660+ new Texas laws have gone into effect since the 2021 Regular session. Here are some that might affect you. https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/31/new-texas-laws-september-2021/
- Permitless carry: House Bill 1927 allows Texans ages 21 and older to carry handguns without training or a license as long as they are not legally prevented from doing so.
- Reducing barriers to SNAP: SB 224 simplifies access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for seniors and disabled people on fixed incomes. Eligible individuals can forgo enrollment interviews and have a shortened application process.
- Funding the “1836 Project”: HB 2497 establishes an “1836 Project” committee to produce patriotic Texas history materials, which will be distributed through channels such as when people receive driver’s licenses. The initiative’s name mirrors the “1619 Project,” a New York Times publication examining U.S. history from the arrival of enslaved people.
- Social studies curriculum changes: HB 3979 limits teachers from discussing current events and systemic racism (CRT) in class. The bill also prevents students from receiving class credit for participating in civic engagement and bans teaching of the “1619 Project.”
- Police body cameras: HB 929 requires police officers to keep body cameras on during the entirety of active investigations. The law is named after Botham Jean, who was fatally shot in his apartment while eating ice cream by a Dallas police officer in 2018.
- Online ballot tracking system: HB 1382 creates an online tracking system for mail-in ballots and applications for mail-in ballots. The system will be run by the Texas Secretary of State.
- Felony punishment for blocking emergency vehicles: HB 9 will make blocking access to a hospital or an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on a state jail felony. The bill was passed as a response to protesters being arrested for blocking ambulances during Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
- Criminalizing homeless camping: HB 1925 makes camping in unapproved public places a misdemeanor crime that carries a fine of up to $500. Cities cannot opt out of the ban.
- Coverage restrictions limit the public and/or private insurance coverage of abortion care and restrict public funding for abortion.
- Gestational bans ban abortion after a certain point in pregnancy—such as at six, 15, or 22 weeks after the pregnant person’s last menstrual period (LMP). Laws that ban abortion before viability—the point at which a fetus has the capacity for survival outside the uterus, something that must be determined medically and that varies with each pregnancy—are unconstitutional and prohibited by Roe v. Wade.
- Medically unnecessary requirements, including waiting periods and biased counseling requirements, place additional burdens on people seeking abortion care. These can include added costs and time, as well as intentionally misleading or medically inaccurate information, such as requirements to provide false information about medically disproven “abortion reversal” for medication abortion.
- Method bans prohibit particular methods of abortion care, such as dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures, the safest and most common method of abortion care in the second trimester. Method bans interfere with evidence-based medical decisions and further limit options for abortion care.
- Reason bans ostensibly restrict abortion if the pregnant person’s decision is based on a fetus’ sex, race, or fetal diagnosis, purporting to promote gender, racial, or disability justice. In reality, these laws are part of a strategy to restrict abortion access and stigmatize abortion decisions, particularly for women of color. They allow politicians to interfere with health decisions that should be made between a pregnant person and their provider, while doing nothing to advance equity or justice.
- So-called born-alive laws require medical care for a fetus after the rare instance of an unsuccessful abortion. Such legislation is unnecessary, as denying care to fetuses is already illegal. These laws intentionally perpetuate false narratives about abortion later in pregnancy and seek to stigmatize abortion and interfere with evidence-based patient care.
- Targeted restriction of abortion provider (TRAP) laws place medically unnecessary requirements on clinics and providers that are designed to force them to stop providing abortion care.
- Trigger bans put laws on the state books to ban abortion if Roe is overturned.
- Texas’ S.B. 8 and ‘bounty hunter’ abortion bans