88th Legislature -Time for action- Current news!! - Make calls now!

Hero Image
The bills have been filed. Voting begins. Our elected representatives need to hear from us.
It's time to start calling our representatives and tell them NO to Vouchers, NO to SB 2 making illegal voting a felony, NO to a state border police, NO to a ban on polling places on college campuses, NO to arming teachers, NO to discriminatory LGBTQ laws. NO to book banning.
and YES to teacher pay raises, YES to support for public schools, YES, to strong gun violence prevention laws( Roland Gutierrez's bills), YES to making Voting more accessible, YES to Medicaid expansion, Yes to Abortion Rights and maternal healthcare.

*Be ready to make phone calls and/or visit the Capitol.*

State Senator Zaffirini (Dem)-(512) 463-0121 (TEL)

State Rep Stan Gerdes-(512) 463-0682

Gov Abbott-(512) 463-1782

Lt Gov. Patrick- (512) 463-5342

Speaker of the House Doug Phelan-(512) 463-1000

Go to the Voter Resources page on the website for their emails


Check out the information sources and articles below.

They need to hear from us.

If you are interested in receiving frequent updates, please follow my Facebook page, Judith Zaffirini, State Senator.

To see a list of current bills filed, visit Texas Legislature Online.


Speaker of the House priority Biils (numbers given)

Senate Priority Bills- (numbers Given)

Senate Committees

House Committees


Information sources for Legislative News.

Texas Freedom Network,

Progress Texas,

Rep Erin Zwiener’s of Hays Co.FB/twitter

The Texas Observer

Texas Legislature-Texas Tribune -Current Lege news.

Quorum Report

Texas Standard

KUT 88th legislature news

Equality Texas- Legislative bill Tracker keeps track of bills affecting the LGBTQ+ community

Mothers Against Greg Abbott- posts "Fill the Lines Days" to call legislators about specific issues/bills.

*Be ready to make phone calls and/or visit the Capitol.*

State Senator Zaffirini (Dem)-(512) 463-0121 (TEL)

State Rep Stan Gerdes-(512) 463-0682

Go to Voter Resource page for their emails

Here are public-interest lobbying efforts you can attend at the state Capitol:

  • March 28: Citizens Climate Change Lobby Day
  • April 12- Texas Retired Teachers Day Action Day-info and register here
  • April 14- Planned Parenthood Lobby Day . Register here.
  • April 18: Tx Democratic Women Blue Ribbon Lobby Day/Non-Urban Rural Democrats- Register here.
  • May 4: Mothers Against Greg Abbott Lobby Day


Legislative Alert by the Texas democratic Chairs Association.

SB 990 by Sen. Hall, set to be heard by the State Affairs Committee on Monday at 9 am. 

SB 990 would eliminate the countywide polling place program. This bill has implications for county parties, Elections Administrators, and County Clerks as administrators and facilitators of elections.

Texas Senate passes bill making illegal voting a felony again; bill moves to Texas House-

March 14

Senate Bill 2, authored by Senator Bryan Hughes, would also change the requirement that a person know he or she was voting illegally in order to be charged and convicted.

Read the entire article here.

ALERT!- Election Judges-armed!

We're reaching out to flag HB 636 by Rep. Patterson, set to be heard by the Select House Committee on Community Safety on Tuesday at 2 pm or upon adjournment of the House.

HB 636 would clarify that the prohibition on carrying handguns in polling places does not apply to presiding election judges. A nonbinding opinion from the attorney general in 2018 found that the offense of carrying firearms in a polling place did not apply to presiding election judges who possessed a handgun license and were performing their duties under the Election Code. The bill would codify the opinion and allow presiding election judges to carry handguns in polling places. It is unclear whether the bill would allow an election judge to possess a handgun at a polling place located in a school, where current law currently prohibits the carrying of firearms.

Read the entire article here

EXPLAINER: How SB 2 Would Turn Innocent Voting Mistakes in Texas into Felony-Level Crimes

MediaPressMar 2

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Republicans are considering increasing the penalty for honest mistakes while voting – from a misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. Our right to vote is the foundation of our democracy and Texas Democrats will stop at nothing to defend that right.

If you recently moved to a new county and Senate Bill 2 becomes law, you'd be at risk for a longer prison sentence than if you kidnapped a child – just by trying to vote.

That may sound unbelievable, but it's true. Under current Texas law, a person has to intend to vote illegally to be convicted for that crime. Senate Bill 2 – Texas Republicans' #2 legislative priority – would get rid of that intent requirement. Instead, a DA would only have to prove that you were aware of a "particular circumstance"

Read the entire article here.

