Texas Republicans on Saturday mapped out which issues the state GOP should support ahead of the 2019 legislative session — a list that again included a version of the “bathroom bill” and “constitutional carry.”
Nearly 10,000 delegates and alternates at the state GOP convention in San Antonio capped off their three-day gathering by taking votes on more than 300 proposed platform planks and a handful of legislative priorities after a few hours of relatively mild debate.
Some of those legislative priorities — which are meant to represent the party’s policy goals when the Texas Legislature convenes in January — carried over after they didn’t pass during the 2017 legislative session.
They included legislation to abolish abortion, a proposal to let Texans carry a handgun without a permit and language regulating which restrooms transgender Texans can use. The “bathroom bill” measure, which drew hours of testimony and debate during the 2017 legislative session, was not a focus of debate at the 2018 convention.
The party also outlined a priority to “abolish all forms of taxpayer-funded lobbying” and to end the state’s practice of collecting membership dues for public employees who are members of labor associations or unions. Legislation similar to the latter failed during both the regular and special sessions in 2017.
The Texas Tribune confirmed Saturday that delegates approved all 331 planks in the party’s 30-page platform. Among the platform’s 331 planks: a resolution censuring retiring state Rep. Byron Cook, a Corsicana Republican aligned with the more moderate wing of the party.
Ahead of the convention’s official Thursday kickoff, delegates spent a few days in committee shaping the party platform and legislative priorities. Delegates approved the party’s rules that morning with little drama.