Republican leaders in the Lone Star State will set a conservative agenda for the next two years when they meet for the 2022 Texas State Republican Convention in Houston this week.

James Wesolek, communication director for the Republican Party of Texas, told the Epoch Times that the convention offers Republican an opportunity to set priorities for the next legislative session.

Issues such as critical race theory, gender identity, and boarder security have not fallen off the conservative radar and have remained top-of-mind for many Republican voters.

“Almost every issue has taken on more significance,” Wesolek said.

The legislative priorities for 2020 included election integrity, religious freedom, children and gender modification (banning medical practices), abolition of abortion, constitutional carry, monument protection, school choice, and banning taxpayer-funded lobbying.

While the party’s platform going forward has yet to be established, a look at interim assignments issued by Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick this spring offer insight into top issues for state GOP leaders.

Phelan and Patrick want committee members to study the issues before the next regular Texas Legislative session begins in January 2023.

Some interim studies for Texas include: the impact of inflation, election law, critical race theory and parental rights in education, age-appropriateness of books in schools, border security, supply-chain and trucking, increasing the production of oil and gas within the state to strengthen Texas’ energy independence, and making the Texas electric grid more reliable.

A Park Policeman patrols along the River Walk as snow falls, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in San Antonio. Snow, ice and sub-freezing weather continue to wreak havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Patrick’s list also included an assignment to examine why Harris County, home of Houston, released 300 criminal defendants onto the streets without bond or review by a magistrate earlier this year and to see if it has happened elsewhere in the state.

The company in charge of the computer system in Harris County blamed a network outage for the release of the defendants. The outage prevented people from appearing before a judge within a statutory timeframe.

Patrick also assigned a review of eliminating tenure in Texas public higher education institutions. He wants to end university tenure to stop critical race theory teachings after the UT-Austin Faculty Council reaffirmed the right of instructors to teach about racial justice and critical race theory in the classroom.

Epoch Times Photo
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a Make America Great Again rally in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 22, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

This year’s convention will be held June 16-18 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Besides defining conservative issues, the party chair and vice chair will be elected at the convention. Committees will begin meeting early next week on platform issues.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is a significant convention sponsor and will appear at the convention reception with the first lady on June 16.

In 2020, the event was held virtually. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, told city lawyers to terminate the convention contract. He believed the three-day event could not be held safely due to COVID-19.

The Republicans sued, alleging breach of contract. Courts refused to force Houston, hard hit by the pandemic, to let the party stick to its original plans of holding a large indoor gathering.

Darlene McCormick Sanchez


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