The 2023 Texas Legislative Session is here! Join us in letting our state’s leadership know that we will continue fighting for our freedoms today, tomorrow, and forever.
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
Gone to TX Lege Advocacy Day
Join us for Gone to TX Lege: Texas Freedom Network Advocacy Day on March 28!
Texas Freedom Network, Just Texas, & Texas Rising Advocacy Day
Join the Texas Freedom Network, Just Texas, and Texas Rising for our Advocacy Day at the Texas Capitol! March 28, 9 am-5 pm, we will be mobilizing our base to advocate for the issues that matter to us: reproductive justice, LGTBQIA+ equality, environmental justice, voting rights, public education, and more. Spots are limited!
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
Learn more about advocating for your fellow Texans during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session
Let’s Talk About Lege: Texas Legislature 201
Join the Texas Freedom Network team for our upcoming “Texas Legislature 201 for TFN Advocates” training.
If you care about LGBTQIA+ equality, abortion access, voting rights, climate change, and criminal justice reform, this training is for you! Two time slots will be offered for this training.
Sign Up for Legislative Alerts
Can you help us hold the line? Sign up for alerts during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session
The Bills We’re Watching
Learn more about the bills and policies we’re watching during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session
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. That dark day arrived in June 2022 with the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling. SB 8 remained and the trigger ban went into effect in August 2022. Since then, Texans have been struggling to get the abortion care they need and deserve. Of course, anti-choice lawmakers couldn’t stop there, and this session, we are still seeing many attempts to further restrict our freedom over our own bodies.
Below are just some of the bills and issues we’re watching during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session that could further erode our reproductive rights—but we’re not just playing defense this year. There are many proactive bills and policies seeking to expand and protect our rights that we’ll be championing. Below, you can learn more about those as well.
- Increased access to birth control: Bills like HB 1176 and SB 366 would allow minors to access birth control and other reproductive healthcare without obtaining parental consent.
- Expanding benefits and care for pregnant Texans and women: Bills like HB 56 would extend Medicaid eligibility for certain people following pregnancy, and HB 214 would create a Women’s Health Advisory Committee.
- Combatting our maternal mortality crisis: HB 460 would address the needs of the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee to ensure steps are being taken to create better outcomes for pregnant Texans. HB 465 would create a pilot program to provide Medicaid coverage for doula services.
- Going after pro-choice district attorneys, criminal district attorneys, and county attorneys: Bills like SB 378 and HB 1350 are targeting local control by coming after something called “prosecutorial discretion.” This means that district attorneys, criminal district attorneys, and county attorneys could be removed from office and face civil and criminal offenses for choosing not to enforce state policies, like prosecuting abortion providers or people who help someone obtain an abortion. These laws impact more than abortion rights—they could also affect LGBTQIA+ equality, voting rights, and more.
- Making it harder for Texans to access out-of-state healthcare: The far-right is attempting to make traveling for abortion access harder. Bills like HB 61 would punish employers who provide any logistical support or benefits that could be interpreted as helping their employees access out-of-state healthcare that is not legal in Texas.
LGBTQIA+ children, adults, and families are under 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 and often lifesaving gender-affirming care. This session, the Texas Legislature is attacking Texans again—almost 70 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills have been filed so far.
But it’s not all bad. We have the largest number of openly LGBTQIA+ legislative members in Texas’ history, and there are a number of inclusive, proactive bills that would codify protections for the LGBTQIA+ community in Texas. Below are just some of the issues and bills we’re watching.
- Removing stigmatizing language from educational materials: Texas still has a lot of anti-LGBTQIA+ amendments in our state’s code, and while they’re no longer enforceable, continuing to have these laws is extremely harmful in a political climate where our Supreme Court cannot be trusted to protect our rights. Bills like HB 970, SB 82, and SB 111 would repeal the “no promo homo” law, which states that any educational material for minors must teach that “homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense.”
- Protecting the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination: Texas still does not include sexual orientation and gender identity in our statewide nondiscrimination ordinance, so we’re championing bills like HB 1012 and SB 110, which would finally prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Bans on gender-affirming care for minors: There are various bills that seek to ban gender-affirming care in all forms for those under 18. They are written differently and have varying enforcement mechanisms. Bills like SB 250 seek to punish doctors for providing care, while bills like HB 42 and HB 436 seek to formally designate gender-affirming care as child abuse by adding it to the legal definition.
- More bans for kids who just want to play sports: Bills like HB 23 would expand the sports ban that was passed during the 2021 legislative session to include universities and private schools. This would prohibit K-12 and college students from participating in athletic activities that align with their gender identity, and children would only be allowed to play on teams that reflect their biological sex.
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.
Below are some of the bills and issues we’ll be fighting against and fighting for during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session.
- Repealing SB 3: HB 97 would repeal Senate Bill 3, which limited the ability of Texas public schools to teach certain lessons about the past and present of diverse communities.
- Expanding diverse lesson plans: HB 45 would support the requirement of ethnic studies instruction in public schools.
- Empowering students to be civically engaged: HB 364 would require the inclusion of information about the process of voting as part of the social studies curriculum requirements for public high school students.
- Texas’ own “Don’t Say Gay” bill: HB 1155 would censor classroom lessons and stop students and educators from bringing their full selves to school by prohibiting instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity for “certain public school students.”
- Stopping kids from learning about healthy relationships and their own bodies: HB 478 would make parental approval required for a student’s participation in human sexuality instruction in public schools.
- Private school voucher bills: Bills like HB 557 would support voucher programs that take money from our neighborhood schools and give them to unregulated private schools that many everyday Texans would be unable to afford or transport their children to, even with the use of vouchers.
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. We know more anti-voter bills will be coming this session, and we’ll update this section as they are filed.
However, we’re proud to be championing bills that seek to expand voting access as well.
- Expanding voting on college campuses: HB 644 would require 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. However, the Texas constitution requires that new maps be passed during a regular session, so the Texas Legislature must take up redistricting again this year during the 2023 Texas Legislative Session. Whether they pass the same maps or redraw them again remains to be seen.
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
Banning Healthcare for Transgender Youth Risks Their Lives and Futures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 27, 2023 CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected] AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Legislature today plans to hear a bill that seeks to ban transgender healthcare for minors….
TX Senate Bill 8 Would Decimate Public Education in Texas, Attacks LGBTQIA+ Families and Educators
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 22, 2023 CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected] AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs today will hear Senate Bill 8, an omnibus bill that…
Texas Freedom Network Denounces Legislative Effort to Ban Books
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 22, 2023 CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected] AUSTIN, Texas – The House Committee on Public Education spent six hours Tuesday night hearing a bill that would…
TX Senate Bill 15 Perpetuates Hate, Texas Freedom Network Warns
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs tonight heard Senate Bill 15, which seeks to bar transgender athletes from competing in collegiate sports.
The committee left SB 15…
Op-ed by Val Benavidez: We’re Fighting for Religious Freedom While the Far Right Weaponizes It
As executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, I know fighting for a Texas that’s truly for all demands that I reserve a deep well of hope. Yet, I feel…
The State of the State We’re Fighting For
While turning the clock backward with his agenda of hate might be the state of Abbott’s Texas, it’s not the state of ours.
2023 Texas Legislative Session on Social