The 2018 Texas Republican Convention held at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, in San Antonio on June 14th thru the 16th.
I am, Tim Sullivan and I was appointed to serve you on the Legislative Priorities Committee representing Senate District 22. I was there from Monday through Wednesday for the committee meetings and then from Thursday thru Saturday for the convention. It was an awesome experience for me and I hope I will be afforded this opportunity (the Good Lord willing) for the next convention.
I will break this report into two parts : The Committee meeting and the Convention.
The Legislative Priorities Committee Meeting
The Committee was comprised of one delegate from each of our 31 Senate Districts. The Committee Chairperson was Amy Carter, State Vice-Chairman to the Republican Party of Texas (RPT). She was very professional and stern in guiding (herding) the committee along its way to a successful conclusion.
The Temporary Legislative Priorities Committee met starting at 11 AM on Monday, working to midnight. Gaveling the committee to order at 8 AM Tuesday until midnight opening the meeting at 8 AM on Wednesday concluding that evening about midnight. This was the meeting room with the committee on the platform and the public in the chairs in the foreground.
The RPT rules stipulate that the Temporary committee may submit as many priorities as they deem necessary. The Permanent committee (elected at each of the 31 Senate District Caucus meetings) then decides which five, as stipulated in the RPT rules, would be chosen for the Platform.
It was decided by the Temporary Committee, that a total of 8 priorities would be sent to the Permanent Legislative Priorities Committee for review, five of which contained specific language that speaks to the priority. The other 3 were to be submitted to the Permanent Committee with a topic header only. The intention would be for these 3 priorities to be authored directly by the Permanent Committee, if they so chose, to replace any of the intended five.
In all, roughly 13 and one half hours of public testimony, along with several hours of invited testimony was considered throughout the three days from delegates who wished to speak to our committee regarding a legislative priority. We heard testimony and discussed 45 topics. This list was narrowed to 29 and then to 15 using a 3-tier system and eventually to the 5 plus 3 alternates topics.
The above graphic displays the selection process used to choose the five priorities. The columns of numbers are our votes for the particular priority. Notice the first column of numbers, tier 1 votes, above the red line. Although all of the priorities are important, the Committee felt that these five should be listed as the Legislative Priorities for the 86th Legislature.
On Thursday morning, the first day of the convention, each of the 31 Senate Districts held their caucus meetings to conduct convention business, one of those items was to elect the Permanent Committee members.
Each committee member (Rules, Platform and Resolutions, Legislative Priorities} presented a report to the caucus. Later the caucus selected the permanent committee members. The results were that each of the temporary committee members were chosen to be the permanent member of their respective committee.
To the left are our Bosque County delegates attending the Senate District 22 caucus. All in red.
Janet was taking the picture.
Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes.
Pass legislation to abolish all forms of taxpayer-funded lobbying and end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues by the government.
Pass legislation to abolish abortion; including, but not limited to, enacting legislation that would ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life, as well as enacting life-saving legislation such as PreNDA or a “heartbeat bill.”
Abolish the Maintenance and Operation School property tax and replace it with a consumption tax or other mechanism other than income tax while broadening the tax base, eliminating the appraisal board and taxing the property at the purchased value or the free market value upon change of hands for local government funding and special district funding. School Maintenance and Operation funds shall be allocated from the state's general fund to Texas' Independent School Districts via an inflation-adjusted, per-student-allocation.
Religious Freedom and Privacy
Pass legislation prohibiting the violation of the rights and freedoms of individuals, organizations and businesses, to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs by local ordinances or state laws; and pass legislation that protects the privacy and safety of women and children in multi-use facilities such as bathrooms, locker rooms and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings and oppose legislation that would undermine these privacy and safety protections.
Chairperson, Amy Carter, is front right.
The convention was very crowded - I heard reports that there were over 9,000 people there. There were many events and celebrated speakers, including Ted Cruz who is up for election this fall - GO TED. Saturday was filled with testimony for and against the committees reports presented to the "floor". I wont try to report on all of the goings-on. rather I will provide you with links to the Rules Committee report and the Republican Platform Committee report. Both are as presented to the "floor" from the respective committees and are being reviewed by the Senior Republican Executive Committee (SREC).
Please copy and paste this address into your browser : https://www.texasgop.org/rules/
Please copy and paste this address into your browser: https://www.texasgop.org/platform/