Religious Freedom Bill, SB 17, Passes First Hurdle on Senate Floor
The Texas State Senate voted 19-12 today, a bipartisan vote, on the second reading of SB 17 to protect religious freedom for occupational license holders.
Nicole Hudgens, Senior Policy Analyst for Texas Values Action said “No Texas professional should fear the government taking away their livelihood because of their faith. We applaud Senator Charles Perry for his work to protect religious freedom for Texas license holders.”
The Texas Professionals Protection Act, SB 17, ensures the government cannot punish a licensed professional by revoking or denying a license or certificate because of a person’s sincerely held religious belief or because of their membership in a religious organization. SB 17 is a targeted approach to protect religious freedom, similar to the Pastor Protection Act and the Freedom to Serve Children Act. The bill has passed with bipartisan support in Texas Senate State Affairs Committee and on second reading.
The bill specifically amends the Texas Occupations Code to prohibit the state government from adopting any rule, regulation, policy, or penalty that unreasonably limits or burdens a person’s sincerely held religious belief, freedom of speech, or freedom of association.
SB 17 is supported by Texas Values Action, Texas Right to Life, Texas Pastor Council, First Liberty Institute, Republican Party of Texas, numerous lawyers, Christian counselors, and other groups and faith leaders.
About Texas Values Action
Texas Values Action is the advocacy and legislative action arm of Texas Values. Texas Values is the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvaluesaction.org.