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Special Session: Texans Want To Protect Privacy

Texas Capitol shot from video (bw 620-240)

On Tuesday, Texans from all over the state will be eager to again defend the Texas Privacy Act.

For the special session, Gov. Greg Abbott has called on Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Ron Simmons to work together on a plan to pass a privacy bill this session. Texas Values, along with likeminded partners, have been busy briefing people across the state on this important issue with well-attended stops in Midland, Houston, Fort Worth, and Tyler. Texans continue to be very motivated in keeping privacy protected in the special session.

There has been so much activity on this critical issue that a landing page has been set up to chronicle all of our press releases, testimonial videos, fact sheets, and other important items. Visit txvalues.org/protectprivacy to learn more.

Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, is optimistic of the chances of passing a bill to protect privacy in our restrooms, locker rooms, changing areas, and other intimate spaces. This special session’s legislation will defend business freedom, the dignity of our school children, and preserve “safe spaces” for our most vulnerable.

“This fight has been brought to Texas parents and children, due in part to misguided efforts from the previous presidential administration and the pressure put on city and school district leaders by lobbying groups with deep pockets,” said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values. “House Speaker Joe Straus kept the Texas Privacy Act from even receiving a vote in the Texas House, even though a majority of the House supported the House version. If the state of Texas does not step in during this special session this issue will continue to be fought from city to city, from county to county, from school board to school board — resulting in thousands of time-consuming, costly, and repetitive conflicts, and a lack of transparency by local government. Not only that, but thousands of Texas schoolchildren will return to class this fall uncertain of how their schools will respond.”

It wasn’t for a lack of effort that the regular session’s privacy bills failed to make it to the Governor’s desk. Things were looking up on March 7, when Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hosted a press conference supporting SB 6, which included bill author Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and other key leaders. SB 6 went on to pass the Texas Senate 21-10 on March 15 and was promptly sent to the Texas House.

In March, the Faith and Family Day gathered hundreds of grassroots supporters and legislative leaders to rally support for legislation to protect privacy. Soon, a group of over 700 pastors and Christian organizational leaders signed a letter calling for passage of SB 6, as well as a growing list of business and civic leaders who echoed that call.

Weeks passed before House State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook scheduled a hearing. A House privacy bill was left pending in committee on April 19, even after a marathon all-day-and-night public hearing. Efforts to bring it to the House floor were unsuccessful due to House leadership blocking it at every turn – even with a majority of Texas House members as co-sponsors.

“We will do everything we can to make sure the privacy, safety, and dignity of young girls and all Texans are protected,” said Nicole Hudgens, Policy Analyst for Texas Values.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • A full list of resources, including all press releases and media advisories written in the 85th Legislature regular session, is at the following page: txvalues.org/protectprivacy
  • The following businesses, business owners, faith leaders and national entities have voiced their support for Texas privacy legislation (the full list can be found on our landing page): Concerned Women of America of Texas , Texas Eagle Forum , Texas Pastor Council, Coalition of African American Pastors, Hispanic Action Pastor Network , San Antonio Family Association (SAFA), Stand for Fort Worth, Vision America Family Research Council FRC Action Family Policy Alliance Timothy Head, Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Northeast Tarrant Tea Party Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, Drippings Springs Parents, Phillip Williams, Williams Furniture Co. Jeanie Stephens, Stephens Company, Dustin Cheatham, Pop’s Organics, Ben & Susan Taylor, KNW Oil & Gas, Inc. Pedro Mendez, ATUSA, LLC, Armando Garza, La Altura Pediatrics, Dallas Bingley, Retired Police Officer Tommy Evans, Integrity Entertainment Group LLC, Gary Rodenbaugh, Rodenbaugh’s Flooring American & Appliances Vince Puente, Southwest Office Systems Jonathan Flower, Simple Joy Media; Rebecca Summers, LTS Compression & Lymphedema Therapy Source; Norma Duncan, Duncan Automotive; Alvin Kaddatz, Kaddatz Auctioneering

About Texas Values

Texas Values is a nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org

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