican primary, by a 52% – 48% margin.  Mr. Clayton was considered a relative unknown compared to Ms. Miller.  Ms. Miller is now the challenger and appears very determined to win back this seat.  We have received numerous reports from our grassroots friends in the Dallas area that confirm that Ms. Miller is working very hard to secure support.

Now that Mr. Clayton has served nearly two years on the SBOE and has come out as gay (Mr. Clayton revealed recently that he in fact has a “male partner that lives with me”), voters may have a better idea of where he stands on important issues.  Mr. Clayton revealing this information now about his sexual orientation is expected to draw a lot of attention to this Republican primary race with sex education curriculum on the SBOE’s agenda for next year.

Moderate Republican Craig Vacates His Seat, Endorses Carlise

Other races of interest are the seat vacated by longtime moderate Republican, Bob Craig.  Mr. Craig was a holdout on numerous key votes on the Science and Social Studies standards, often losing his initial efforts to defeat conservatives and then working compromises and changing his vote to side with conservatives when the outcomes were inevitable.  Mr. Craig and fellow moderate Thomas Ratliff have already endorsed their preference for his seat, Anette Carlisle, an Amarillo I.S.D. school board member. Mrs. Carlisle has been described as looking to continue Craig’s more moderate approach.

Republican Farney Seeks House Seat, SBOE Seat Trends Solid Red

Dr. Marsha Farney, still serving in her first SBOE term, has also announced that she will not run again.  Dr. Farney considers herself a “common sense conservative,” but the media often labels her a “moderate Republican.”  This open seat is also sure to attract some attention, but in 2010 Dr. Farney, running as a conservative, handed her liberal Democrat opponent a huge defeat, by a 56% – 40% margin in a district that included a large portion of the City of Austin and Travis County.

The Rest: Mercer, Cargill Expected to Hold, Democrat Berlanga Leaves Seat Up for Grabs

Conservative leaders, Ken Mercer and SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill, have also reportedly drawn primary challengers but are expected to hold their seats. Mr. Mercer secured victory by an enormous margin in 2010 (69% – 31%), when he was challenged by well-funded lobbyist, Tim Tuggey, in the 2010 Republican primary and Mercer soundly defeated liberal Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau (59% – 36%) in the general election, in a district that included South Austin and Travis County.

Mary Helen Berlanga, a longtime Democrat SBOE member from Corpus Christi will also not seek reelection.  She’s just a Democrat though, as it seems the media does not typically use qualifiers or other modifiers like “liberal” or “left wing” when they describe Democrat SBOE members, even though you’ll see the media use numerous words to describe the type of Republicans on the SBOE.  But for Democrats, they are just Democrats.  So are we to conclude that all of the Democrats on the SBOE are liberal and left-wing?  Something to think about.  It is safe to say that Ms. Berlanga could be considered one of the most liberal members of the SBOE, as she fought time and again to have Dolores Huerta, an avowed Socialist, included in our Social Studies standards as a model for good citizenship for students, twice.  That’s right, the fight was not over Dolores Huerta being including in the Texas History standards at all.  She was.  No, Ms. Berlanga would not be satisfied unless the Socialist was covered twice.  She lost this battle and many others, thankfully.

Conservative Republican Charile Garza, from the greater El Paso area is expected to have a fight on his hands to keep his seat as the new map approved as a result of redistricting points towards less conservative support, based on the opinion of many.  Garza, a long-time educator and decorated military veteran, pulled off a shocking victory in 2010, over 20-year SBOE member, Democrat Rene Nunez.

Liberal Democrat Michael Soto is also seeking election to a second term.  Now that his affiliations to far left groups like Texas Freedom Network and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are more well known, it will be interesting to see if he has a closer race this time around.

Liberty Institute will once again have a Voters Guide with the SBOE candidates’ responses to our questionnaire, available in early February of 2012.

It should be an interesting time for the SBOE heading into election season.


Texas Higher Education Board Distances Itself from Attack Report on Texas Social Studies Standards

November 11, 2011

Not So Fast! Just days after a member of academia released a report criticizing isolated parts of the K-12 Texas Social Studies standards adopted last year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has set the record straight.  Extreme Austin liberal groups, like Texas Freedom Network, attempted to credit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) with the report, but the THECB quickly dismissed such affiliation and credit for the report by sending a very sharply worded press release out of their own.

See the THECB release here.

Seems the THECB wanted to make it very clear that they had nothing to do with this report written by some member of academia?  What could it be about this report that has the THECB so concerned?

We’ll look into this more closely and get back to you with more details as there wasn’t much of a story here until the THECB smartly distanced themselves from this report.


