We asked candidates running for State Representative in House Districts 115, 113, 104, and 47 about their positions on 13 key pieces of legislation affecting civil rights and civil liberties in our state. We then studied the results to determine which candidates were supportive of ACLU of Texas priorities. The scores below reflect how current state lawmakers voted during the 2017 legislative session. For challengers, the scores indicate how they would have voted, as indicated in their responses to our candidate questionnaire. Here are the bills we analyzed in each section. Click the header to find out more about each category:

 Advancing JusticeEnding DiscriminationProtecting Liberty
Matt Rinaldi
Incumbent (HD115)
Julie Johnson
Challenger (HD115)
Jonathan Boos
Challenger (HD113)
No ResponseNo ResponseNo Response
Rhetta Bowers
Challenger (HD113)
Rodney Anderson
Incumbent (HD105)
Terry Meza
Challenger (HD105)
Paul Workman
Incumbent (HD47)
Vikki Goodwin
Challenger (HD47)

Advancing justice - There were five bills that related directly to criminal justice reform in 2017. The ACLU of Texas supported each of those bills.

  • House Bill 351 - Relating to the administrative, civil, and criminal consequences, including fines, fees, and costs, imposed on persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain criminal offenses and to the creation of a commission to review certain penal laws of this state; increasing a criminal penalty.
  • House Bill 3130 - Relating to the establishment of an educational and vocational training pilot program for certain state jail felony defendants.
  • Senate Bill 292 - Relating to the creation of grant programs to reduce recidivism, arrest, and incarceration of individuals with mental illness.
  • Senate Bill 1849 - Relating to interactions between law enforcement and individuals detained or arrested on suspicion of the commission of criminal offenses, to the confinement, conviction, or release of those individuals, and to grants supporting populations that are more likely to interact frequently with law enforcement.
  • House Bill 674 - Relating to the suspension of a student enrolled in a grade level below grade three from public school and to a positive behavior program for public schools.

Ending discrimination - We focused on immigrants, LGBT Texans, and women seeking abortion care to determine which legislators were supportive of ending discrimination in Texas.

  • Senate Bill 4 - Relating to the enforcement by campus police departments and certain local government entities of state and federal laws governing immigration and to related duties and liability of certain persons in the criminal justice system; providing a civil penalty; creating a criminal offense.
  • Senate Bill 8 - Relating to certain prohibited abortions and the treatment and disposition of a human fetus, human fetal tissue, and embryonic and fetal tissue remains; creating a civil cause of action; imposing a civil penalty; creating criminal offenses.
  • House Bill 3859 - Relating to protection of the rights of conscience for child welfare services providers.
  • House Bill 13 - Special Session - Relating to reporting requirements by certain physicians and health care facilities for abortion complications; authorizing a civil penalty.
  • House Bill 214 - Special Session - Relating to health plan and health benefit plan coverage for elective abortion.
  • House Bill 215 - Special Session - Relating to reporting and certification requirements by certain physicians regarding certain abortions.

Protecting Liberty - Our right to vote and freedom of speech are fundamental. There were two bills passed in 2017 that will have an effect on those freedoms in Texas.

  • House Bill 89 - Relating to state contracts with and investments in companies that boycott Israel.
  • House Bill 179 - Relating to harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying of a public school student or minor and certain mental health programs for public school students; increasing a criminal penalty.

Links to the full candidate questionnaires are available to view and download below.