AUSTIN -- A minimum of 77 Texas state representatives signed onto a bill banning transgender women from participating female sports in public colleges or universities.
House Bill 23, also known by the Save Women's Sports Act was filed in Spring Republican state Rep. Valoree Swanson.
Swanson stated that it would ban biologically males from competing in women's competitions and teams at the college level. It also would close loopholes in University Scholastic League. The law provides legal remedies to female athletes who feel their safety, opportunity, and competitive standing were affected by schools that allow transgender women to compete in a women's-only sport.
Swanson released a statement saying that she was proud to say that her colleagues in the Legislature were standing by her to ensure fairness in women’s sports. "Women have fought tooth and nail to ensure that they have equal opportunities in college and high school sports." We cannot lose ground and allow biological men to undermine the safety and advancement of young women in college sports and UIL sports.
This bill expands on a law that was passed last session and bans transgender girls from participating in school-sanctioned sports for grades K-12.
Johnathan Gooch is the communications director at Equality Texas. He said that data shows that trans-inclusive states have seen an increase in participation in women's sports.
Gooch stated that if lawmakers truly want to protect women's sports, then they need to be 'focused upon building bridges, and not excluding college students who would like to play in the sport.
"Sports are an integral part Texas culture." It's hard to understand why legislators would deliberately exclude young adults from college-level sports in a state that is named after friendship,' Gooch stated.
The hopper has a paid parental leave bill
Texas' new law would provide paid parental leave to all full-time employees.
House Bill 2604 (also known as the Texas Family Act) would allow all Texas employees to take paid parental leave for up to 12 months after the birth or adoption of a child.
The state filed it. Rep. Penny Morales Shaw is a Houston Democrat.
Morales Shaw stated that working families in Texas should not have to choose between their sole source of income and their newborn child.
Texas employers are required to contribute 0.1% of their employees' wages to the Texas Family Fund. This fund is housed at the Texas Workforce Commission. TWC would then replace wages for individuals on parental leave.
Employees can participate in the fund to receive a portion of their weekly check up to $1,000 per week for a maximum period of 12 weeks.
Texas has the highest maternal death rate in the country. This is disproportionately affecting minority mothers. Recent research found that the majority of these deaths could have been prevented. Howard stated that the fund will allow Texas families more time with their newborns and also allow mothers to rest before returning to work.
According to Every Texan data, 74% of Texans don't have any access to paid family leave. This results in an average income loss of $3,000.
Morales Shaw stated that she was optimistic the bill would pass in this session, especially since Republicans in the House support similar measures.
The lower chamber of the state now offers 12 weeks of paid parental time to House staff and employees during session. The House also established a fund that allows offices to hire additional staff to replace employees who are on leave.
House Speaker Dade Phelan also identified expanding Medicaid coverage for mothers after 12 months of pregnancy as a priority.
The Republican stated that the Texas House's new paid parent leave policy was a significant step forward and something all members and staff can be proud about. It also reiterates the chamber's commitment of supporting mothers and fathers, as well as adoptive parents and children, whatever other policymaking is at hand, previously speaking to reporters.
Phelan pushes for more incentives to attract businesses to Texas
The House Speaker also made three other top priorities known to the chamber for this session.
Priorities are centered on Texas's economic and workforce development.
Phelan stated Tuesday that there is a lot of job growth in the states. He also said that it was important to have the right avenues for workforce development in order to keep up with demand.
House Bill 5, which was filed by Todd Hunter, a Corpus Christi Republican and is also known as Texas Jobs and Security Act.
Officials stated that the bill would provide incentives for large-scale capital-intensive projects in manufacturing, energy infrastructure, and national security.
Officials said that Texas taxpayers would be able to see how the incentive dollars are being used, the number created jobs, and the economic impact of any potential projects.
House Bill 8 was filed by Gary VanDeaver (a New Boston Republican) to establish a new funding model in Texas for community colleges.
It would establish a scholarship program, allow economically disadvantaged students to enroll in dual credit courses, and increase access to higher education opportunities throughout Texas by creating shared services for institutions through Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Officials stated that this would allow colleges to increase their range of academic programs and workforce programs.
House Bill 19, which was filed by Andrew Murr (a Junction Republican), would establish a Texas business court system. Officials stated that the new state court system for complex business cases would provide a new avenue for companies seeking to resolve their legal issues in a fair, efficient and consistent way.
Businesses applauded prioritization of the HB 5.
Paulette M. Guajardo (mayor of Corpus Christi), stated that 'Texans want to see more manufacturing in the United States'. The Texas Jobs and Security Act attracts manufacturers who are willing to invest in our communities. This ultimately results in jobs and the daily goods that we depend on returning to Texas.
Bob Harvey, President and CEO of Greater Houston Partnership, stated that HB 5 would help Texas remain competitive.
Harvey stated, "We know how crucial innovative economic development tools to closing deals and growing the economy are."
The deadline for lawmakers to submit bills in this session is March 10, 2010.
Texas wins 11th consecutive year's development award
Texas had more than 1,000 qualified projects by 2022, more than twice the next state. This allowed Texas to win Site Selection Magazine's annual Governor's Cup. It is the eleventh consecutive year.
Abbott accepted the award Wednesday, saying that Texas is America's economic engine and that Texas stands out as a national model. "Texas is a state where innovative leaders in the industry find their home when they are deciding where to move or expand their businesses."
According to a December U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, Texas was also the leader in job growth at 5% last year. According to the report, Texas added 650k jobs in 2022, bringing the total number of jobs to 13.7million at the end of the year.
It said that Florida has eight of the top cities.
According to Site Selection Magazine data, Texas has been the new home for more than 271 corporate headquarters since 2015. More than half of these were relocated from California.
Abbott stated, "Together we are making Texas the economic envy of America."