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Having quickly proceeded through the Texas Senate, Senate Bill 6 known as the “bathroom bill”, sits languishing in the Texas House.  The bill has not been assigned to a committee with 80 days of the 140-day legislative session already gone.

A key component to opposition of the “bathroom bill” in the Senate would be that passage would cause heavy negative economic consequences to the state.  Yet, Republican state senators slapped away any and all economic impact studies and arguments.

Lobbying heavily against SB6 has been Texas Association of Business (TAB), and its new president, Chris Wallace.  Testifying before the Senate’s State Affairs Committee, Wallace admitted that TAB had taken a position against the bill even before the bill was written and filed.

In arguing against SB6, Wallace relied on a study done by MBA students at St. Edward’s University.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston RER79) commenced shredding Wallace over his use of the study.  In eight minutes, Bettencourt confronted Wallace with flawed facts and data contained in the study regarding the economic impact of similar “bathroom bills” in other states.


As the SB6 sits in limbo in the Texas House, the talking points dealing with economic impact continue.

Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio RER0) has expressed his opposition to SB 6, repeatedly.  His media appearances have been notably increased this session.  During a sit-down interview with Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, Straus stated, “I oppose it… I’d never even heard about [this issue] until a year or two ago.  Count me as a ‘no’”.

It should be noted that Speaker Straus is from San Antonio where a major battle was fought over a “bathroom bill”.  One would think it’s safe to say that Speaker Straus is also aware of the battle that took place in Houston over the H.E.R.O. “bathroom bill” which was defeated by a margin of 61% to 39%.

As reported by The Dallas Morning News, State Rep. “Lord Byron” Cook (R-Corsicana RER56), declared that there’s “no evidence” that the bill is solving any actual problems facing the state.


Copyright©2017 Raging Elephants Radio LLC

Texas Lawmakers Consider Plan To Allow Gun Owners To Carry Without Permits


Two years after approving open carry and campus carry bills during the 2015 legislative session, Texas lawmakers are debating proposals that would give the state some of the laxest gun laws in the country.

The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety heard hours of public testimony Tuesday on two bills that would allow Texans to carry a handgun (open or concealed) without obtaining a gun license and completing the required safety training. Any Texan who would ordinarily be denied a gun license would not be allowed to carry a gun.

“This bill means a lot to me because it means so much to my constituents and Texans everywhere,” said Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, the author of one of the measures. “I don’t think the government has the right to sell us back our rights.”

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Texas pastors issue ‘Toilet Seat Awards’ to senators who voted against ‘bathroom bill’

Jardine Malado

Pastors from Texas have issued “Toilet Seat Awards” to the senators who voted against the Texas Privacy Act or SB6, which would require individuals to use bathrooms in public buildings matching the sex on their birth certificates.

The legislation was passed by the Texas Senate earlier this month by a vote of 21–10. but it is facing an uphill battle in the House.

In a video published on Monday, a group of pastors known as the “Houston Five,” accompanied by other pastors from across the Greater Houston area, unveiled the “Toilet Seat Awards” for each of the 10 state senators who voted against the controversial bill.

“It is disgusting and offensive to women that one-third of the Texas state senate would vote no on SB 6 in providing protection for women and our daughters in our most private settings,” said Becky Riggle of Grace Church during the presentation of the awards.

House Speaker Joe Straus, who also earned a “Toilet Seat Award,” has publicly expressed his opposition to the bill, claiming that it would be bad for business.

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Texas House member Mark Keough injured in crash in Austin

By Mark Wilson – American-Statesman Staff

State Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, was injured in a car wreck in Austin while heading to the Capitol Tuesday morning.

A post to Keough’s Facebook page around 10:20 a.m. said he was stable…

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Texas House Speaker: Bathroom bill “manufactured and unnecessary”

Texas House Speaker: Bathroom bill “manufactured and unnecessary” Joe Straus says it would be a “mistake” for Texas to follow in North Carolina’s footsteps


A bill that seeks to restrict which restrooms transgender people in Texas can access seems destined for the scrap heap, if comments from the state’s powerful House Speaker are to be believed.

Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) expressed his opposition to SB 6, the so-called “bathroom bill,” during a sit-down interview with Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I oppose it … I’d never even heard about [this issue] until a year or two ago,” Straus said. “Count me as a no.”

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Ruth York of Cisco, Texas leads the organization known as The Grateful Texan.  Every week Ruth and her team come up with a list of public figures that are worthy of a “thank you”.

Whether they are an elected official at any level of government, a grassroots leader, a member of the media, a Republican, Democrat, or Independent it doesn’t matter.  If someone has done a deed that is worthy of an “at’ta boy (or, girl)” sends them a personal thank you card through the snail mail.

