During the 2017 Texas legislative session I spent a number of days at the Capitol attending rallies, campaigning on behalf of causes I care about, sitting through floor debates, as well as voicing my opinion on several bills. One of the ways you can make YOUR voice heard is showing up to be a witness for or against bills at the public hearings held when bills are going through committee. That’s what I did. Visit my Facebook page for an explanation on how to register your position on legislative bills.

While I don’t have a record of every visit I made to the Capitol, my name is on public record as a witness on several bills as they were going through committee. The list below shows each bill and my position for or against. Keep in mind that I registered my position on these bills as they were initially written and introduced and there may be cases when the language of the bill was changed or amendments were added after I submitted my position.
 
 

Date Bill Number Description Michelle’s Position Rep. Cyrier’s Position Actions on Bill
February 15, 2017 SB 8 Women’s Health Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

Cyrier CoSponsor, Voted For Signed by the Governor; blocked by federal courts August 31, 2017, November 22, 2017, January 29, 2018.
February 15, 2017 SB 258 Women’s Health Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill, but similar to SB 8 and Cyrier voted For SB 8 Left pending in House committee, bill similar to SB 8
February 15, 2017 SB 415 Women’s Health Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill, but language added to SB 8 and Cyrier voted For SB 8 Left pending in House committee; Bill language added to SB 8
March 21, 2017 SB 3 Subsidy for private school tuition – Vouchers Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
April 5, 2017 HB 747 Guaranteeing that emergency contraception (EC) be included with the standard information and care for sexual assualt survivors. Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
April 10, 2017 SB 1392 Relating to groundwater conservation districts. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Out of Senate committee, not placed on vote calendar
April 19, 2017

HB 439 Repeal advanced directive for pregnany exclusion. Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
April 19, 2017 HB 826 Require comptroller to complete report containing a comprehensive financial analysis of the impact of undocumented immigrants on the state budget and economy. Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
April 19, 2017 HB 2899 “A political subdivision may not adopt an order,
ordinance, or other measure to:
(1) protect a class of persons from discrimination; or
(2) reduce or expand a class of persons protected
under state law from discrimination.”
Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

Cyrier CoAuthor Left pending in House committee
April 19, 2017 SB 892 (Companion bill to HB 3859) Deny children foster homes based on religious beliefs Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

Cyrier Acting as Speaker for HB 3859, not voting HB 3859 Signed by the Governor
May 3, 2017 HB 1113 Prohibit insurance from covering women’s health options and require suplemental coverage. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

Cyrier CoAuthor Left pending in House committee, HB 214 with the same language passed in Special Session
May 3, 2017 HB 1813 Allow clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
July 21, 2017 SB 4 (special session)

Ban gov’t partnership with entities that perform abortion. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

HB 14 is similar and Cyrier is CoAuthor Left pending in House
July 21, 2017 SB 10 (special session) Reporting requirements for abortion complications. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

HB 13 identical, Cyrier CoAuthor, Cyrier voted For HB 13 HB 13 Signed by the Governor
July 21, 2017 SB 3 (special session) One version of bathroom bill Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House
July 21, 2017 SB 91 (special session)

Another version of the bathroom bill Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in Senate committee
July 21, 2017

SB 2 (special session) A school voucher bill Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House
July 21, 2017 SB 16 (special session) Creation of a commission to recommend improvements to the public school finance system Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

Cyrier Acting as Speaker, Not voting Passed
July 22, 2017 SB 12 (special session) Local control : Prohibits local authorities from restricting the use or development of property if the regulation was not in effect when the owner acquired the property. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

HB 188 identical, Cyrier CoAuthor and voted For HB 188 Left pending in Senate committee
July 22, 2017 SB 13 (special session) Local control : Shortens the timeframes for the review and approval process for building permits. If the local entity fails to act within that timeframe the permit is automatically approved. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

HB 164 identical, Cyrier CoAuthor Left pending in committee
July 22, 2017 SB 14 (special session) Local control tree ordinances : prohibits local authorities and HOAs from restricting the ability of a property owner to remove a tree from private property. Michelle Witness Against

(Click here for why)

HB 70 identical, Cyrier CoAuthor Left pending in committee
August 1, 2017 HB 54 (special session) Public Education : Reimburse teachers up to $600 per school year for the cost of classroom supplies they purchase.

Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
August 1, 2017 HB 60 (special session) Public Education : Prohibit school busses from paying tolls Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
August 1, 2017 HB 145 (special session) Public Education : Defining the role of public school social workers Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
August 1, 2017 HB 264 (special session)

Public Education : Charter school admission policy

Michelle Witness For

(Click here for why)

No record on this bill Left pending in House committee
SB 4 Allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000. Michelle Against
I didn’t make the committee hearing, but I was in Rep. Cyrier’s office the day the House vote started, April 26, 2017, asking his staff for him to vote no.

(Click here for why)

Cyrier CoSponsor, Cyrier Yes vote Signed by the Governor

Lawsuits continue to wind their way through the courts.

Shortly after SB 4 was signed into law in May 2017, just about every major city and a number of counties in Texas sued the state in an attempt to stop the law.