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To: Interested Parties

From: Unlocking America’s Future

RE: Texas Republicans Release Extreme and Unpopular Party Platform 

Date: May 30, 2024

Texas Republicans recently adopted a new party platform, detailing a series of extreme policies that a majority of Texans oppose, according to new polling from Unlocking America’s Future. The 50 page GOP platform advocates for several extreme policies including:

  • Requiring the Bible to be taught in public schools;
  • Abolishing abortion;
  • Subjecting women who receive an abortion to homicide charges, a death penalty offense in Texas;
  • Providing handgun safety training for all educators; and
  • Banning ESG

New polling shows these policies are widely rejected by the Texas electorate with 65% of Texans saying they are concerned about right-wing extremism in Texas, and 72% of voters saying, “in recent years Texas leaders have become less focused on fixing real problems and more focused on pushing an extreme conservative agenda.” Additionally…

  • 66% of Texans oppose criminalizing abortion after 6 weeks.
  • 59% of Texans oppose recently passed permitless carry laws allowing anyone to carry a handgun without training.
  • 83% of Texans say it is not the role of government to tell private financial institutions how to invest their customers’ money.

Following the primary runoffs in Texas, several moderate Republicans made it through unscathed, including two clear victories for the U.S. House of Representatives: Reps. Tony Gonzalez (TX-34) and Chris Goldman (TX-12). On the state level, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-12) faced arguably the toughest electoral challenge after he backed Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment, but Phelan maintained his seat with a 366 vote margin against a well-funded opponent backed by Donald Trump. 

These results demonstrate that the Party’s extreme agenda bears political consequences. 

Below is a breakdown of the context behind Tuesday’s election in Texas and what it means for the state’s and America’s future. 

Over the last decade, greedy billionaires, well-funded advocacy groups, and self-serving politicians have mobilized in Texas to push extreme laws that line their own pockets at the expense of taxpayers.

  • New research from the Texas Association of Business shows the state’s recent anti-responsible investing laws have cost the state nearly $700 million in lost economic activity and 3,000 lost full-time jobs.
  • Over the next 30 years, anti-responsible investing laws in Texas have the potential to cost taxpayers $22 billion in higher interest rates and fees.
  • Anti-abortion laws in Texas create an average economic loss of over $23 billion due to labor force reductions, lower earning levels, increased turnover, and increased time off from work among women in the private sector.
  • While Texas lawmakers prop up the firearm industry with lax laws and incentives, taxpayers lose out on $53.1 billion every year due to gun violence costs. 
  • Research shows a direct connection between extreme, restrictive policies and decreased student outcomes, child health insurance coverage, and mental healthcare access, among other well-being metrics. 

The extreme, self-serving political regime in Texas is not an isolated phenomenon – Republican-led states across the country are following in Texas’ footsteps, risking the economy, America’s position on the global stage, and Americans trying to save for retirement. 

  • Oklahoma municipalities incurred an estimated $184.7 million in additional expenses in the first 17 months of implementation of the state’s anti-ESG law, the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act (EDEA).
  • The Kansas State Division of the Budget projected reduced returns of $3.6 billion over 10 years for the Kansas Public Retirement System if anti-ESG investment restrictions were adopted. 
  • The Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System estimated that they could lose $30 million to $40 million per year due to an anti-ESG bill that would require the State Treasurer and public entities to divest assets from certain institutions that use ESG-related metrics. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System estimated that the system could lose an additional $7 million or more per year as a result of the legislation. 
  • An analysis by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found that Texas municipalities will be paying $300 million to $500 million in additional interest because of the state’s anti-ESG law – and that’s just on the $31.8 billion borrowed in the first eight months after the law went into effect.   
  • An analysis by the economics consulting firm ESI for the Sunrise Project found that taxpayers in six states — Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Missouri — could be on the hook for up to $700 million in excess interest payments if restrictions on sustainable investing are implemented.