The Bandera County Republican Women opened the new year with a club meeting on January 7. Bandera County Judge Richard Evans spoke to the group about legislation that would affect the county during the coming state legislative session beginning January 12.
Evans noted that 1,500 bills had been filed so far, and the Legislature could review up to 8,000 bills during this 87th session.
Evans encouraged the club to contact their legislators to express any support or concerns about pending legislation. He reiterated that it was important to develop a relationship with legislative staffers and provide reasons why to support, or not support, any specific piece of legislation.
Judge Evans mentioned HJR 32, a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the Legislature’s powers to mandate requirements on a municipality or county.
Evans has been an outspoken critic of unfunded mandates from the state during his 25 years in office.
He also referenced SB 234 and its sister bill, HB 749, which would disallow the use of public funds to support municipal lobbying groups.
Evans referenced the number of bills filed each session and remarked it would be impossible for local government leaders to keep up with the issues addressed in those bills without the help of an organization like the Texas Association of Counties.
Evans also mentioned HB 228, which allows the use of recording technology to be used in lieu of court reporters. He noted that many trials are delayed due to the lack of available court reporters.
Evans also mentioned HB 123, which concerns polling places in counties, and SB 186 which would allow counties to use public funds to restore or maintain historic county courthouses.
After Evans spoke, the Club went into a short business meeting.
President Carolyn Rutherford noted vacancies in the offices of Secretary and Membership and asked for volunteers.
“The Secretary and Membership Vice President informed the board that they would need to vacate their offices. We have not yet received their written resignations,” Rutherford said in an interview following the meeting.
“According to bylaws, unexpired terms are filled after volunteers are approved by the board. As soon as we receive the resignations, we can proceed with filling them,” she said.
Rutherford also asked members to serve on the new Scholarship Committee.
“We will have a chairman who will organize the committee,” she said.
The club discussed participation in the Mardi Gras Parade on February 6 and plans to have a booth at each of Bandera’s Market Days beginning in April.
“Our Mardi Gras activities will include our decorated float and volunteers on board. The Market Days booth is manned by Bandera County Republican Women with assistance from County GOP members,” said Rutherford.
“Our purpose is to push information about voting and to register people to vote. We also give out information about Republican initiatives and candidates that may be running for election,” she said.
The club’s goals for 2021 were distributed and noted in the record. Member Lila Ward suggested that the Club add as a goal participation in the Republican Women’s State Convention.
Rutherford said that the club will have to go back and edit the proposed goals, which will include those from the Texas Federation of Republican Women.
“They should be ready for the February 4 meeting,” said Rutherford.
The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
Bandera Republican women will meet next on Thursday, February 4, at the Silver Sage Dining Hall at 5:30 p.m.