Veterans Day Teaching in Texas Public Schools Protected by Texas State Board Of Education, Religious Liberty Prevails over Federal Gov’t in Houston

November 11, 2011

Veterans & Their Families Protected in Texas by Liberty Institute:  At Liberty Institute we were honored to win a huge religious liberty case in Houston at the VA Cemetery where “God” was being banned at military funerals, in additiona to other hostile attempts censor religious expression.  Details here http://www.libertyinstitute.org/

Teaching on Veterans Day Prevails in  Texas Public Schools!  During the Texas Social Studies & History standards battle in 2010, a misguided group of teachers recommended that Veterans Day be removed from some sections of K-12 social studies.  But they wanted to add more mentions of Mary Kay Ash and some liberal members wanted more mentions of avowed Socialist, Dolores Huerta.  This outrageous effort by some groups of teachers to remove Veterans Day from parts of our social studies standards ultimately failed, because our ELECTED State Board of Education members said NO to these changes.  Our conservative leadership by the State Board of Education members, led the way on this. Find out more at www.juststatethefacts.com

Friends, THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS TODAY!!

For our continuing work, at Liberty Institute, to protect Veterans Memorials, like the Mojave Desert Memorial & Cross and the Mt. Soledad Memorial and see www.donttearmedown.com

Also, see our State Board of Education video where we helped keep Veterans Day from being taken out of some sections of the K-12 social studies standards and some pictures from the Veterans’ Day Parade in Austin.

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Rep. Wayne Christian Interview on SBOE, Abortion Funding

July 25, 2011

As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews we did with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our first interview is with Rep. Wayne Christian who is one of the leading conservative voices in the Texas House.  We talked with Rep. Christian about the State Board of Education and the successful efforts to protect the SBOE during the legislative session.  We also talked about the important battle to end taxpayer funding of abortion at some hospital districts in the state.

 


Victory at State Board of Education: Unanimous Vote to Require Changes to Errors related Evolution

July 22, 2011
Victory! SBOE unanimously votes to require changes to errors in science materials, related to evolution, before adoption.
Austin Liberals fail again.

Live Blogging State Bd of Ed Meeting; Science Censorship v. Evolution

July 21, 2011

Grade 5 science materials approved.  Grade 6 science materials approved.  Grade 7 science materials approved.  Grade 8 science materials approved.  High School: Chemisty publisher gets requirement to change errors before it can go into classroom

High School Physics: approves commissioners recommendations.

High School Integrated Physics and Chemistry: approved.

Now to … Biology:   Holt publisher, motion to correct the errors.  Adaptive Curriculum-Lowe wants error corrected with Haeckel’s embyro to be removed.

16 binders of errors for supplemental science materials submitted by publishers.

SBOE science testifier says Intelligent Design leads to “Christian Taliban.” Wow, real extremists here that bow at altar of evolution #sboe
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SBOE member Craig reminding testifier that International Database curriculum is not on the approved list, eligible for a vote.#sboe #txlege
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ACLU is for censorship? Seems like it.SBOE member Clayton pins them down. ACLU hasn’t read TEKS. Bradley and Garza pile on. #txlege #sboe
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ACLU basically says the SBOE will be sued (by them?) if they cross some magical line in adopting science materials. #txlege #sboe
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SBOE hearing turns from attack of creationism (that’s not even n materials), to evolutionists defending theory from criticism. Nice. #sboe
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One after one, scientists testifying about their concern for the errors in the science materials submitted to the SBOE. #sboe #txlege
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Picture of 16 binders of errors found in science materials submitted to TX SBOE, to send to classroom.

This portion of meeting has not begun.  Check our facebook page (Liberty Institute – Texas) and twitter account (@JonathansaenzLI) for quicker updates.


Will Science/Evolution Materials With Errors Be Used in TX Classrooms? Vote is Next Week

July 13, 2011

Next Thursday, the State Board of Education will have a public hearing and vote on science materials for Texas classrooms. You’ll recall that in 2009 that the SBOE voted almost unanimously (13-2) for science standards that teach critical thinking skills to students and allow them to analyze, evaluate and examine all sides of scientific theories, including evolution.  Now, the SBOE is tasked with approving classroom materials that are supposed to follow the standards approved in 2009.  Some in the science field have found inaccurate information contained in many of the classroom materials submitted to the SBOE.  There is also a continued effort to censor critical thinking and discussion in the classroom on scientific theories, including evolution.  Action Item:

1.       If you have a science background, come testify next Thursday at the hearing, to support critical thinking skills, to stop materials with errors, and prevent censorship in the classroom. Email us by Friday at the latest at legislative@libertyinstitute.org for more information.

2.       Call and/or email (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=3803)  your Texas State Board of Education member and tell he/she you support critical thinking and examining all sides of scientific theories, including evolution and you don’t want inaccurate science information taught in Texas.


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.


