Today is the last day the Texas House can give preliminary approval to new legislation. After today, we’ll be approving or rejecting bills that have been negotiated between the House and Senate.

It will make for a long day, as we debate until the midnight deadline.

What issues, you ask, will we be considering? Good question.

Measures to increase resources for our public schools? No.

Maybe proposals to decrease the number of Texans – the most in the nation – who go without health insurance? Not a chance.

How about a bill to tap the breaks on the predatory payday lending industry? You probably knew the answer to that one already.

No, we won’t be doing any of that. With Republicans having a near-super majority, here’s what qualifies for top priorities on the most crucial day of the Legislative Session:

  • A mean-spirited measure that would prevent same-sex couples from being able to serve as foster parents or adopt children.
  • The campus carry bill, which would allow guns on college and university campuses. (If you want to know more about this particularly ill-advised idea, see my correspondence with UT System Chancellor William McRaven).
  • And in the latest Republican attack on women’s reproductive rights, we’ll debate legislation that prohibits health insurance policies from covering abortion procedures.

And keep in mind the House has already passed a ridiculous open-carry gun bill, as well as legislation that makes a mockery of the judicial bypass system for teens who have difficult and often dangerous family situations at home. It’s sheer insanity.

The 52 Democrats in the House are going to work as hard as we can to derail these partisan, narrow-minded proposals. We may be dramatically out-numbered, but we’ll do everything possible to give voice to the majority of Texans who understand that the Tea Party agenda does not represent the true priorities of our state.

Wish us luck. We’re going to need it.