HB 3 is scheduled to be heard in the State Affairs Committee March 11. This bill grants sweeping pandemic emergency authority to the governor, including the power to divert public funds, commandeer private property, and control the movement of individuals. It also conditions civil liability protections for businesses upon compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, ordinances, declarations, and proclamations related to the pandemic disaster. Furthermore, this bill provides that the legislature may terminate a declaration of pandemic disaster at any time, but does not provide a mechanism or requirement to call the legislature back into session should they not be in a session during a pandemic. As we saw in 2020, the governor is the only one who can call a special session, and the legislature was rendered impotent to act as a check on the executive branch.
Texans for Vaccine Choice OPPOSES this bill for several reasons. See the sample message below for talking points.
THREE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
(Choose one or all)
CONTACT! (Call and email)
1- The members of the State Affairs Committee
Directory found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rBIaBYgd_TaalY2NLL5gK64HZOufA30HdYOrp2fZsF0/edit?usp=sharing
2- Your State Representative
Directory found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-uaTKO60Y6OHOkirh8sZ2vkZYV9vyTOar-0geF7QbOQ/edit?usp=sharing
Not sure what district you’re in? Look it up here first: https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home
New this Session! Provide written public comments from home: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c450
**Please indicate “self” in the “Organization/Representing” field.
TESTIFY IN PERSON!
See our 87th Session Committee Hearing Alerts for details: https://tfvcfreedomfight.com/blog/f/87th-session-committee-hearing-alerts
**Please indicate “self” in the “Organization/Representing” field when you register at the capitol.
Sample Message (you are encouraged to customize this message):
Hello – As a concerned Texas citizen, I urge you to vote NO on HB 3. This bill has several shortcomings. First, any pandemic response beyond a short duration should be considered and enacted by the legislature to maintain an appropriate balance of power between branches of the government. HB 3 allows the governor to declare a pandemic disaster and continually renew it at 30-day intervals. Secondly, although HB 3 purports to provide protections for businesses against legal liability related to a pandemic, it conditions those legal protections on complying with all applicable pandemic-related laws, rules, ordinances, declarations, and proclamations at all levels of government without providing any limits on what can be required of businesses. This could result in businesses being effectively forced to require medical testing, treatment, contact tracing, or interventions for their employees, vendors, or customers. Thirdly, HB 3 creates a criminal offense for individuals punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation of any emergency management plan, which means this bill could similarly effectively force individuals to comply with medical testing, treatment, contract tracing, interventions, and any other orders that any jurisdiction adopts under the coercion of punishment for non-compliance. These provisions violate the tenets of medical freedom, informed consent, and religious liberty. Please vote no on HB 3.