State Rep. Ron Reynolds at a Nov. 20, 2017 event in Missouri City, TX. Photo by Aswad Walker.

With the 2021 Texas Legislative Session drawing to an end State Rep. Ron Reynolds (District 27) is on a mission to let Texans know exactly which state elected officials are working in their best interests and which ones aren’t.

State Rep. Ron Reynolds, seen here standing between former Essence chief Susan Taylor and Reynolds’ wife Dr. Jonita Reynolds at a Dec. 26, 2019 Houston-area event.

Reynolds has taken the initiative to inform the public of these realities, not with antagonizing rhetoric to stir up his base, but rather with the actual receipts to back up his claims.

Reynolds’ emails include listings of specific bills championed by various Texas legislators, listing the bills’ authors, focus and reasons behind the bills’ non-passage.

Speaking to his email initiative, Reynolds stated, “Every couple of days we will highlight bills that would have made a definite impact on the lives of Texans as a whole. Although we were able to get a few key bills passed, Republicans made sure we missed the mark on our more imperative goals.”

Reynolds said bail reform, police reform, the ‘Crown Act” and more were potentially game-changing legislation that GOP members effectively killed.

“Republicans made sure Texans wouldn’t have bail bond reform as HB2077 never stood a chance in committee. It’s 2021 and Texans still have to worry and stress about getting arrested for small amounts of marijuana because HB169 didn’t survive committee vote. Criminal Justice didn’t matter much either as HB137 got snagged in Committee. Enhanced training for Police officers also wasn’t a priority, as HB831 was ‘dead on arrival,’” said Reynolds.

California Governor Gavin Newsom seen here in 2019 signing into law the nation’s first ban on discrimination of natural hair. This year, the Texas Legislature refused to even bring such legislation to the floor for debate. Photo courtesy CBS News.

Reynolds added that House Republicans didn’t even consider bringing the “Crown Act” (the act that would prohibit employers from criminalizing Black hair) on the House Floor for debate.

To the question of why this information campaign, Reynolds stated, “It’s time for all of us to make a lot more noise about the aforementioned issues. The Republicans are absolutely wrong on this!”

Here is a sampling of those missed opportunities:

BILLAUTHORRELATING TO…
HB 60Rep. Ron ReynoldsMinimum wage increase
HB 87Rep. Ron ReynoldsRequiring certain employers to provide paid sick leave to employees; providing administrative and civil penalties
HB 104Rep. Ron ReynoldsElectronic voter registration
HB 110Rep. Ron ReynoldsRequirements to vote, including presenting proof of identification
HB 120Rep. Ron ReynoldsAllowing straight-party voting
HB 123Rep. Jasmine CrockettPrescribing low-THC cannabis under the Texas Compassionate Use Program
HB 137Rep. Senfronia ThompsonThe authority of a court to terminate the sentence of certain persons released on parole
HB 169Rep. Senfronia ThompsonThe criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of Penalty Group 1 controlled substances and marijuana
HB 367Rep. Carl Sherman Sr.The prosecution and reporting of certain offenses committed because of bias of prejudice; creating a criminal offense
HB 392Rep. Rhetta BowersDiscrimination on the basis of hair texture or protective hairstyle associated with race
HB 595Rep. Carl Sherman Sr.Qualifications and registration of certain voters convicted of a felony
HB 716Rep. Gervin-HawkinsA study on mold contamination in housing developments supported by financial assistance administered by the Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs
HB 1178Rep. Jasmine CrockettRemoving criminal penalties for the possession of drug paraphernalia under the Texas Controlled Substances Act
HB 1944Rep. Jasmine CrockettAutomatic expunction of arrest records and files for certain persons who are tried for an offense and subsequently acquitted
HB 2077Rep. Ron ReynoldsBail proceedings and related duties of a magistrate in a criminal case
HB 2542Rep. Toni RoseConsidering criminal history in employment decisions; providing an administrative penalty
HB 346Rep. Toni RoseProhibiting the use of certain techniques when using force to make an arrest of search
HB 140Rep. Toni RoseApplicability of the death penalty to a capital offense committed by a person with severe mental illness
HB 45Rep. Jarvis JohnsonEligibility of certain criminal defendants for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information
HB 1481Rep. Jarvis JohnsonContracts to provide appropriate residential housing to students in extended foster care who enroll at public institutions of higher education
HB 584Rep. Sheryl ColeAutomatic voter registration on issuance or change of a driver’s license or identification card by the Department of Public Safety