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March 19, 2021
In the News
Headlines from the Texas HDC
Featured Story
On Monday, Texas House Democrats hosted a press conference to speak out against Gov. Abbott’s earlier press event where he continued to undermine trust in Texas elections and our democracy by making baseless statements on the incidence of voter fraud. House Democrats used their press conference to push back against Gov. Abbott’s misinformation campaign, and to fight for changes to our election laws that would make voting safe, easy and accessible.

The event was covered on CBS Austin, NBC DFW, FOX 7, KRGV, KXAN and in the Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Independent.

The live stream of the event is archived on the Texas House Democratic Caucus’ Facebook page.
Top Stories This Week
  • Activists and lawmakers call on Texas leaders to condemn the rise of racism against Asian communities | KUT
    State Rep. Gene Wu has been warning politicians that using terms like “kung flu” and “China virus” to describe COVID-19 would lead to serious problems for Asian communities in the state.

    “It’s meant to be derogatory,” said Wu, a Democrat from Houston who introduced a resolution Monday condemning the rise of anti-Asian racism in Texas. “It’s meant to be derisive. It’s meant to be mocking. And [Asian communities] know that this puts a target on our backs.”

     
  • Texas' power failure: Last public utility commissioner resigns at Gov. Abbott's request | Austin American-Statesman
    State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie and chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said Abbott has much to address.

    "The secret, leaked audio makes clear that, despite the commission’s name, the governor’s appointees were actually working for Wall Street, not for the public," Turner said. 

    "Now, Gov. Abbott needs to do what he should have done years ago — appoint commissioners who are not afraid to use the PUC's regulatory powers to protect Texas consumers and ensure our electric grid's reliability," he added.

     
  • As Dallas awaits arrival of migrant teens, Gov. Abbott accuses President Biden of ‘opening floodgates’ to migrants | Dallas Morning News
    State Democrats took even sharper aim at the Republican governor, saying he is trying to distract the public from the state’s power grid failure after an epic February freeze and the state’s slower rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19.

    “He manufactures fear of mainly Latino kids,” said State Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas. “He knows the danger of this irresponsible language because we lived it firsthand when El Paso families were gunned down because they were Hispanic.”

     
  • The Rise of Women in State Legislatures: A State-by-State Map | Governing
    (Rep. Senfronia Thompson) assumed office in 1973, and as the number of women in politics has grown, the public has gained increasing appreciation for the ways that their experiences and ideas are important to the political process, she says. Getting even closer to equal representation would change things, she believes.

    “I think that we would not be fighting so much,” says Rep. Thompson. “We would probably be ensuring that under-insured or non-insured persons get health care — I’m looking forward to women making further gains.”

     
  • Texas House Speaker says ERCOT charges ‘not an error’ while Lt. Gov. says ‘clock is ticking’ to help Texans | KXAN
    State Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, said Magic Valley Electric Co-Op, which is in his Rio Grande Valley district, could take a financial hit if the state forces the price correction.

    “I’m just wanting to make sure that if we adjust over here, they’re not losing money,” Lucio said. “I don’t mind if they don’t make money… I just don’t want them to have to come out of pocket.”

     
  • E-Verify is supposed to stop undocumented workers. But it has major flaws | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    For Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, it is apparent that communication is lacking during disasters. ...

    “One of the biggest takeaways from the hearings were how unprepared we appeared to be to communicate consistently so the public would know what was going on,” Raymond said.

     
  • Mike Ramos Act bills filed in Texas House and Senate | WFMY
    "Mike Ramos should still be alive today. As the indictment of the police officer who shot and killed him advances, we will also pursue justice outside of the courts: in the Texas Legislature," said (Rep. Eddie Rodriguez). "The circumstances of Mike Ramos’s killing raises questions which are all too familiar, underscoring issues with police departments’ use of force policies, policing standards, training, accountability, and transparency. ... I am humbled to be working together with them and my colleagues in the Austin delegation to advance this legislation in his memory."
     
  • ‘We don’t sleep at nights’: Mom shares heartbreak of losing daughter in 2019 Midland-Odessa shooting | Dallas Morning News
    State Rep. Rhetta Bowers, who is the vice chair of the committee, struggled to maintain her composure after the testimony, saying “As a mother, our hearts go out to you and your family and for every time you have to recount that story again. I can’t even imagine.”
     
  • School nurses have become crucial in battling the pandemic, but Texas doesn't require districts to have them | Texas Tribune
    State Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, has filed a bill this legislative session to require all districts to employ at least one full-time nurse per school and keep a ratio of at least one full-time nurse for every 750 students enrolled. Hiring more nurses would cost districts or the state money, and Thierry said she wasn’t yet sure exactly how much.

    “These are essential workers, so it is a cost that we can’t afford to cut any longer. Even one child’s life lost would be tragic,” she said.

     
  • How the pandemic is reshaping education | The Washington Post
    Some policymakers began to consider permanent changes that would meet the changed education landscape.

    “The way we educate kids now is new,” said Texas state Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin), who has introduced legislation to change Texas’s funding formula — from being based on the number of kids in seats on certain days to enrollment — so that districts would get more state money.

     
  • If this bill passes, say yes to drugs. It's for the kids. | Houston Chronicle
    State Rep. Jessica González (D-104) filed House Bill 3248 earlier this week, seeking to legalize recreational marijuana use in Texas. ...

    "Sixteen states in America have legalized cannabis and 26 total states have decriminalized the use of cannabis," González said in a statement. "In a recent study, 54 percent of Texans supported the legalization of recreational cannabis use.

    "While Texas has made progress with the Compassionate Use Act, we have been left behind on a potential revenue source that would increase investments in public education, stop the unnecessary arrests for cannabis possession, and create jobs in our state. We should allow our local communities to make the best decision for themselves in regards to cannabis legalization, and HB 3248 would allow that for adults 21 years or older."

     
  • E-Verify is supposed to stop undocumented workers. But it has major flaws | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    Texas Rep. Leo Pacheco, a second-term Democrat from San Antonio, introduced a bill in February that would mandate all contractors and subcontractors paid with public funds to use E-Verify. ...

    "E-Verify is not perfect, it still has some holes but it's better than nothing," Pacheco said. "This is an anti identity theft bill that will help get everybody to compete on the same playing field when they're bidding for jobs."

     
  • Rep. Israel: Working to help tourism, recreation industries in Texas | Austin American-Statesman
    Written by Rep. Celia Israel.
    My strongest fear is that the Legislature too often allows crises to fizzle out and the leadership hopes we will all forget the pain, the loss and the strain on our economy. I assure you, I won't forget the horrors we are living through and will use this office to speak up on behalf of the Texan who is relying on us to learn from the past and do better for the state we all love.
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