CONTACT: For press inquiries, to set up interviews or to sign up for e-mail press releases, please e-mail TFN Communications Director Dan Quinn or call 512-322-0545.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 22, 2017

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement on the preliminary approval of House Bill 21 by the Texas Senate. HB 21 was originally a school finance bill but became a voucher bill when it was amended in the Senate. The Texas House of Representatives must still approve the Senate’s version of the bill before it can become law. Miller’s statement:

“The Senate vote on HB 21 is a reflection of Dan Patrick’s anti-education agenda. The version of the bill approved in the House had the backing of teacher groups and public education advocates and could provide much needed additional funding to our chronically underfunded neighborhood public schools. But now that Patrick’s Senate has mangled it, HB 21 is no longer about school finance. Now it is simply a voucher scheme that hands public dollars, with zero accountability, to private schools.  With one bill, the Senate both abandoned its responsibility to fully fund education and voted to take away even more money from our schools. Even by Dan Patrick standards, this has to be one of the most shameful and cynical votes taken in the Senate in recent memory.”

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of… Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 21, 2017

The Texas Senate tonight gave preliminary approval, 21-10, on second reading to HB3859, which would allow child welfare services providers that contract with the state to use religion to discriminate against qualified parents and children. Final passage on third reading is required. The House has already passed this bill. Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:

“It’s worse than disheartening to watch politicians cynically misuse religion as an excuse for allowing taxpayer-funded discrimination against qualified parents and vulnerable kids simply because of who they are or whom they love. Hundreds of faith leaders from Texas and across the nation have warned that bills like this are about discrimination and hurting people, not protecting religious freedom. Frankly, this bill’s passage reinforces the reputation of Texas as a state run by politicians who are hostile to treating everyone equally under the law.”

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.… Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 21, 2017

The Texas House this evening amended (and then passed on second reading) SB2078, a bill that had been focused on school emergency and safety plans, to include a measure that would open the door to stigmatizing and shaming transgender students seeking access to public restrooms all other students use. The amended SB2078 must be approved on third reading by the House, then accepted by the Senate and signed by the governor.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:

“Supporters of this amendment suggested they were trying to find a middle ground by avoiding an explicit requirement that public schools discriminate against transgender students while also giving a nod to political pressure groups that have insisted on doing so. But there is no moral middle ground on discrimination. Either you discriminate, or you don’t. This amendment, if it becomes law, would leave transgender students even more vulnerable to being stigmatized and bullied simply because they are different. It would be far better if our lawmakers rejected these cynical and dishonest efforts to turn transgender Texans into pawns for advancing discriminatory public policies.”

Background:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick… Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2017

The Texas House just voted to approve on second reading SB8, which creates even more regulations designed to unnecessarily burden abortion providers and make women’s access to abortion even harder in Texas. The House must still pass the bill on third reading. Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:

“This is yet another law based on lies and misinformation, this time disproven claims about women seeking late-term abortions and about what happens to fetal tissue after an abortion. You have to wonder whether the legislators who back bills like this think women are so gullible they don’t see through these lies. The sad truth is this bill’s supporters are peddling lies to shame women who seek an abortion and make it harder for them to get access to the reproductive health care they need.”

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.… Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2017

The Texas Senate voted today to approve HB1291, which the Senate Education Committee revised to allow the State Board of Education by bypass legislative safeguards against textbook censorship. The House must now either approve the revised bill or send it to a conference committee.

The Senate version of HB1291 would allow SBOE members to reject textbook content they deem as not “suitable for the subject and grade level for which the instructional material was submitted.” That highly subjective standard would effectively sweep away strict limits the 1995 Legislature placed on the ability of the SBOE to edit textbook content.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:

“One word can change a lot, and indulging the misguided desire of politicians to decide which facts in public school textbooks are ‘suitable’ and which are not would be a disaster. This bill would effectively sweep away key safeguards against textbook censorship that the Legislature wisely put in place more than 20 years ago. So the facts Texas kids learn in their classrooms would be determined by whatever political majority controls the state board, not by teachers and scholars… Read More

Joshua Houston

Nine Texas law professors take the #txlege to school on the myriad ways in which #HB3859 is unconstitutional. twitter.com/RDispatc…

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