Who’s Carrying Water for Greg Abbott?
The governor’s got his rogues’ gallery of lawmakers
The Texas Legislature begins its first special session on July 18, and Gov. Greg Abbott has spent the lead-up championing the list of lawmakers he's assembled to push his hyperconservative agenda. So far, the guv has announced a rogues' gallery of House and Senate authors and sponsors for 10 of the 19 Items he's threatened to add to the special call, which so far only includes sunset authorization legislation for the Texas Medical Board. The list (as of Wednesday morning) includes:
• Capping state spending growth at population growth plus inflation: Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Reps. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, and Mike Schofield, R-Katy
• Increased penalties for the extremely rare phenomenon of mail-in ballot fraud: Hancock and Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Ft. Worth
• Capping municipal budgets at population growth and inflation: Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas
• The bathroom bill, which Abbott still insists is about privacy for women and children: Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, and Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton
• Continuing the mandate of the Maternal Mortality Task Force: Kolkhorst and Reps. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, and Armando Walle, D-Houston
• Blocking insurance companies from covering elective abortions: Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, and Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo
• Blocking local governments from providing any funding to health care providers that also provide abortions: Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster
• Further crippling city annexation powers: Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, and Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston
• Increasingly stringent abortion reporting procedures: Campbell and Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake
• A merciless revision of do-not-resuscitate orders: Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood
Out of all those proposed bills, only one – that reauthorizing the Maternal Mortality Task Force – comes with bipartisan support. Moreover, the list does not actually include anyone authoring the TMB sunset bill, which is the only must-pass piece of legislation they have.