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In final days: Lege box of chocolates. Call, email, or come to Capitol Monday!

Good for East Texas Republican Rep. Ernest Bailes for successfully heading off a sneaky legislative maneuver that is all too common at the end of legislative sessions. Despite the Governor's obsession to ram it on us all, a majority of both Ds and Rs in the Texas House, urban and rural, continue to defy GOP big-wigs' obsession with school vouchers. (Thanks to Texas Impact for video.)

Sneaky Schwertner's SB 994

SB 994 is another bill by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) threatening harm to electoral competition by giving the Secretary of State the power to remove candidates from the ballot who do not pay a filing fee. Minor party filing fees are in litigation. Texas minor parties pay their own way by funding their own nominating conventions. The major parties have primaries that are mostly funded by the state. Their filing fees provide a small portion of the costs of primaries.

Moreover, legislation to double the filing fees for ALL party candidates died on a point of order a few days ago. Might we see a maneuver to double filing fees, pricing out the more grassroots candidates in ALL parties, resurrected as an amendment to other bills like SB 994? There are other bad bills for minor parties, new parties, and independent candidates that could be amended into other bills next week.

What to do?

Stay vigilant and follow our directive below.

1. Call your State Rep today (find him or her here) to urge a NO vote on SB 994 next Tuesday.

2. Read this Statesman editorial about Schwertner and Middleton's monopolistic election bill, SB 1705, which appears dead, but who knows until the end of the session on May 29.

3. Stay vigilant! Please stay online as much as you can to receive alerts all week OR join us at the Capitol on Monday anytime starting at 9 am.

SB 471, the TCEQ boar hogs at the trough bill, goes down in committee then resurrected.

Remember, we warned you on Monday about the Wednesday hearing on the "TCEQ worthless as teats on a boar hog" bill, SB 471 designed to do damage to Texans' rights to complain to the TCEQ about pollution. Though they didn't show up to say anything, the cement lobby was pushing the bill from behind the scenes like a freight train. On Wednesday, the House Environmental Regulation Committee voted 4 to 4 vote on releasing the bill, rendering SB 471 DOA at least for a day. That said, another vote was taken and lo and behold the bill rose quickly from the grave.

The fact is at the Texas Lege, one never really knows what you're gonna get this late in the session. Look there's Forest Gump with JFK...not really!

What to do on SB 471? Join us next week, starting on Monday to stop 471 with "red cards" to the Calendars Committee. Call us at 512.213.4511 or email us at, to meet us there or to get further instructions to work on your own.

Water Update from SAWDF OK you water defenders. Take action on the water front!

Update from Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

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