Texas Republican Introduces Bill To Ban College Polling Places-Feb 19

On Thursday, Feb. 16, Texas Rep. Carrie Isaac (R) introduced House Bill 2390, a bill that would ban counties from opening polling locations on college and university campuses. H.B. 2390 would make it more difficult for students in the state to vote by requiring students to travel further from their campuses to do so. Isaac represents Hays County, which includes Texas State University, the 5th largest university in the state with over 38,000 students.

H.B. 2390 is just the latest in a long line of attacks on young Americans’ right to vote in Texas. For example

Read the entire article here

Texas voter turnout is among the worst. Here's what 100+ new election bills might mean

A set of new bills in the Texas legislature are designed to be a deterrent to voting, said Jessica Huseman, editorial director at Votebeat.org.

In 2021, Texas Republicans eliminated drive-through voting and 24-hour polling places after better-than-expected turnout during the November 2020 election. Texas Democrats famously fled to Washington, D.C. to break quorum and call attention to the Republican maneuvers but the rare legislative tactic only delayed the inevitable.

Two years later, Texas lawmakers now have a number of new proposals:

Senate Bill 1338 by Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, would prohibit people 65 and older from voting by mail anymore – unless they have a disability.

Senate Bill 399, also by Senator Hall, would remove Texas from the Electronic Registration Information Center. That organization helps Texas and 30 others keep their voter lists up to date by eliminating dead voters and duplicate registrations.

House Bill 2390, by state Rep. Carrie Isaac, R-New Braunfels, proposes to ban election sites on college campuses.

Senate Bill 2 by Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, would change the penalty for illegal voting from a misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. It has a low bill number signaling it is a legislative priority and likely to pass.

Read the entire article here.


Texas families would get $8,000 in tax dollars to send students to private school in sweeping ‘parental rights’ bill backed by Lt. Gov.

The bill, which has the blessing of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, will create new rules on how gender and sexual orientation is taught. It will face a tougher test in the House.

A sweeping education bill introduced in the Texas Senate late Friday would allow families to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools, establish new opportunities for parents to review instruction material and impose new rules on how gender and sexual orientation is taught in all grades.

If signed into law, Senate Bill 8 would give families up to $8,000 in taxpayer money, per student, to pay for private schooling through an educational savings account, cementing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's signature educational proposal into law.

Read the entire article here.

Texas asking for trouble if it pours billions into unaccountable ‘school choice’ scheme

I served 10 years in the Texas Legislature, four of those as chairman of the House Public Education Committee. I am deeply troubled by recent “school choice” legislative proposals. My concerns are many, but they all come back to the same basic principle: taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be given to individuals without adequate public oversight. Whether you call them “school choice,” education savings accounts (ESAs) or vouchers, the proposals before the Legislature would direct tax dollars to individuals or entities with few if any safeguards to ensure the funds are spent to achieve their stated purpose: education.

Read the entire article here.

Everything you need to know about Vouchers

“I think what’s kind of getting lost in all these debates is the idea of education as a public good and not a private good. Vouchers really shift the concept of education to a private good that benefits the individual student or family. But education is a public good, meaning that it benefits not just individuals, but society as a whole"

Read the entire article Here.

Texas Pastors fight Abbott over School choice.

The Texas Legislature is preparing for an all-out battle over school choice this session, and the Pastors for Texas Children have a bone to pick with Governor Greg Abbott.

A thousand congregational leaders with the Pastors for Texas Children are mobilizing to fight against legislative efforts seeking to expand school choice—an umbrella term for options that allow families to choose alternatives to public schools—across the state. They're raising concerns that the Republican governor is trying to build a national profile at the expense of the millions of children who could be left behind in an underfunded public school system.

Reverend Charles Johnson, the founder and executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, told Newsweek on Friday that the education savings account (ESA), commonly referred to as vouchers, being proposed are "certainly not the needs of Texans," many of whom live in rural communities that rely on public education

Read the rest of the article here.

Texas Standard -Bill Filed on Teacher Pay-Jan 23

“This is something important for Representative Talarico,” said Martínez-Beltrán, noting the lawmaker is a former educator. “In 2021, he introduced a bill that would have made the minimum salary for teachers to be $70,000, but that didn’t go anywhere. But I think, again, we might see similar efforts by others to try to get teachers raises.”

The average starting pay for teachers in Texas is a little more than $29,000 a year statewide.

Read the entire article Here

Daily Texan- Bill to limit discourse on campus-Jan 26 .

The Texas legislature may consider a bill this session from State Rep. Carl Tepper, aiming to limit talk of social issues such as racial, sexual and gender identity on university campuses by prohibiting federally-funded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offices.

