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“This bill violates the religious freedom of all faiths and Texans of non-faith.”

Carisa Lopez, political director for the progressive Texas Freedom Network, regarding a bill approved by state lawmakers this week that would allow public schools to use campus safety money to hire chaplains to counsel students. Supporters of the bill argue that chaplains can provide critical counseling to help prevent school shootings by addressing student mental health, amongst other issues, while critics claim the measure violates student religious freedom and allows an entryway for evangelizing. (Associated Press — May 25, 2023)

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  • Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt, regarding the lack of party support she received from the national Democrats prior to making national news for her monthslong filibustering to block legislation that would ban gender-affirming treatment for minors, which ended last week. Hunt left the Democratic party during the filibuster and registered as an Independent. (Semafor — May 19, 2023)
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, regarding education and tax cut legislation that, he claims, will fail to address the statewide teacher shortage and will benefit the highest wage earners and ultimately empty state coffers. (Associated Press — May 23, 2023)
  • Sen. Tim Scott Monday during the launch of his 2024 Republican presidential campaign with a message of hope that he hopes will cut through the negativity of the political realm. The South Carolina conservative enters as a prohibitive underdog in a GOP race dominated for now by former President Donald Trump and his nearest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (New York Daily News – May 22, 2023)
  • Julie Mabry, the owner of Pearl Bar in Houston, one of two lesbian bars in Texas, regarding her denial of insurance coverage for her business because it hosts drag shows. Mabry said that in the nearly 10 years that her bar has been in business she has never received denial due to drag. Mabry is encouraging people to contact their legislators about the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ bills. (NPR — May 19, 2023)
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