Editorial

12 April 2021

Capitol Update: Standing for Religious Freedom and Law Enforcement

Surrounded by hundreds of law enforcement officers, the loved ones of Texas State Trooper Chad Walker solemnly laid him to rest after he gave his life in the line of duty. The funeral and burial of Trooper Walker this past week reminds us all of the inherent dangers our law enforcement members face each day as they seek to serve and protect us. Please keep the Walker family, and all of our law enforcement community, in your prayers during this difficult time.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol in Austin…

Capitol Update

With the deadline to consider a piece of legislation in committee looming, members will be working to move their bills expeditiously through the committee process. All the while, hundreds of bills are being lined up for debate on the House floor in the coming weeks. Now is a thrilling time to come see the Legislature in action and you are always welcome to come visit your Capitol. Simply call our district or Austin office and my staff will be happy to give you more information or schedule a tour.

Among the topics being debated is how our government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with respect to our constitutionally granted freedoms. As you may know, some local governments issued orders infringing on the freedom of worship that is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. As a result I was proud to coauthor House Bill 1239, which passed out of the Texas House this week, and  protects the rights of Texans to freely exercise their religious beliefs by prohibiting the issuance of an emergency order that would close a place of worship. The Texas House also stood in support of our dedicated first responders who put themselves in harms way on a daily basis by passing House Bill 2073, which ensures our first responders are provided with quarantine leave when necessary, and can do so without public entities docking their vacation time.

My final announcement for this week: House Bill 5, the Statewide Broadband Bill, passed unanimously out of the Texas House. This first step towards an improved, more connected, and more prosperous Texas shows we are able to embrace the blessings that technology has to offer and put them to work. I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues in supporting this measure that will undoubtedly impact ever corner of the state.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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