Read the article here.

School Funding Bills to Watch and Committees on Women's Healthcare announced-League of Women Voters- 2/21

Some of the school funding bills to watch include:

  • HB 1892 by Representative Cain, would require the state to pay the tuition for any eligible student enrolled in a private school up to 80% of the average local property tax allotted per student. In addition, it exempts these schools from any state or local oversight, despite the fact that they will receive our tax dollars.
  • HB 135 by Representative Bernal and HB 31 by Representative Hinojosa, would require the state to base school funding on average enrollment, rather than average daily attendance. This would simplify the funding formula and allow schools to retain teachers and staff during a precipitous drop in attendance, such as during a pandemic.
  • HJR 87 by Representative Allison, would, by constitutional amendment, further limit the amount of property taxes school districts could collect and exempt a newly purchased property if valued at under $300,000. It would also limit the total taxes that could be collected on the property for up to 25 years. Note: Without adequate state funding to replace the taxes lost, public schools may be in serious trouble if this amendment passes.
  • HB 1413 by Representative Vasut, would create a committee appointed by the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House to eliminate ad valorem (property) taxes in favor of a yet-to-be-named alternative tax, effective January 1, 2033.
  • Read the entire LWV newsletter here.


Chairman Hinojosa Releases Statement Denouncing H.B. 20, Texas Republicans’ “Show Me Your Papers” Bill

MediaPressMar 10

AUSTIN, Texas -- Today, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa released the following statement on Texas Republicans’ filing of H.B. 20, a bill to create a new “Show Me Your Papers” state police force across the majority-Latino region of South Texas to harass and attempt to detain any individual they suspect of being undocumented:

“Born to Mexican parents, I have been an American citizen my entire life, born minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border. Under this law, one of this bill’s newly-created police agents could pull me over and demand proof of my citizenship – simply for my ‘crime’ of looking Hispanic.

“H.B. 20 is an egregious assault on our basic civil liberties and our core values as a nation of immigrants. As we have seen in past iterations of this racist, fear-mongering concept, ‘Show Me Your Papers’ laws only stand to inflict constant anxiety and mental trauma upon all people who even look like they could be undocumented immigrants – whatever that means.

“This heinous bill, if passed, would do nothing to curb the crisis at our border – it would merely subject South Texans to constant state-mandated racial profiling and a level of big-brother police-state dystopia they could have never even imagined.”

Read the entire article here.


The Legislature’s response to Uvalde could involve a push for more armed school staff. 3/1

Texas should explore requiring schools to have at least one armed person on each campus, a Republican lawmaker said Tuesday.

Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, was speaking during the first House Public Education committee meeting of the legislative session. His comments laid the groundwork for what could be a tense debate over arming campus staff this year.

Read the entire article here.

Texas State Sen. Gutierrez introduces more gun safety legislation

  • Senate Bill 1737: would make expanding and fragmenting bullets illegal
  • Senate Bill 1736: would require that gun show vendors and promoters conduct background checks before completing the sale of any gun, with exceptions for firearm sales to peace officers and those who are licensed to carry. Gun show owners would also be required to maintain sales records, and promoters would be required to provide notice of the gun show to local law enforcement a month in advance
  • Senate Bill 1740: would require guns and ammo in a vehicle to be stored in a locking container, hidden from plain site; would also make storing unsecured guns or ammunitions in an unattended car or boat a misdemeanor; would require sign postings for firearms dealers
  • Senate Bill 1738: would require any law enforcement officer in a child-involved shooting to be immediately placed under administrative leave/suspension; would also trigger an automatic independent law enforcement investigation and would make it so that the officer may be terminated, suspended or disciplined if use of force was unjustified or the officer failed to intervene to prevent the child's death
  • Senate Bill 1739: would make it so that anyone convicted of murdering students or employees at schools would face life without parole

"Senate Bill 145 is the bill that amends the Texas Penal Code to outlaw the sale of any firearms, including long guns, to any person under 21 years of age, raising the age from 18 years old," he said, noting that 18 other states have similar age limits.

Senate Bill 912 seeks to expand safe storage requirements for gun owners, requiring all firearms to be properly secured and increasing the penalty.

Senate Bill 914 would require ID for the purchase of ammunition, and make it a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly sell ammo to someone under the age of 18.

ABORTION RIGHTS/ Women and more.

Tracking All the Ways Texas Republicans Are Trying to Further Restrict Abortion

After the fall of Roe v. Wade, and after banning almost all abortions in the state, GOP lawmakers have proposed eighteen new ways of limiting access to the procedure. 

