YOUR VOICE MATTERS
Texas NOW works at the grassroots level to influence and bring about legislative progress at the local, state, and national level. We reach out to candidates of critical races regularly and survey them to gauge where they stand on key women’s rights issues.
The Texas 87th legislative session is packed with legislative activities with significant impact to the well being and rights of Texas women, both positively and negatively. Here are the top 10 bills on Texas NOW’s radar in 2021.
If you feel passionately about any of these bills or any other bills introduced in this legislative session, please take action and make your voice heard. Find your representatives at https://www.commoncause.org and contact them by email or by phone.
TOP BILLS WE SUPPORT
HB 302 – Sexual Assault
HB 312 – Implicit Bias
HB 420 –
This bill, filed by Rep. Nicole Collier, would expand the definition of legal sexual assault without consent. This expanded definition would help give more power to survivors if they choose to pursue prosecution.
Also filed by Rep. Nicole Collier, this bill would require peace officers to undergo implicit bias training. The goal of this training would be for peace officers to “critically examine common stereotypes and cultural assumptions often held by communities and the officers who serve those communities.”
Rep. Carl Sherman’s bill would create a task force to focus on maternal mortality in African American women.
HB 321/388/490 & SB 148 - Tampon Tax
HB 414 & SB 121 - Medicaid
These bills, filed by Rep. Donna Howard, Rep. Leo Pacheco, Rep. Gene Wu, and Senator Beverly Powell, would ban taxes on feminine hygiene products, meaning things like tampons and pads would no longer face the discriminatory tampon tax.
HB 414, filed by Armando Walle, would help extend Medicaid eligibility for women after their pregnancy and help women continue to get medical assistance for no less than 24 months after their last month of pregnancy. Similarly, Sen. Nathan Johnson’s bill would extend Medicaid eligibility for women after a miscarriage.
TOP BILLS WE OPPOSE
HB 69 – Anti-Abortion
HB 329/330/335 – Nonexistent Voter Fraud
HB 92 – Anti-Abortion
This bill would effectively ban abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy, revising the current state law which prohibits abortions after 20 weeks.
All these bills were filed by Rep. Briscoe Cain, under the guise of preventing nonexistent "voter fraud." They include creating criminal offenses, increasing criminal offenses, and creating a database of non-citizens in Texas. Yet, there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas or any evidence to suggest that non-citizens have been voting in elections. It’s clear to us that these bills are the latest in a series of Texas conservatives' attempts to spread misinformation and disenfranchise voters.
Texas is already the hardest state to vote in, and these bills would make it even harder.
This bill attempts to create civil and criminal penalties in regards to performing abortions. If it were to go into effect, a person involved with what the bill considers to be a “criminal” abortion could be subject to a lawsuit by the Texas Attorney General for a $30,000 civil penalty fee for each “violation.”
HB25 & SB 208 – Voter Suppression
These bills, filed by and backed by multiple Republican representatives, would prohibit the distribution of an application form for an early voting ballot. It would prevent officials from giving mail-in ballot applications if voters didn’t submit a request.
HB 299/304 – Handgun Legislation
Both filed by Rep. Drew Springer, these bills would expand places where those who are permitless, but eligible to have a License to Carry permit, can carry handguns. It would also expand where those with a License to Carry permit can carry their handguns.