AUSTIN, May 17th, 2021 - Before the clock struck midnight on the final deadline for the Texas House to consider legislation originating from the House, Representative Sheryl Cole (Austin) successfully passed seven pieces of legislation out of the House. Furthermore, every bill that Rep. Cole presented in a committee hearing this session received a favorable vote in both the referred committee and Calendars Committee.
Rep. Cole had the following to say about her legislative successes:
"It's important for progressives at the legislature to keep playing offense, even when we have to spend so much of our time on defense. I'm proud that I was able to reach across the aisle and earn the votes needed to support our first responders, survivors of harassment, and small businesses. I am especially proud to have earned unanimous support of the House in naming a new state building the Barbara Jordan Building, honoring a noteworthy and towering figure of Texas history."
The following is the list of the legislation that Rep. Cole has advanced in the 87th legislature:
• HB 582 - Provides tuition credits for paramedics to improve their emergency preparedness and management skills. In Senate Higher Education Committee.
• HB 587 - Creates a study on the suitability of unused and underused public facilities for joint use by state and local governmental entities. In Senate Business & Commerce Committee.
• HB 818 / SB 530 - Closes a loophole in the Harassment penal code, protecting Texans from forms of harassment commonly found on social media. On its way to the Governor!
• HB 3131 - Adds some modernization to the business certificate of formation process. In Senate Business & Commerce Committee.
• HB 3134 - Allows the Comptroller to provide email notice for certain license and permits hearings (yes, this really needed a new law). In Senate Ways & Means Committee.
• HB 3135 - Some reforms and cleanups for a Municipal Management District located near the Eastern Crescent portion of Travis County. In Senate Local Government Committee.
• HCR 5 - Directs the Texas Facilities Commission to name the new state building on North Congress Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets the Barbara Jordan Building. Adopted unanimously by the House!
Beyond passing this legislation, Rep. Cole was also active in the floor fights opposing harmful conservative red meat priorities. She authored amendments or participated in the debates for HB 6 / SB 7 (voter suppression), HB 1900 (punishing cities that "defund the police"), HB 1515 / SB8 & HB 1280 (draconian abortion restrictions), and more. Had her amendments been adopted, Texans would've enjoyed expanded early voting and access to the ballot box, communities of color would not have had their utility weatherization efforts harmed due to public safety budget decisions, and victims of rape and incest would have had their right to seek an abortion protected.