NEW: Hours after the end of the regular 88th Texas Legislative Session, Gov. Greg Abbott called for the immediate start of a special session.

Join us in letting our state’s leadership know that we will continue fighting for our freedoms for ALL the special sessions he calls.

On this page, you’ll find everything you need to bring your energy for change and defending democracy to the Texas Capitol.

Legislative adv. paid for by Texas Freedom Network

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Advocacy Day on March 28!

Advocacy Day header
This year’s Advocacy Day was extra special: for the first time in our history, we brought the entire Texas Freedom Network team together at the Texas Capitol!

100+ folks from Texas Freedom Network and our Just Texas and Texas Rising programs used our collective power to push for the issues that are important to us: reproductive freedom, voting rights, LGBTQIA+ equality, religious freedom, climate justice, freedom from censorship in education, and so much more. 

What’s Advocacy Day? Watch this clip of Texas Rising Advocacy Day 2019 below!

Volunteer With Us During the 2023 Texas Legislative Session

Check out our volunteer roles for the 2023 Texas Legislative Session below

TFN President Val Benavidez on Path After End of the Regular 88th Legislative Session

“We all want a Texas where our lawmakers work to help us, not harm us. I am disgusted, disappointed, and unfortunately — not shocked that our elected officials spent this session attacking our communities and stealing our freedoms. Instead of using their power to address gun violence, economic inequality, or fully funding our public schools — legislators stripped transgender youth of their healthcare, attempted to steal taxpayer dollars from our students in neighborhood schools, violated the religious freedom of Texans, targeted border and LGBTQIA+ communities, and continued to ignite culture wars that seek to divide and distract us.

“Even so, our strength and will to fight back will never be diminished. No law can ever take away the care we have for each other, the growing power of our movement, and our shared vision for a Texas where people are accepted, embraced, and safe — no matter the color of their skin, their gender identity, who they love, the zip code they grew up in, or the financial status of their family. Far-right extremists denigrate public education because they know an informed electorate will see their corruption. They target diverse communities because they know we can vote them out. They chip away at our voting rights because they’re terrified of how true democracy can eventually dissolve their hold on us.

“Elections have consequences, and so do the actions of our elected officials. We must never forget that extremist legislators are to blame for these assaults on our freedoms. When their positions hang in the balance next election, we’ll be here pushing for true legislative champions. We’ll remind Texans who fought for them and who fought against them — including our own Governor, who would be ignoring the wants of Texans and wasting our tax dollars if he chooses once again to weaponize a special session to fuel his own obsession with culture wars.”

Sign Up for Legislative Alerts

Can you help us hold the line? Sign up for alerts during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session

Status of the Bills We’re Watching

The 2023 Regular Legislative Session came to an end on May 29. Read about the most consequential bills that passed or failed and how they affect the issues important to us.

Reproductive Rights

Last legislative session, the Texas Legislature decimated access to abortion with the passage of SB 8, which banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and created criminal and civil penalties for providers who broke the law. They also adopted a “trigger ban,” which was meant to ban all abortions unless a pregnancy is determined “life-threatening” in the event that Roe v. Wade was overturned. Since that trigger ban was enacted in August 2022, Texans have been struggling to get the abortion care they need and deserve. 

Anti-choice lawmakers even further restricted our freedom over our own bodies during this legislative session and went after progressive prosecutors who aren’t currently enforcing abortion laws.

Bills headed to the governor:
  • SB 24: Creates a statutory framework for the Alternatives to Abortion program and continues to fund a statewide network of unethical anti-abortion centers, referred to by anti-choice politicians as “crisis pregnancy centers,” with taxpayer dollars. 
  • HB 17: Cracks down on prosecutors who aren’t currently enforcing abortion laws by tweaking the definition of “official misconduct” for elected prosecutors to include adopting or enforcing a “policy of categorically refusing to prosecute specific criminal offenses under state law.”
Bills that died:

Bad bills

  • SB 20:  A bill similar to HB 17 that intends to force prosecutors to pursue abortion-related cases.
  • SB 1195: Would have allowed the Attorney General to circumvent the Texas Constitution and unilaterally initiate prosecution of abortion cases if a District Attorney does not initiate prosecution of the case six months after a law enforcement agency has submitted a report to the Attorney General’s office.

Good bills

  • HB 1176: One of our proactive bills. If passed, it would have allowed minors to access birth control and other reproductive healthcare through their own consent.

LGBTQIA+ Equality

LGBTQIA+ children, adults, and families continue to be under constant attack in Texas. Last legislative session, extremist lawmakers passed laws banning transgender kids from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity, and in the interim, they weaponized Child Protective Services to go after loving caregivers and families who chose to provide their children with medically necessary, lifesaving gender-affirming care. 