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022, a “trigger” law banning almost all abortions in Texas went into effect. Currently, Texas allows abortion only in the case of a life-threatening medical emergency for the patient. But that hasn’t stopped GOP lawmakers in the state from proposing further restrictions. 

Friday marked the end of the 88th legislative session’s filing period, during which lawmakers could propose bills for debate in the once-every-two-years convening of the body. Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would restrict abortion in eighteen different ways. Some of these bills appear unlikely to advance, filed by lawmakers without much sway in the Capitol. Others, which would also affect issues identified as priorities by state leaders, are more likely to become law.


A new bill might kill the ‘tampon tax’ in Texas

State Rep. Donna Howard has authored the proposal to exempt period products – as well as additional supplies including diapers, breast pumps and maternity clothes – from sales tax.

Read the entire article here.

Birth control ruling to see fresh scrutiny at Texas Capitol

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Samantha Sorsby-Jones watched friends at her Texas high school go to great lengths to get birth control: Secretly arranging rides to clinics that didn’t require parental consent and hiding phones in bushes in case parents were tracking them.

Starting Tuesday, access to reproductive healthcare is likely to command fresh scrutiny before the Republican-controlled Texas Capitol, where new restrictions are on the table in the first session since a stringent statewide abortion ban took effect.

Read the entire article: Here


Texas Republican attacks on trans healthcare-Feb 24

A Texas Republican has introduced a bill that would make almost all gender-affirming healthcare illegal, even for trans adults.

State senator Bob Hall’s bill was filed on 17 February, and targets public funding for “gender-modification procedure or treatment”.

In practice, this would ban any surgeries performed on a patient’s genitals, as well as mastectomies, and the prescription of puberty blockers or hormones “for the purpose of transitioning a patient’s biological sex …or affirming the patient’s perception of the patient’s sex”.

Health professionals providing gender-affirming care would also face increased legal liability in any malpractice suits, if the bill passes into law.

Read the entire article here.

  • SB 14 by Campbell - Prohibits gender-affirming care for minors.
  • SB 1029 by Hall - Prohibits coverage of gender-affirming care under public or governmental health insurance programs, like Medicaid, and makes it harder for private insurance companies to cover these necessary treatments.
  • SB 162 by Perry - Makes it impossible for the gender assigned at birth and recorded on a birth certificate to be changed for a minor in most cases.
  • SB 250 by Hall - Prohibits professional liability insurance coverage for medical professionals who provide gender-affirming care to minors.

Texas Republican lawmaker introduces drag queen 'bounty hunting' bill

Read the enire article here.

Juvenile Justice

Bill would close youth prisons in Texas

Austin Democrat James Talarico has filed the HB 4356, which would shutter the state’s five secure youth detention centers and move TJJD’s assets under the Health and Human Services Commission.

A bill filed Thursday would abolish the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and shutter the state’s remaining five secure youth prisons by 2030.

Rep. James Talarico, flanked by advocates and formerly imprisoned youth, announced the push to close the agency because of the cycles of violence and abuse within its facilities.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the five secure detention facilities over allegations of physical and sexual abuse as well as civil rights violations around education.

Read the entire article here.


Speaker Dade Phelan endorses Medicaid expansion for new mothers, repeal of “tampon tax” in first batch of 2023 priorities-Feb 24

House Speaker Dade Phelan on Thursday unveiled four of his priority bills for the legislative session, which included Democratic goals like the extension of Medicaid eligibility for new mothers to one year and the exemption of feminine hygiene products and diapers from sales taxes, in a nod to the bipartisan tone he has set for the chamber.

Read the entire article here.


Racial Justice Bills

With the Texas Legislature back in session, Black lawmakers and their allies are fighting for racial justice, including bills to improve Black women’s maternal health outcomes(Rep. Senfronia Thompson), limit how and when no-knock warrants may be issued and conducted (Sen. Royce West), and abolish Texas’ nonsense “Confederate Heroes Day” state holiday (Rep. Jarvis Johnson).


Workers in our state are under attack, our freedom to determine the direction of local communities in Texas is at stake. A House bill, HB 2127, will be heard this week that intends to strip the power of local governments to address workplace safety, disaster response and public health.

This bill is not just an attack on workers, it's an attack on ALL Texans — on our children, our neighborhoods, and our towns that are so special precisely because of their differences, not despite them. WE know what our communities need. Our freedom to have a say in how the places we live and work are governed is our right. We can not let it be taken away.

We need your help, call members of the House State Affairs Committee and tell them to oppose HB


League of Women Voters on Redistricting. Be ready to testify. Jan 23

We are still in early days of this Legislative Session. Bills are being filed and the Legislature is still getting organized. Leadership priorities are emerging, and as our issue chairs are tracking bills, a few things are becoming clear, particularly in our top priority: voting rights and election law.

