Tea Party Extremists Undermined Chances for Real Progress in Texas Legislative Session

by Dan Quinn

As the Texas Legislature prepares to gavel out at the close of the 2015 session, we’re preparing a summary of what happened at the Capitol. So while we pull that together, here is the end-of-session press release we just sent out:

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller issued the following statements on the end of the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature today:

On the effect of tea party extremists on the Legislature:
“This session highlighted how tea party ideologues have slowed progress and skewed legislative priorities with scorched-earth tactics and extreme, uncompromising demands. Lawmakers wasted a lot of time on issues like guns, abortion and discriminating against gay and transgender Texans. Meanwhile, they failed to address truly serious problems that concern most Texas families, like underfunded public schools, lack of access to health care and the millions of dollars that anonymous special interests spend to influence our elections. That’s what happens when you try to please extremists who threaten and stomp their feet when they don’t get their way.

Tea party temper tantrums shouldn’t dictate legislative priorities. But they will until more Texans turn out at the polls and stop letting an extreme, vocal minority define what true Texas values are.”

On Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s failure to pass private school vouchers:
“The only thing that equals Lt. Gov. Patrick’s disdain for public education is his continued failure to enact a voucher scheme that forces taxpayers to subsidize private and religious schools. He failed again this year because House members realize that most Texans want their tax dollars to fund neighborhood public schools, not private schools. It’s astonishing that this is such a hard lesson for the lieutenant governor to learn.”

On the failure of anti-LGBT legislation:
“It’s frustrating that some lawmakers wasted so much time and energy pushing a ‘culture war’ agenda that would do nothing to fund our schools, repair crumbling bridges and roads or keep our economy strong. The passage of these bills would have been a big step backward for Texas at a time when a large and growing majority of Americans oppose discrimination against the LGBT community and support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. But we’re grateful that broad-based opposition from business, faith leaders and grassroots activists from across the state stopped that from happening.”