This session, the Texas Legislature took their hate even further by filing 140 bills targeting the LGBTQIA+ community. A bill banning gender-affirming care for minors and a bill that would bar transgender athletes from competing on collegiate sports teams that align with their gender identity have passed. So has a bill attacking Texas drag.

A much-needed bright spot, though: we have the largest number of openly LGBTQIA+ legislative members in Texas’ history. Democrats filed inclusive, proactive bills that would have codified protections for the LGBTQIA+ community in Texas. Though these bills failed to make it through our extremist legislature, HB 2055 by freshman Rep. Venton Jones — which would’ve removed Texas’ defunct sodomy ban — had bipartisan support, passed unanimously out of committee, and almost made it to the House floor. It’s frustrating that we have to consider this a win, but we’ll keep advocating tirelessly for full LGBTQIA+ equality and protections during the session and in the interim.

Bills signed by governor:

SB 14: Ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy. Read our statement.

Bills headed to the governor:
Bills that died:

Bad bills

  • HB 890: A previously bipartisan-supported bill related to the adoption of processes for school districts to hear and handle complaints. The Senate snuck in a “Don’t Say Gay/Transgender” provision that would prohibit “instruction, guidance, activities, or programming regarding sexual orientation or gender identity” for students at every grade level. Read our statement.
  • SB 13: Would have created “school library advisory councils” to ensure “local community values are reflected in each school library catalog.” It would also have allowed parents and guardians to sign up to receive notice of what library materials their child checks out.
  • SB 1029: Would have imposed “strict liability” for medical malpractice claims made against medical professionals who provide transgender healthcare in Texas, making them less likely to provide such care.

Good bills

  • HB 2055: Would’ve removed Texas’ defunct sodomy ban.


The religious right is continuing its crusade to decimate public education in Texas. In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that whitewashed and censored the past and present of Black and Brown communities, LGBTQIA+ people, women, and anyone who doesn’t fit into their narrow view of acceptance. Since then, we have seen a barrage of attacks on public education at local school boards, libraries, the State Board of Education, and more.

One of the few bright spots this session: Gov. Abbott’s school voucher scheme — which would take our tax dollars out of public schools to fund tuition at exclusive, unregulated private schools — failed to make it through.

What did make it through, though, is a bill that would ban or censor library books that cover topics right-wing extremists don’t like. Higher ed wasn’t immune from attacks either, with bills that would ban diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and discourage progress and innovation by limiting tenure.

Bills headed to the governor:
  • HB 900: Restricts materials in public school libraries by creating a vague and undefined rating system with multiple levels of review by several state agencies, putting us at risk for discrimination against diverse history and cultures. The bureaucracy and red tape would also add enormous costs to already struggling local and state government budgets.
  • SB 17: Effectively bans diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at universities.
  • SB 18: While no longer a total public university tenure ban, it severely limits and puts researchers and intellectuals at risk of discrimination and retaliation.
Bills that died:
  • SB 8: Would have created a costly voucher program that would steal money from our public schools to subsidize tuition at unregulated and unaccountable private and religious schools.
  • HB 100: A multi-billion-dollar school funding bill designed to give teachers modest raises that the Senate Committee on Education amended to include SB 8’s voucher program. Read our statement.
  • SB 13: Would have created “school library advisory councils” to ensure “local community values are reflected in each school library catalog.” Would allow parents and guardians to sign up to receive notice of what library materials their child checks out.
  • HB 890: A previously bipartisan-supported bill related to the adoption of processes for school districts to hear and handle complaints. The Senate snuck in a “Don’t Say Gay/Transgender” provision that would prohibit “instruction, guidance, activities, or programming regarding sexual orientation or gender identity” for students at every grade level. Read our statement.

Voting Rights

In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed an omnibus voter suppression bill, and during the 2022 elections, we saw clearly how this bill disenfranchised voters and harmed the election process. 

As expected, legislators have been anything but subtle with their voter suppression tactics this session. More anti-voter bills were filed, including bills to allow the Secretary of State to intervene in elections, end county-wide voting and polling locations on college campuses, and target Democratic stronghold Harris County. One of the bills we championed to expand voting on college campuses, HB 644, died in committee. It would’ve required Texas counties to designate any university campus with 8,000 or more students as a polling location.

Voting access should be something both sides of the aisle can agree on — yet we see, time and time again, that Republicans will shamelessly silence their own constituencies to keep their grip on power.

