TAG activists will rally at the Texas Capitol at 8 a.m. this Monday, June 27 in support of Senate Bill 29, legislation which would forbid TSA agents from groping travelers without probable cause. The Speaker of the House, Joe Strauss, has voiced his opposition to such legislation and is using his power to block or gut it. As the special session ends on Wednesday, this is our last foreseeable chance to impact the fate of this legislation in the Senate unless the governor calls another special session.
Meet us in the Rotunda at 8 a.m. where we will review the progress of current anti-groping legislation and prepare for the public hearings at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. The forces who oppose the legislation are trying to defang it by substituting the probable cause provision with mere reasonable suspicion. Probable cause is necessary to protect innocent travelers who opt-out of the scanners which shouldn’t justify the TSA to engage in invasive searches, but that is exactly what will happen if the standard is lowered to reasonable suspicion.
The first hearing concerns a gutless resolution—HCR 5—which merely voices opposition to the illegal searches, without any actual action being taken. You can quickly give your written testimony opposing this weak-willed response to federal tyranny.
The second hearing at 10 a.m. will be a public hearing of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security committee; they are only hearing SB 29 so please come with your personal testimony, keep it concise and hard-hitting, and speak from the heart! If you don’t want to speak or don’t have the time, you can provide written testimony in support of the bill.
In between hearings and the convening of the House at 10 a.m., we will make personal visits to Representatives and Senators as well as the offices of the speaker, lieutenant governor and governor, which is the best way to influence legislation. You can find your own representative and senator here.
Prepare for your visit by knowing the location of their offices and writing a note or letter for each representative you intend to speak with and then share your personal testimony with them. This preparation makes a solid impression on the legislators! We’ll provide paper, pens, and advice, and at 1 p.m. we’ll order pizza for lunch to keep our activists fueled.
Help us pass the legislation which 75% of constituents of Texas House districts support! The outpouring of support for this bill has been overwhelming; we have flooded the governor’s office with calls and the powers that be are perking up and paying attention to activists like us. Instead of merely passing a symbolic resolution with strong language, we have the chance to make history by pushing back against the Constitutional violations of the federal government. If you can’t make it to the Capitol, take action from home!