While BTAC 2019 concluded yesterday, still couldn’t go home just yet. I hopped a Megabus from Dallas down I-35 to come to Austin for the fifth time this session.
An opportunity presented itself to go on legislative offense for a change when I was notified that HB 1513 was scheduled for a hearing in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee today.
HB 1513 would add gender identity and expression to the Texas James Byrd Hate Crimes Law, and it is something that is long overdue.
It’s authored by Rep Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) with Reps Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas), Jessica Gonzalez (D-Dallas) and Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) signing on as co-authors
I came to the ATX after BTAC ended because there’s a 9 AM CDT press conference being held by Rep Coleman that I’m speaking at this morning. I’ll also be signing up to testify in favor of the bill when it has its scheduled hearing at 2 PM in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
The committee is chaired by Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Ft Worth) with her Vice Chair being Rep Bill Zedler (R-Arlington)
The members of House Jurisprudence are Reps Keith Bell (R-Forney), Jessica Gonzalez (D-Dallas), Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Joe Moody (D-El Paso), Andrew Murr (R-Junction), and Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio)
You may wish to call their offices and politely ask them to vote in favor of HB 1513. I’ll do my best to make the case when the hearing starts at 2 PM CDT in room E2.112 why they should do so.
That hearing will be broadcast, and you can check it out on the Texas House legislative website.