Texas State Senators Highlight Key Issues in 87th Legislative Session
SAN ANTONIO – The final hammer blow has sounded in Texas’ 87th Legislature, marking both the end of a hectic session and the start of many laws to be enacted in Lone Star State.
The session resulted in a dramatic walkout from Democrats to avoid the passage of a bill.
Texas State Senators Donna Campbell and Roland Gutierrez joined Leading SA on Sunday to share their views on the session and what’s to come.
“We most definitely started with a different session, more masks, testing, social distancing and plexiglass all over the place and we were greeted by the winter storm,” Campbell said.
Overall, Campbell said the session was a success.
“We have passed bills that will help winterize production generators. So if it happened again, we have it all figured out. We are changing the composition of the PUC in their board of directors. We securitize the electricity market and stabilize both the grid and the market, allowing electricity providers to access cheaper loans. And that helps us all. We have extended broadband access, protected the elderly so that in the event of a new state of emergency, families can still see their loved ones. We passed a conservative balanced budget to maintain funding for schools and even extended Medicaid for postpartum women, ”Campbell said.
However, Campbell said the session was not perfect and pointed out a few bills that did not pass in the House.
“I was disappointed that some bills were passed by the Senate, but not by the House, and that was the integrity of the elections, the bond reform and the Small Business Protection Act,” he said. Campbell said.
Across the aisle, Gutierrez said the session posed various challenges due to Republican power – specifically pointing to the voting bill.
“Senate Bill 7 was nothing more than an attack on measures taken in Houston, which were essentially voter expansion. What’s wrong with that? And give more opportunities to people to vote overtime on Sundays? Said Gutiérrez. “It was nothing more than eliminating our ability to get more people out. And so, I hope people are listening and I hope they understand what’s going on in Austin. It’s devastating coming from the Republican side for sure. “
Campbell said the issues presented and adopted at the session were not new and highlighted issues affecting the country and the state.
” VSconservative issues have never changed. We passed a law this session that broadened police reform, broadened your ability to defend yourself, protect religious freedom, protect the sanctity of life. And that has always been our values, ”said Campbell. “This session, we honored those rights – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Guttierez said lawmakers were waiting for the possibility of a special session following the fallout from the walkout on the voting bill.
“There were other bills they wanted to do that weren’t done,” Gutierrez said. “And so I’m sure we’re going to be facing a special session with some red meat issues, including Senate Bill 7, which was the Elections Bill.”
You can watch the full interview with Leading SA in the video player above.
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