Texans from all over the state have signed up with  The team sends out an email or text to you (your choice) of their winner of the day.  Then the participants (you) make the effort to send the thank you card for the day.  State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford RER99) has publically acknowledged how energizing the cards are when officeholders receive them.  RER’s President and CEO, Apostle Claver Kamau-Imani has been the target of their gratitude activism that included a couple of fudge brownies in one of the packages.

The “thank you” recipients for the week of March 20-24 are:

  • State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston RER79)
  • State Sen. Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth RER98)
  • State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring RERn/a, 1st term)
  • State Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury RERn/a, 1st term)
  • Gov. Dan Patrick (R-Houston)

Listen to the RERhotclip to find out why these five get a pat on the back.

Signup for email of text at

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Copyright©2017 Raging Elephants Radio LLC

Stickland and Schaefer attempt fails to force Bathroom Bill debate

By: Rudy Koski

The topic for debate Tuesday morning in the House Chamber was pretty straightforward. HB 1818,  which re-authorizes the Texas Railroad Commission, was up for what should have been a quick discussion. That didn’t happen Tuesday morning. The agency currently regulates the oil and gas industry and no longer deals with trains.

The name has caused some confusion, which is why the debate opened with attempt at renaming the commission. The idea was tabled and left for another day, but it didn’t stop a different attempt to sidetrack HB 1818.

The political maneuvering that took place involved trying to force a floor debate on SB6. The legislation would regulate access to bathrooms by a person’s gender at birth. Earlier in the session the controversial legislation quickly moved out of the Senate but it currently remains in limbo on the House side. Supporters of SB6 spent the morning urging lawmakers to force the issue, by bringing it up through the amendment process.

“It is clear that everybody is talking about this issue so why can’t the house members talk about it on the floor and so I don’t think anybody should be surprised by this and this is a part of the process,” said Jonathan Saenz with Texas Values.

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License-free gun bills draw Capitol crowd

By Chuck Lindell

More than 100 people signed up Tuesday to speak on two bills that would allow legal gun owners to carry handguns, either concealed or in a holster, without having to first acquire a state-issued license in Texas.

All were drawn to the first-ever Capitol hearing granted to a bill that would allow license-free “constitutional carry” — a top priority for the Republican Party of Texas and the next step for gun-rights advocates one session after the Legislature approved openly carried handguns, as well as concealed firearms in most buildings on public university campuses, by those with a license to carry.

“This is a big day for many Texans,” state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, said about the hearing of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee on House Bill 375, which he said would “see our Second Amendment rights restored, respected and protected.”

Stickland and many of the gun-rights activists who testified in favor of HB 375 said government permission should not be required — for a fee — to exercise the constitutional right to bear arms.

“I don’t think the government has the right to sell us back our rights,” Stickland told the committee.

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Texas Senate OKs voter ID changes

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate on Monday approved key modifications to the state’s strictest-in-the-nation voter ID law, incorporating some changes ordered after federal courts previously found it discriminatory.

The bill doesn’t ease requirements about which seven forms of picture identifications people are allowed to show when casting ballots. Gun licenses remain acceptable, but college IDs aren’t.

Federal courts have ruled the law disproportionately affects poor and minority voters and ordered a workaround for November’s presidential election that let Texans without required ID vote by signing an affidavit.

Sponsored by Republican Sen. Joan Huffman, the bill instead makes permanent many of the court changes while also creating a criminal penalty of up to 10 years in prison for deliberately lying on such affidavits.

A recent Associated Press analysis of roughly 13,500 affidavits submitted in Texas’ largest counties found at least 500 instances in which voters were allowed to get around the law by signing an affidavit and never showing a photo ID — despite indicating that they possessed one. Most of those cases tended to reflect confusion about — or people deliberately voicing objections to — the voter ID law, rather than attempted fraud.

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Will Texas universities face perfect storm of cuts?

by Matthew Watkins | The Texas Tribune

Higher education leaders entered the 2017 session of the Texas Legislature expecting some dark days. Two-and-a-half months in, they’re now focused on warding off a perfect storm.

That’s a scary thought to advocates of public higher education, who warn that Texas’ need for strong state universities will only grow in the coming years. Tuition, state funding and federal cash make up a combined 75 percent of Texas public university revenue.

“All alumni and business leaders in our state should be up in arms and outraged about these proposals being considered,” said Will O’Hara, co-interim director of the Texas Exes alumni group for the University of Texas at Austin.

Persuading elected officials to reverse course could be difficult, however. There’s less money for the state to spend overall this year than in previous sessions. There are also other pressing needs to compete with, like reforming the child protective services and foster care systems. And many lawmakers are frustrated with what they view as a lack of fiscal discipline among the state’s universities.

Average tuition has climbed 147 percent in Texas over the past 15 years. And most of the state’s universities have increased tuition since 2015, when the Legislature added $2 billion to the budget for higher education.

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