Social Studies Update: Professor Wants Neil Armstrong & Alexander Graham Bell Out, Pro-Abortion Group (NOW) In

April 22, 2010

Click here for link to update social studies standards released last week as voted on and approved, 10-5 (10 Republicans v. 5 Democrats), by the Texas State Board of Education. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=3643

Click here for a link to Professor Jesus F. de la Teja’s review and recommendations for the SBOE, on the social studies standards.  He recommends removing Neil Armstrong, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Texas Rangers by name, completely.  He also recommends removing Columbus from one section.  De la Teja Review Current Social Studies TEKS[1]

Click here to see what the Houston Chronicle’s “Sci-Guy” has to say about removing Neil Armstrong.  http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/archives/2009/09/neil_armstrong_isnt_worthy_of_texas_textbooks.html

Even Burnt Orange Report thinks removing Neil Armstrong is outrageous.  Excerpt from Burnt orange report article.”Why? Because apparently, the first man to walk on the moon isn’t … wait for it… a scientist. So though he’s perhaps history’s most famous spaceman, and though NASA’s home in Houston has been a huge boon to Texas, we’d better wipe him out of the history books. Except for one key detail: Armstrong actually is a scientist. SciGuy points out that Armstrong received aerospace engineering degrees from Purdue and USC, and taught science at the University of Cincinnati. Sounds like a scientist to me.”

PRESS STATEMENT:

Austin, Texas-Last week, the Texas State Board of Education released its updated social studies standards as voted on in its last meeting.  After review, Liberty Institute released the following statement: “Liberty Institute applauds the State Board of Education (SBOE) for their hard work and strong dedication to the students of Texas, and especially for maintaining the integrity and timetable of the curriculum standards review process, which includes five public hearings and over a year of work that began in early 2009 and will conclude in May 2010 with a final public hearing and final vote”, said Jonathan Saenz, Director of Legislative Affairs, Liberty Institute.

“We are, however, concerned that a small vocal minority is now pressuring the SBOE to throw out these standards and begin the process anew to push a political agenda.”

” The public deserves to know that it was an unelected review panel (made up mostly of teacher-educrats), and not SBOE members, who tried to remove Christmas, the Liberty Bell, Daniel Boone, Albert Einstein, George Patton,  and others from the standards and Independence Day and Thomas Edison were to be diminished, when this process began in 2009.”  This is the type of review committee that the opposition now wants to send the social studies standards back to, and start over.

  The public also should know that it was a Texas professor, Jesus F. de la Teja, who proposed removing Alexander Graham Bell and Neil Armstrong completely and Columbus partially, from the social studies standards, while asking for the National Organization of Women (NOW) to be added.  This is surely not the common sense direction to go for the education of our children.  Thankfully, the SBOE has corrected the missteps of others, “, said Saenz.  Professor de la Teja criticized the SBOE at a Mexican American Legislative Caucus press conference, last month.  

To help clear up public misrepresentations about the social studies standards, Liberty Institute has compiled a condensed list of approved social studies standards for study.  Among those:

  • Historical Figures:  Neil Armstrong, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Columbus (voted back into standards, previously removed by unelected review committees (Columbus/Edison-partial).
  • Tejano leaders:  Juan N. Seguin, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Jose Antonio Navarro, others.
  • Alamo Heroes: All 189 heroes who died at Alamo. including contributions of Texians and Tejanos
  • Important Concepts:   “American Exceptionalism”    
  • Contributions of Founding Fathers: John Hancock, John Jay, John Witherspoon, others
  • Thomas Jefferson: contribution of his political philosophy (he’s covered in four different sections)
  • Religious Heritage:  impact of religion and Judeo-Christian legal tradition on America.
  • Landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases: Brown v. Bd of Education, Sweat v. Painter, Hernandez v. Texas, Roe v. Wade, Tinker v. Des Moines, Miranda v. Arizona. 
  • Cultural/Notable Leaders: Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, James A. Baker III, Hillary Clinton, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sam Walton, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E. B. Dubois, Irma Rangel, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Estee Lauder, Harriet Tubman, Todd Beamer, Mary Kay Ash, Roy Benavidez, John “Danny” Olivas, Henry B. Gonzalez, Jonas Salk, Hector P. Garcia, Carmen Loma Garza, Vernon J. Baker, Michael Dell, George Washington Carver, Michael DeBakey… Groups: LULAC, Black Panthers, NAACP, NRA, Moral Majority, Heritage Foundation.
  • BC/AD:  SBOE members approved correct dating system, some teachers tried to change it to BCE/CE.

Media Contact: Jennifer Grisham, 202.297.1290 / 972.941.4453, jgrisham@libertyinstitute.org.

Or call our Austin, Texas office at 512-478-2220.

EMAIL US AT: legislative@libertyinstitute.org if you want to testify at the May 19th State Board of Education hearing in Austin.  We can help prepare you for this meeting


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/


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


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.


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


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