Texas House Bill 1776
As of March 12, 2001, the Texas House Bill, HB 2070 "Teach Freedom Act" had the support of 30 signers of a possible 150 in the Texas legislature. This bill, authored and filed by Representative Rick Green would make the teaching of the Declaration of Independence and the other founding documents mandatory (grades K-12) statewide for the week surrounding Sept. 25th (Celebrate Freedom Week).
A concurrent bill, HB 174 was co-authored by Rep. Green which would make the daily recitation of the 56 word formulation of the Declaration Of Independence, stretching from "We hold these truths...." to "from the consent of the governed" mandatory for the week of Sept 25th as well. This bill, too had the support of 30 or so members of the legislature.
A cooperative media effort led by Greg Tolen of Rep. Green's office and Michael Murphy of the Declaration Alliance began. Texas media, as well as national media were notified of the joint endorsement of the bill by Ambassador Alan Keyes and Declaration Alliance. An upcoming press conference & appearance on March 14th was also announced.
The bills were brought to the House Committee floor on Tuesday, March 13th by Rep. Green. No vocal opposition was made to the bills, and an appeal was made by the Representative to allow the bills to be conjoined and re-submitted as HB 1776. The language in the bill would be changed to provide the State Board of Educators with the choice of what supplemental text to use for Declaration instruction statewide.
The appeal of Representative Green on the committee floor was followed by the impassioned plea of a member of the State Board of Educators in support of the bill. Further, Rep. Green spoke with a number of committee members after the hearing, who expressed not only their interest in the bill, but their confidence that it would pass through committee. As a result, 10 new members of the house joined the 30 strong in support of the bill.
On March 14th, a press conference was held at the State Capitol by Representative Green with Ambassador Alan Keyes as his guest. Both men spoke on the importance of this new bill before the house. Camera crews from the Austin FOX affiliate and local News Austin 8 were on hand to broadcast the conference.
On June 7th 2001, through a great lobbying effort led by Representative Rick Green, the supporting members of the Texas House and Senate, and Declaration Alliance, Texas House Bill 1776 passed both House and Senate and was signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry.
For more information, go to www.torchoffreedom.org/1776