State Sen. Angela Paxton, the attorney general’s wife of more than 30 years, represents District 8, which includes McKinney and Allen. She tweeted on Sunday, March 12: “I am committed to seeing our priorities turned into law.” In the same post she included a link to her more than 70 bills and resolutions.
There aren't many surprises to be unearthed among the lot, but don’t confuse that with a lack of juicy red meat. Many of the recently favored Republican hot buttons are being pushed by Paxton’s filings. In her latest newsletter the senator gives SB 13, a bill designed to control the content of school libraries, prominent placement at the top of the page.
That bill includes the implementation of “local school library advisory councils, and parental rights regarding public school library catalogs,” according to the filing. Predictably, parental rights and schools also play a starring role in the dozens of Angela Paxton bills introduced during the current legislative session in Austin.
Senate Bill 2483 aims to establish an Education Savings Account, which would finally usher Texas into the school voucher era. More than before, Gov. Greg Abbott has made what he has termed “parental choice” a priority, and conservative lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have formed a line of support behind him.
Critics, including many Democrat lawmakers and members of the Texas State Board of Education, suggest that a voucher-like program in Texas will hurt public school funding. There’s also reason to think that families in rural areas, where the average income is lower than it is in many suburbs, will not be served fairly through an Education Savings Account. Regardless, Republicans have largely championed the idea of parents being able to use state funds for private schooling.
And what would a slate of Republican bills be without an attempt to end gender-affirming care for minors? SB 14 states, “The child health plan may not provide coverage for services prohibited by Section 161.702 that are intended to transition a child ’s biological sex as determined by the child ’s sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles.” The general conservative stance involving gender-affirming care doesn’t align with what some prominent members of the medical community believe on the matter.
Filed on March 6, Senate Joint Resolution 76 seeks to “repeal the constitutional provision that prohibits the appropriation of state money or property for the benefit of any sect, religious society, or theological or religious seminary.” The joint resolution brings to mind one of the several recent lawsuits that Paxton the AG announced not too long ago against the Biden administration.
"The Paxtons both seem keen to blur the lines between church and state."tweet this
The Paxtons both seem keen to blur the lines between church and state, judging by the contents of the joint resolution and the lawsuit. With the suit, Ken Paxton’s goal is to allow religious and faith-based adoption and foster services to still collect federal funds while barring same-sex couples from adopting a child through those services.
When asked for comment, a representative in Sen. Angela Paxton’s office asked the Observer to submit our questions via email. Sen. Paxton did not reply to the questions we submitted.
Angela Paxton won re-election in November 2022; her current term ends in 2025. If passed, the proposed constitutional amendment outlined in SJR 76 will be on the ballot in November 2023.