The Arena

Remember The Alamo!
Posted March 06, 2017 by Nathanael Ferguson

AlamoToday we mark the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo 181 years ago. The brave men who died there did not have to; they could have escaped and survived. They chose to stay and fight because some things are worth fighting, and yes, dying for. It is because of their courage, grit, and devotion to liberty that we have the benefit of living in Texas today.

Our modern Texas remains a beacon of hope and liberty to millions, not only in other states but across the world. The Spirit of 1836 lives on and courses through the veins of every Texan, native born or otherwise. The blessings of liberty that were secured with the price of blood and which have been handed down to us through the generations for 181 years are our responsibility to guard, preserve, and pass down to the next generation.

As the 85th Legislature works this session to serve the people of this great state, we encourage members of both chambers and both parties to apply that same spirit in their approach to lawmaking. As our public servants remain committed to liberty and limited government, we continue to honor ...

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Happy Texas Independence Day
Posted March 02, 2017 by Nathanael Ferguson

On this day 181 years ago at Washington-on-the-Brazos, delegates to the Convention of 1836 declared independence for Texas. Merely declaring it was one thing – winning it was another, and no certain thing at that. Yet, win it they did for the benefit of their generation and all that followed. It is up to us to safeguard the liberty they secured at so great a cost and ensure that it lives on for another 181 years and beyond. Happy Texas Independence Day to our fellow Texans!

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Good Intentions Often Produce Bad Legislation
Posted January 19, 2017 by Nathanael Ferguson

Daniel Webster once said “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”

As we prepare to serve our state legislators by providing them with bill analysis and liberty-minded vote recommendations, we reaffirm our commitment to making recommendations rooted in principle regardless of the partisan affiliation of the bill authors, the emotional subject matter of the bills, or the good intentions of the legislature in considering the bills. There will be many bills this legislative session filed with good intentions but which grow the size and scope of government, infringe on individual liberty, create special classes, or give preferential treatment to certain groups to the exclusion of others. Regardless of how well-intentioned those bills are we will recommend legislators oppose them lest liberty be diminished upon the altar of good intentions.

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85th Texas Legislature Gavels In
Posted January 10, 2017 by Nathanael Ferguson

Today the 85th Texas Legislature gavels in. We extend our congratulations and thanks to all members, veterans and freshmen alike, swearing in today. We look forward to serving legislators and staff this session by providing high quality bill analysis coupled with liberty-oriented vote recommendations. The next 140 days will be a great adventure and we are thrilled to be part of it!

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Texas Action Seeks Legislative Director
Posted December 20, 2016 by Nathanael Ferguson

1/1/17 Update: This position has been filled. Thanks to all the wonderful applicants who showed interest in joining our team.

Texas Action has an immediate opening for a Senate Legislative Director to help train and mentor policy staff and maintain a timely work flow for our analysts to turn out high quality bill analysis and vote recommendations for members of the Texas Senate.

The Senate Legislative Director will work with our policy team to make sure that our analysis of bills before the Senate is accurate and that our vote recommendations are well-written and consistent with our Liberty Principles; Free Markets, Private Property Rights, Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, and Limited Government.

If you support these principles, have a background in public policy, are an experienced leader, and want to help equip Texas legislators to make quality voting decisions based on sound analysis, please send us your resume!

This full-time temporary position is currently open with a start date as soon as possible, preferably not later than January 3rd, and running through the end of May.

To apply send your resume, cover letter, and references to [email protected]....

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Texas Action Hiring Policy Analysts
Posted October 03, 2016 by Nathanael Ferguson

Primary_forLightBackgroundUpdate: The policy analyst positions have been filled. Thank you to the many wonderful applicants who showed interest in these positions!

Liberty-minded job seekers: Texas Action is hiring policy analysts for the 2017 session of the Texas Legislature. The positions are full time temporary positions based in Austin, Texas starting in December of this year and running through the end of May 2017. Click here for details about the positions and how to apply.

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Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!
Posted April 21, 2016 by Nathanael Ferguson

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto; the decisive battle which led to Texas independence. On that day the Texian army under the command of General Sam Houston fought Santa Anna’s army under the rallying cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!”. The Texians won the battle, captured Santa Anna, and secured independence for the Republic of Texas. May their memory always be cherished by Texans everywhere!


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Free At Last
Posted February 24, 2016 by Nathanael Ferguson

The Federalist reports today that a Texas appeals court has thrown out the felony corruption indictment against former governor Rick Perry. The indictment was widely viewed to be a frivolous political persecution rather than a legitimate prosecution of the former governor. While it is good that the case has been thrown out, it never should have been allowed to fester in the court system for nearly two years. The linked article from the Federalist sums up the stakes well:

“Had he been convicted, Perry could have faced up to 109 years in prison for the heinous crimes of explaining why he planned to veto a bill and then vetoing it.”

While legitimate cases of political corruption and abuse of power should be investigated and prosecuted, the judicial system should never be used to carry out vendettas against political opponents. It was obvious to everyone who bothered to spend even a few moments reviewing the facts that this was an obvious case of the latter.

Now that Governor Perry’s legal woes are over, who will be called to account for the frivolous prosecution which cost millions of dollars to ...

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Lawful Open Carry Starts January 1, 2016
Posted December 31, 2015 by Nathanael Ferguson

In 2015 the Texas Legislature passed a slate of new bills expanding statutory recognition of 2nd Amendment rights. Most notably, lawmakers passed open carry and campus carry into law. In a nutshell, a Concealed Handgun License is now effectively a License to Carry. License holders will be able to open carry wherever they are permitted to carry concealed, with some exceptions. The campus carry provisions allow limited concealed carry on higher education campuses, again with some exceptions.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has a helpful rundown on all of the changes to handgun carry laws here. While open carry and campus carry are perhaps the most notable changes, there are several other important changes to handgun laws in Texas which will also become law on January 1. Before carrying a handgun in 2016, concealed or otherwise, it would be wise to visit the TxDPS site for a quick refresher.

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Time And Time Again
Posted November 02, 2015 by Nathanael Ferguson

For no good reason at all we collectively changed our clocks back one hour this weekend. If you’re still adjusting to having the sun rise and set an hour earlier than you are accustomed to and wondering why in the world this clock adjustment is foisted upon us every fall and spring, welcome to the club! The Texas Legislature had an opportunity to put an end to the madness in the form of Rep. Dan Flynn’s HB 150 which we encouraged the legislature to pass. In what may have been the lengthiest bill analysis we published during the 84th Texas Legislature, our analyst Gregory Weeks made what can only be considered an iron clad case for abolishing Daylight Savings Time. Unfortunately, the legislature remained unconvinced. Perhaps Rep. Flynn will resurrect his legislation in 2017. We would most certainly support it again. Our full analysis of HB 150 is republished below for your enjoyment.

HB 150 is one of the best bills being considered by the legislature this session as daylight savings time (DST) is a highly problematic and duplicitous practice. Hopefully Texas, by following the paths taken by six other U.S. states and territories, can ...

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