By State Rep. Brooks Landgraf
On July 8th, legislators from across the state and I reconvened at the Texas Capitol to get back to work for the start of a special legislative session to take up a list of important policy items for the people of Texas.
In Texas, a special session may only be called by the governor, and only issues put on the agenda by the governor may be addressed. Under the Texas Constitution, a special session of the Legislature can last no longer than 30 days.
For this current special session, the governor has placed eleven items on the agenda, including election integrity, bail reform, border security, family violence prevention, financial support for Texas retired teachers, property tax relief, improvements to our foster care system, and enhanced cybersecurity protections.
In our first few days back in session, the Texas House of Representatives hit the ground running, already passing several important bills out of committee. I’m proud to say that I’m taking an active role in working on many of these important issues for Texas.
To help address many of these issues, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) created the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies. I was honored to be among the fifteen members appointed to this committee to be on the forefront in discussing these issues. As your state representative, I take seriously my sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and I look forward to continuing to fight for our constitutional rights as a member of this select committee.
In fact, last weekend, the Constitutional Rights and Remedies Committee held a 23-hour hearing to thoroughly discuss bail reform and election integrity legislation, all of which were passed out of the committee at the conclusion of the hearing.
The election integrity legislation has generated quite a bit of attention this week. It has been maligned by Democrats trying to block the reforms, but the goal I have for this measure is to instill confidence in the integrity and security of our elections process while promoting access for voters to cast a ballot. In short, it should be easy to vote and hard to cheat in Texas. The bill pending in the Legislature isn’t perfect (nothing on this side of Heaven is), but I think that as lawmakers, we can work together to make some improvements.
However, that may prove difficult now.
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard that a group of jet-setting Democratic lawmakers have fled the Texas Capitol for Washington, D.C. in an act of political theatre in order to temporarily keep the Texas House of Representatives from taking any action on the agenda items for the current special legislative session, including not just election integrity, but also family violence prevention, support for retired teachers and property tax relief (just to name a few).
I promise you I will be here as long as it takes to ensure that Texans get the best policies possible. And if there are disagreements, let’s discuss those disagreements in the halls of the Texas Capitol, which is how this process works. We won’t always agree on every policy, but the fight needs to be fought and our constituents’ voices should be heard.
If you need me, I’ll be here at my post in the Texas Capitol.
God bless Texas!