Bills headed to the governor:
  • SB 1933: Allows the Secretary of State to implement administrative oversight or begin the process of removing local election officials based on “good cause” that a “recurring pattern of problems with election administration” exists in the county. It’s a top-down power grab and it sets a dangerous precedent for government overreach.
  • SB 1070 Enables Texas to leave the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a tested, responsive, nonpartisan voter registration compact, and join a politically driven, untested, and potentially private alternative.
  • SB 1750: Requires counties with a population of over 3.5 million (effectively Harris County) to abolish the election administrator’s office, reverting its responsibilities to the elected county clerk and tax assessor-collector.
  • HB 1243: Raises the penalty of illegal voting to a felony.
Bills that died:

Bad bills

  • SB 990: Would have eliminated county-wide vote centers and required residents to vote at an assigned precinct.
  • SB 1993: Would have allowed the secretary of state to toss out election results in Harris County and call a new vote if there is “good cause” to believe that at least 2% of polling places ran out of usable ballots during voting hours.

Good bills

  • HB 644: One of our proactive bills. Would’ve required Texas counties to designate any university campus with 8,000 or more students as a polling location.


Redistricting happens every 10 years, right after the census. The 2020 census was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore the data was delayed. So in 2021, the Texas Legislature passed new electoral maps during a special session, which were extremely gerrymandered. The House and Senate have rubber-stamped 2021’s maps with the passage of SB 375 and HB 1000.

Religious Freedom

The separation of church and state, which protects the right of all Americans to practice the faith of their choice or none at all, free of government interference, is a constitutional right. Yet, efforts to knock down that wall are a constant in Texas.

Radical extremists in the legislature are constantly working to impose Christianity and legislate discrimination in the name of exercising their “religious freedom.” Apparently, that freedom they speak so highly of only applies to them.

Naturally, many of the bills in other categories overlap with the issue of religious freedom. Below are other insidious bills that specifically target our most impressionable young minds: Texas students.

Bills headed to the governor:
  • SB 763: Allows school districts to hire or accept chaplains as volunteers to work directly with children in public or charter schools.
Bills that died:
  • SB 1515: Would have required Texas public schools to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom starting next school year. Read our statement.


True Texans take pride in our diverse communities that make our state home to many. But right-wing politicians continue to draft dangerous, anti-immigrant bills that profile, police, and criminalize communities living along the border.

This session, hateful bills were filed that sought to criminalize immigrants and mixed-status families simply for existing. All of these bills died.

Bills that died during the regular session:
  • HB 20: Would have created a new state border policing unit and emboldened citizen “vigilantes” to profile people. Initially missed its deadline and died — but was quickly tacked on to a separate immigration measure, HB 7.
  • HB 7: Sought to codify and expand programs that oversee policing, court proceedings, and jail systems along the border. Also included an amendment reviving HB 20.
  • HB 800: Would’ve increased state penalties on human smuggling, which already comes with federal felony charges.
When the regular session ended, Gov. Abbott immediately called a special session focused on property taxes and border security. We’ll continue to fight tirelessly to make sure immigrants are safe and without prejudice in Texas.


Texas is both the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the country AND the largest producer of renewable energy. Following the 2021 grid failure, Texas policymakers are taking action to “fix the grid,” but unfortunately most of their “solutions” would increase costs to Texans and further enrich their oil-and-gas-executive donors without making meaningful improvements to reliability. 

We believe that all Texans should have access to clean, affordable, reliable energy. To that end, we supported building more renewable energy, reducing energy usage, and increasing efficiency; and opposed building more fossil fuel-based energy.

Bills headed to the governor:
  • SB 2627: Uses taxpayer money to provide subsidized loans to build new fossil fuel power.
Bills that died:

Bad bills

  • SB 7: Would’ve redesigned the energy market, including hurting renewables and increasing costs to Texas consumers, costing as much as $9B/yr. 
  • SB 624: Would’ve created onerous permitting requirements for renewable energy, making it hard to build new renewables. 

Good bills

  • SB 258: Would’ve increased the energy efficiency goals for the state of Texas for the first time since 2011.
  • SB 114: Would have supported demand response, reducing energy usage during times of high demand. 

How to Drop a Card: Step-by-Step Guide

Take action! Learn how to drop a card supporting or opposing a bill

Read More About the 2023 Texas Legislative Session

Learn more about what’s happening at the Texas Capitol during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session

What Is a Special Session?

The 88th Texas Legislative Session adjourned, or ended, on Monday, May 29. So… we’re done here, right? Everyone gets to go home until 2025? 

Nope. The same day the session adjourned,…

Continue Reading

2023 Texas Legislative Session on Social

Learn more about the #TXLege on TFN’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Get in the Fight. Donate to the Rapid Response Fund