Last Week Today: A Capitol Update

by Kathryn Freeman on April 13, 2017 in CLC

This week, I’d like to highlight several bills the CLC is supporting related to our policy priorities. The CLC public policy priorities are set by 18 Texas Baptists from across the state who represent a wide swath of Texas Baptist life. To review, policy priorities set by our commissioners for the 85th Legislative Session, click here.

HB 1936

HB 1936 prohibits county and city governments from entering contracts with abortion providers. Some city and county governments have entered contracts with Planned Parenthood for health services. While we support access to affordable health care for low income women, we believe local governments should find alternatives for the provision of those services with entities like community health centers.
This bill is part of Governor Abbott’s LIFE initiative and intends to eliminate all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.  

Dr. Gus Reyes testified for this bill. Watch his testimony here.

HB 3081

HB 3081 preempts regulation of any city regulation on business regulated by state financial agencies. This bill would have the effect of preempting city ordinances passed in 43 cities to regulate payday and auto-title lending businesses.
The CLC and Texas Baptist pastors have helped pass the ordinances in a number of cities. Payday lenders charge exorbitant fees often trapping financially fragile families in a cycle a debt that drives them further into poverty. 47 percent of borrowers cannot pay the loan back in two weeks and the average APR is 463 percent.

While state and federal lawmakers have been unwilling to pass any legislation to protect poor families against these predatory lenders, city officials have taken action to protect their citizens.

Rob Kohler, one of our contract lobbyists, testified against this bill. To watch his testimony, click here.

Other notable bills we registered support for:

  • HB 3130:  Relating to the establishment of an educational and vocational training pilot program for certain state jail felony defendants.
  • SB 1929:  Relating to a report on maternal mortality and the continuation of the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.
  • HB 2858:  Relating to human trafficking signs at abortion facilities and offenses associated with human trafficking and coerced abortion; increasing criminal penalties.
  • HB 6:  Relating to the statewide implementation of community-based foster care by the Department of Family and Protective Services.
  • SB 1599:  Relating to maternal mortality reporting and investigation information.
  • HB 3016:  Relating to the eligibility of a criminal defendant for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information.
  • HB 2702:  Relating to interactions between law enforcement and individuals detained or arrested on suspicion of the commission of criminal offenses and the confinement or release of those individuals prior to prosecution.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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