We’ll be watching for movement on companion bills that provide for election marshals similar to Florida’s election police; expansion of the authority of the Attorney General in the election arena; and further criminalization of elections and election workers. But in the meantime, we are still focused on redistricting in the Senate.

We do not want to lose some of the legislative record that was created during the special session (testimony, committee layouts, floor debates, etc.). Much of this previous work was included in the record for the lawsuits that have been filed challenging the current map.

It is crucial that you provide testimony once again, in case we have to recreate the legislative record. Read the Take Action section below to find out how you can help.

Find out how to Take Action Here.

When showing up at the Texas Capitol made a difference(Texas Tribune)

Read about five times Texans changed minds here.

***Abbott begins his third term. Presidential run in his future ?

Read about his plans and the hypocrisy in them here.


From Progress Texas-Advocating at 2023 Legislature -


Democracy is like a muscle - we have to exercise it to keep it healthy. That’s why your activism should not end with elections, we need you to be involved in the legislative process, too!

Listed below are several categories on how you can get involved.

Advocating from Home

  • Call your representatives
  • Email your representatives
  • Sign up for news alerts from Texas Tribune (The Daily Brief) and/or the Quorum Report

Digital Advocacy

  • Online petitions are ok, but they are more so organizing tools than advocacy tools
  • Follow key groups on social media - make sure you’re getting notifications
  • Find out bill numbers and track them via the Texas Legislature Online (TLO)

Resource:“How to search for bills using Texas Legislature Online” from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

Advocating in-person

  • Showing up
  • Rallies
  • Testimony

Resource:“Testifying at the Texas State Capitol” from Equality Texas

  • Registering your position “Dropping a card”

Supporting an organization

These are the people advocating for you all throughout the lege session

Catastrophe 88: The Texas Legislature returns for a brutal year. Texas Observer

Elections have consequences. This political bromide is overused for a reason—it’s reliably true. And this year, the fallout for vulnerable Texans could be particularly destructive.

After something approaching a blue wave swept across Texas in November 2018, a chastened Republican majority in the Legislature kept its focus in the 2019 session on serious policymaking—school finance and property tax reform—while largely forgoing their typical red-meat fare.

Republicans thwarted expectations of another Democratic surge in November 2020, and the next year the GOP ignored the problems laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, instead focusing on passing as much right-wing legislation as possible over the course of a regular session, plus three painful specials.

Read the entire article Here.

Austin Chronicle-Lege Preview-

As was demonstrated in 2021 with the House Democrats' dramatic end-of-session walkout, the primary task for progressives in most legislative sessions is to kill bills. Then, it was "election integrity" voter-suppression bullshit; now, it may be vouchers to subsidize the students at Regents and Hyde Park Baptist schools, or anti-trans bills that equate gender affirming therapy with child abuse, or even more restrictions on reproductive freedom and even more lifting of restrictions on deadly weapons.

The Dems are outnumbered, but not by so much that they can't do damage, and especially in the House, they include subject-matter experts on issues that suburban GOP voters care about deeply, like their kids not getting murdered or the human rights of their gay friends and relations. So it's possible that we'll see some happy endings to the story arcs we preview here – from the budget to the opioid epidemic to the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Read the preview :border, environment, school vouchers, post-Roe, what bills must die and more. Here.


Texas Legislature 101: Understanding the state government and how it passes laws-Texas Tribune

Here’s a rundown of how the Texas Legislature works and how you can participate in it. Read what our Senator Zaffirini says about being involved.

Read the entire article:Here.

Democrats looking to expand Medicaid, address maternal, reproductive, and mental health during the 88th Texas Legislature

Read the full article Here

Texas House Democrats enter session with bipartisan hopes — and a new leader who’s prepared to fight

Two years ago, Democrats in the Texas House dramatically absconded to Washington, D.C., for 37 days in an effort to shut down the Legislature and block Republicans from passing new restrictions on voting.

They were unsuccessful, as Republicans who held the majority were ultimately able to pass their bill that year. But it was a defining chapter for the House Democrats, who gained national attention and showed a new zeal to fight that is rippling into the next regular legislative session.

This legislative session, which starts Jan. 10, the House Democratic Caucus has a new chair, state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, who was a key player in the quorum break and is well known as a savvy floor fighter who has used his encyclopedic knowledge of legislative processes to kill Republican bills. At the same time, Democrats are sizing up how contentious the session could be, given that it starts Tuesday with a focus driven by the massive budget surplus.

Read the rest! Here.