FAQs for HB 2899 Committee Hearing

The House of Representatives Committee on State Affairs will hear witness testimony on the Committee Substitute to HB 2899 (CSHB 2899), a proposed House alternative to the SB6 bathroom bill, on Wednesday, April 19th, starting in the afternoon in the John H. Reagan Office Building Room JHR 140 in the Capitol complex.

Read the proposed Committee Substitute to HB 2899 (CSHB 2899) here.

To be clear, this bill being promoted as an alternative to SB 6 by Texas lawmakers is unacceptable. CSHB 2899 is discriminatory and will leave thousands of transgender Texans without protections and vulnerable to harassment and violence.  

There are many ways to voice your opposition to CSHB 2899.  The important ways are through social media, registering your opposition to the bill, calling your representative, and testifying at the public hearing. For social media, we ask throughout the day that you use #StopHB2899 and #YallMeansAll when posting to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media app in order to create more advocacy noise. You can find who represents you and how to reach them HERE. The hearing is anticipated to be late in the afternoon and could last into the evening. If you can make it to the Capitol but cannot stay late, we strongly encourage you to register your opposition to CSHB 2899. Public testimony requires registration, as well. Please read these instructions for more information:

Registering to Oppose CSHB 2899

  • Parking. Free 2-hour parking can be found in the Capitol’s visitors parking garage on 13th and San Jacinto. Street parking and other garages are around the Capitol.
  • Questions. If you have questions on the day of the hearing, look for someone in a gray T-shirt with a name tag saying “Equality Coalition Staffer”.
  • Registering at kiosks. Several kiosks for registering can be found near the hearing floor and around the Capitol. When registering, these devices will prompt you to provide basic information such as name and address, what entity you’re representing (either yourself or an organization), your position on the bill (oppose CSHB 2899), and whether you plan to testify or only submit a written testimony. You do not have to have a written testimony in order to register in opposition to CSHB 2899. Representatives from Equality Texas will be there the day of to help you find these kiosks, however, kiosks can also be found using Capitol maps. For a more extensive guide, check out this video.
  • Registering on a smartphone or wifi-enabled device. In order to register using your smartphone or wifi-enabled device, you must be connected to the Capitol’s wifi. When you have connection to the wifi, use this website in order to complete registration. After you are redirected to the website, open your browser’s settings and click “Request Desktop Site” to properly view all options for registering. If you do not use the desktop site you will not be able to register via your smartphone. The same information needed for kiosk registration is required via mobile device. (Note: the website provided will only work IF you are connected to Capitol wifi.)

Before Registering to Testify Against CSHB 2899

  • Know the who and where for committee hearings. The CSHB 2899 hearing is with the House State Affairs Committee. The hearing begins in the afternoon upon adjournment of House in the John H. Reagan Office Building room JHR 140.
  • Bring a smartphone or wifi-enabled device, charged. You may be able to register using a wifi-enabled device, so bring a fully-charged device the day of and portable chargers if you have them.
  • Bring at least 20 copies of your written testimony. If you plan to supply a written testimony, you must give 20 copies of your written testimony to the clerk. Print these copies, and extra, before coming to the Capitol. (Note: You do not have to have a written testimony in order to register in opposition to CSHB 2899 or to testify.)

The Day of Committee Hearing

  • Questions. If you have questions on the day of the hearing, look for someone in a gray T-shirt with a name tag saying “Equality Coalition Staffer”.
  • Parking. Free 2-hour parking can be found in the Capitol’s visitors parking garage on 13th and San Jacinto. Street parking and other garages are around the Capitol.
  • Registering at kiosks. Several kiosks for registering can be found near the hearing floor and around the Capitol. When registering, these devices will prompt you to provide basic information such as name and address, what entity you’re representing (either yourself or an organization), your position on the bill (oppose CSHB 2899), and whether you plan to testify or only submit a written testimony. Representatives from Equality Texas will be there the day of to help you find these kiosks, however, kiosks can also be found using Capitol maps. For a more extensive guide, check out this video.
  • Registering on a smartphone or wifi-enabled device. In order to register using your smartphone or wifi-enabled device, you must be connected to the Capitol’s wifi. When you have connection to the wifi, use this website in order to complete registration. After you are redirected to the website, open your browser’s settings and click “Request Desktop Site” to properly view all options for registering. If you do not use the desktop site you will not be able to register via your smartphone. The same information needed for kiosk registration is required via mobile device. (Note: the website provided will only work IF you are connected to Capitol wifi.)

Testifying

  • Testifying is not required. If you only want to register in opposition to the bill, that is all you need to do. Testifying is an option for every citizen that wants to speak before the committee.
  • Typical Introduction. A standard introduction of your testimony includes “Madam Chair, and members of the committee, my name is Meryl Streep from Austin and I’m here to testify in opposition to CSHB 2899.”
  • Don’t be deterred. The hearing will start with the author of the bill, Rep. Simmons, explaining his bill. This will be followed by questions for the author from committee members. Next, the committee will hear testimony from “invited” witnesses. It may be an hour of more before the committee begins to hear public testimony. Committee members may interrupt you to ask questions. If so, simply answer their questions to the best of your ability and keep pressing forward. If you did not get through your entire testimony, a written testimony, if supplied, can be archived in full.  The hearing will likely extend into the night and possibly into Thursday morning.
  • Back up statistical dataAny statistical data provided is strengthened by supplying the company or agency that led the research. Make sure to cite your sources.

Thank you for contributing to the fight for equality for all Texans. Please don’t forget to use #StopHB2899 and #YallMeansAll when posting to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media app!

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