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Principles….who needs them?

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Thoughout history, there have been times of great upheaval when mighty civilizations have risen to power to only fall as those that were in positions of leadership lost their way, became greedy, used emotion as their guide, and served self instead of their creator.

They cast aside principles as if they were something that could be changed from one day to the next like clothing—always looking for that outward manifestation that would define who they were, what they believed, where they came from, and where they were going.

What none of them realized is that who you are as a private person, as a leader, or as part of the government structure all comes from within one’s self.  It comes from fundamental truths in each person that serve as a foundation of behavior or chain of reasoning otherwise known as principles. Principles are the bedrock of society and without them, we will wander aimlessly.

This past week in the Texas legislature, it seemed that many issues dealing with the foundations of our society were being heard in committee and making news.  These foundations based upon the principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and smaller government.

Monday, the Texas Conservative Coalition released a letter that 65 members of the Texas Legislature signed urging Congress to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Representative Dustin Burrows(R-HD83) was the motiving force behind the letter and he made this comment in regards to his support, “Conservatives campaign on the need to decentralize Federal power to the States and limited government; and, today is the opportunity for that to happen. I signed this letter because I believe that the solutions are best left up to the States; and, we welcome the opportunity and responsibility to implement market-based reforms.”

SB6, the Texas Privacy Act, passed through the Senate on March 16th and has yet to be scheduled for a hearing in the House.  Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-HD6) also released information about a letter that he is working on that would encourage the house to schedule the bill for a hearing. He has had tremendous support from the grassroots and legislators. Rep. Schaefer is asking Texans to speak with their reps about signing onto the letter.  The deadline for signatures is 2pm, Wednesday, March 29th.

On Tuesday, HB300 was heard in the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. This bill will reduce the fees for the issuance of a license to carry a handgun.  HB300 by Phil King is the companion to SB16 from Nichols that made headlines all over the state.  It seems that these two bills are on track to  be heralded as wonderful gun rights reform by both the House and the Senate.  It sounds wonderful when burdensome regulation is reduced on the taxpayer, but one has to ask, should there be a fee or license to practice your 2nd amendment rights?

Also on Tuesday, SB3-ESAs by Larry Taylor (R SD11), was heard.  There were over one hundred citizens who signed up to testify in regards to the bill.  A committee substitute was offered for the bill and it was recommended that it be reported back to the full Senate and that it pass.

Wednesday, HB1663 by Harold Dutton (D HD142) was presented in the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee.  This bill will remove any reference to father, mother, male, or female from statute in an effort to bring statute into line with the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriages and parenting relationshsips.  It was brought out in testimony that this bill treads into areas that the SCOTUS ruling did not address.  The bill has been left pending in committee.

Thursday well known activist Amy Hedtke was removed for using her cell phone to record the meeting of the State Affairs committee chaired by Rep. Byron Cook (R-HD8).  Texas DPS physically removed Ms. Hedtke from the room and later arrested her with Criminal Trespass.  She was there to testify on a bill dealing with abortion issues. The arrest has garnered much attention as state law does not prohibit the filming of open meetings, but there is some confusion as to whether it is prohibited by House rules and which of the two takes precedent. 

Also on Thursday, the National Rifle Association put out an alert urging members to support bills that have been filed in the Texas Legislature.  These bills included HB300 and HB1911 supporting constitutional carry.  To the surprise of many, the NRA failed to list HB375 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-HD92) which also promotes constitutional carry.

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