The Texas House of Representatives today is taking up the state’s budget bill. Yesterday the Texas Freedom Network sent out the following Action Alert:
Upcoming House Budget Debate Will Include Critical Votes on Stem Cell Research and Vouchers
Two crucially important issues will be debated when the Texas House of Representatives takes up the state budget (SB 1) starting this Friday. Lawmakers need to hear from Texans like you encouraging them to do the right thing — and letting them know we are watching their vote on these issues. These could be the most important votes on these issues this session.
Please take a moment to call your own state representative, and ask her or him to:
– NO on all amendments to SB 1 that would ban funding for stem cell research in Texas.
– OPPOSE VOUCHERS by voting YES on any amendment that would prohibit the use of any state funds to pay private school tuition.
(Click here to find contact information for your representative.)
And after you call, contact Val or Judie in our Outreach Office to let them know how your representative responded. This information is extremely helpful as we try to keep track of where House members stand on these issues.
Background information and simple talking points appear below to help you prepare for your call. This is our chance to slam the door on vouchers this session, as well as send a strong message that Texas will not close its doors to promising medical research that provides hope for so many.
Stem Cell Research
Background: The budget bill approved by the Senate last month included a rider banning public funding for embryonic stem cell research in Texas.
Why should lawmakers oppose adding this funding ban to the House budget bill?
– Controversial policies like this should be fully debated in stand-alone legislation — not attached to the state budget bill and passed without proper consideration.
– Experts believe embryonic stem cell research provides the most hope for those who suffer from many debilitating and incurable diseases.
– Supporting stem cell research is good for Texas, good for business and good for science. As a home to highly respected medical institutions like M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas has long been a leader in innovative medical research and treatments. Stem cells offer a new frontier for Texas medical researchers.
– Already scientists are leaving Texas to work in states that are not hostile to this groundbreaking research.
Background: Two years ago, House members overwhelming voted to prohibit the use of state funds to pay private or religious school tuition (127-8). The same amendment has been proposed this year. A clear prohibition in the budget would end the possibility of any voucher schemes in the coming biennium.
Why should lawmakers vote for an amendment banning public funding for private school vouchers?
– Vouchers drain needed funds from our neighborhood public schools.
– Lawmakers should focus on properly funding and supporting public schools that educate all Texas kids.