News from the Capitol

Texas House Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting Releases Report

The Texas House Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting released their report:

Statement from Speaker Dade Phelan:

“The interim report released today by the Texas House Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting provides some of the most thorough and accurate information released to date surrounding the tragic situation that occurred on May 24 in Uvalde. I thank Chair Burrows and the committee’s other two members, Representative Moody and the Honorable Justice Guzman, for their thoughtful and diligent work — it has provided answers to the people who need it most. With transparency and accuracy as its guiding force, the investigative committee has equipped the Texas House with the facts our chamber needs to continue to respond to this tragedy in the coming months and during the 2023 legislative session. I look forward to conversations with the Select Committee on Youth Health & Safety and Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee on this matter and the robust policy discussions our members will have heading into next year.”

Update on Lawmakers Seeking Additional Penalties and New Laws on Abortion Following Recent Supreme Court Ruling

Last week, I reported that three Texas Committee Chairmen were gathering signatures from colleagues to urge the State Supreme Court to allow enforcement of criminal penalties under Texas’ 1925 total abortion ban that made performing an abortion by any method punishable by two to 10 years in prison. Some lawmakers argue that because the statute was never repealed, it should go back into effect following the Dobbs decision.

Attached is the updated legal brief calling for enforcement of criminal penalties for performing an abortion as outlined in Texas’ total abortion ban passed in 1925. It has now been signed by following members of the Texas Senate and House:

Members of the Texas Senate—Senators: Paul Bettencourt; Brian Birdwell; Donna Campbell; Brandon Creighton; Bob Hall; Kelly Hancock; Bryan Hughes; Lois Kolkhorst; Angela Paxton; Charles Perry; Drew Springer.

Members of the Texas House of Representatives—Representatives: Charles “Doc” Anderson; Cecil Bell; Keith Bell; Kyle Biedermann; Greg Bonnen; DeWayne Burns; Dustin Burrows; Briscoe Cain; Giovanni Capriglione; Jeff Cason; David Cook; Jay

Dean; James Frank; Gary Gates; Craig Goldman; Ryan Gullen; Sam Harless; Cody Harris; Brian Harrison; Cole Hefner; Justin Holland; Lacy Hull; Phil King; Stephanie Klick; Matt Krause; John Kuempel; Jacey Jetton; Brooks Landgraf; Jeff Leach; Ben Leman; Will Metcalf; Mayes Middleton; Geanie Morrison; Jim Murphy; Andy Murr; Candy Noble; Tom Oliverson; Tan Parker; Jared Patterson; Dennis Paul; Four Price; Glenn Rogers; Scott Sanford; Matt Schaefer; Mike Schofield; Matt Shaheen; Bryan Slaton; Shelby Slawson; John Raney; Reggie Smith; John Smithee; David Spiller; Phil Stephenson; Lynn Stucky; Valoree Swanson; Ed Thompson; Tony Tinderholt; Steve Toth; Cody Vasut; Terry Wilson; James White.

I also reported on a number of additional proposals from lawmakers that would further restrict access to abortion. Interestingly, Senator Bryan Hughes, Chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee and author of the state's six-week abortion ban, said in interview that in the next legislative session he will not look to restrict emergency contraception or block patients from traveling out of state to get the procedure as is being proposed by other Texas lawmakers. Recommended reading:

Governor Abbott and Democratic Challenger Beto O’Rourke Post Huge Fundraising Numbers

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke (D) posted the two biggest single-period fundraising totals in state history for a state race. For their fundraising reports that cover the period between February 20 through June 30,

O’Rourke out-raised Abbott, $27.6M to $24.9M.

Nearly half of O’Rourke’s record-setting contribution total came from donors outside Texas, including a $1 million contribution from Democratic megadonor George Soros. Texans supplied 52.7% of his contribution total from February 20 through June 30. Donors from California (11.4%), New York (8.6%), Colorado (3.0%) and Massachusetts (2.5%) led out-of-state contributions, which totaled just over $13M. The $23.9M cash-on-hand figure reported by O’Rourke is by far the biggest ever reported by a Democratic candidate for state office, shattering the previous record of $9.0M reported by 2010 gubernatorial nominee Bill White in his July semiannual report.

Governor Abbott raised $21.3M from Texas donors, representing 86% of his overall total. California (3.4%), Florida (1.5%) and Oklahoma (1.3%) residents led his out-of-state contributions. Abbott out-raised O’Rourke, $21.3M to $14.5M, among Texans.

Abbott still maintains a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in cash on hand, $46.0M to $23.9M, and Abbott outspent O’Rourke, $30M to $9.5M, for the period.

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