Hundreds of State Laws Championed by Texas GOP Now in Effect
‘Republican Leadership has Made Texans Lives Harder,’ Says HCDP Chair
HOUSTON — Overnight in Texas more than 600 new laws went into effect, many the result of the GOP-dominated legislature’s push to reshape the state.
“This is a sad day for Texas,” said Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu. “Instead of helping disenfranchised, marginalized, and voiceless Texans by expanding Medicaid, fixing the grid, and raising our minimum wage, Republican leadership has made Texans lives harder.”
“There has been a lot in the news about the horrific voter restrictions bill that passed,” Evbagharu said. “But many other egregious laws are now in effect that will have a severe negative impact on the lives of Texas residents.”
Abortion Restrictions & Abortion “Trigger” Law
Among the examples Evbagharu cited is SB8, a law banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many people even realize they are pregnant. He also pointed to HB1280, a bill that would outlaw abortions entirely in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
“These attacks on abortion access disproportionately impact people of color and those living in low-income communities,” Evbagharu said. “The new Texas abortion laws are a full-scale assault on patients’ rights and put the health and safety of pregnant people at risk.
“People in Texas won’t stop having abortions,” he said. “They will stop having safe abortions, and that is a tragedy.”
Social Studies Curriculum Changes & Critical Race Theory
Another law now in effect is HB3979, which forbids K-12 teachers to use a critical race theory framework when teaching in the state's public schools.
“Having meaningful discussions about how race has influenced the institutions and laws of our nation is more important today than ever before,” Evbagharu said. “H3979 silences our teachers on matters of racial inequality. It’s ridiculous that GOP legislators think they can just deny that institutional racism exists and be done with it.”
“Starting today, it’s legal for anyone in Texas to carry a firearm in public, without the need to complete training or obtain a license,” Evbagharu said. “This new law defies logic and goes against everything we know about gun safety. Not only are Texas residents feeling less safe with this law in effect, law enforcement officers are worried that permitless carry will make their jobs more dangerous.”
Some of the Others
“Republican legislators are focused on things like requiring professional sports teams to play the Star Spangled Banner if they receive Texas government funding and criminalizing homeless camping,” Evbagharu said.
“Where is the work we really need from our elected officials in Texas? Uninsured Texans desperately need health coverage. The Texas Legislature rejected expansion of health care coverage, including Medicare.
“Where is an effective plan to address the state power grid failure? We’ve heard a lot of sound bites — especially from Texas Gov. Abbott, but we have seen very little progress to ensure a catastrophic failure does not occur again.”
“Texans deserve better than this,” Evbagharu said. “These outrageous laws serve as a reminder that we have an opportunity to plot, strategize, organize and get people mobilized so that Texas can move in the right direction. We want to see progress, and the work starts now!
For Immediate Release
Sept 1, 2021
Contact: Elisa Rochford