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2015 ELCA Legislative Agenda

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Legislative Agenda Text

Lutheran Legislative Agenda 2015

There are three synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Texas.  At their annual legislative conference, members from all of Texas’ ELCA synods adopt a consensus legislative agenda reflecting their priority legislative concerns.

As Lutherans, we affirm the dedication of every member of the Texas Legislature. We thank you for your service to our state and we look forward to thanking you for your good work in the 84th legislative session. We particularly look forward to thanking you for your action on the following issues, which we believe are crucial to our state’s wellbeing:

Health: Providing Reliable Access for Every Body

We call on the Legislature to provide reliable access to health care for all Texans. We urge lawmakers to correct inadequacies in our state’s health insurance system, which leaves behind many of the least of our brothers and sisters, whom we are called especially to serve. We encourage lawmakers to maximize Texas’ federal health care funding, especially through expansion of health insurance to low-income adults using federal Medicaid funds.

Public Education: Developing Gifts for the Common Good

The Legislature should affirm its constitutional obligation to provide high quality public education for the benefit of all children in our state. We oppose legislation that would shift funding designated for public education to private schools, including the establishment of any voucher programs. Current arguments for vouchers serve to highlight systemic inadequacies in Texas public education; we prefer to see these inadequacies addressed so that every Texas child can receive an excellent education, for their own benefit and the benefit of our whole state.

Immigration: Welcoming Sojourners Within Our Borders

We advocate for fair, humane policies toward immigrants in Texas. We call on lawmakers to leave off consideration of abolishing the Texas DREAM Act. We entreat Texas legislators to advocate with our Congressional delegation for federal policies that prioritize family unification, due process and hospitable accommodation of those who find themselves sojourning within our borders. 

Criminal Justice: Embodying God’s Grace

We call on legislators to guarantee fair treatment for all Texans caught up in the state’s criminal justice system. We urge legislators to remove barriers to successful reentry into the community after incarceration; in particular, we call for an end to Texas’ draconian restrictions on SNAP and other important benefits for former drug felons. We encourage lawmakers to consider the frequent co-occurrence of mental illness with criminal behavior, especially substance abuse, and to ensure those in the criminal justice system with mental health needs receive appropriate, timely and effective care.

Water: Conserving and Preserving Life-Giving Resources

We urge lawmakers to prioritize our state’s water infrastructure investments around the primary principle of fair access to clean water for all Texans. We affirm the inherent worth of all creation and call on lawmakers to protect all of Texas’ natural resources. We applaud legislators’ focus on conservation, and pledge our active support and participation in a strong state planning process to ensure a radiant water future for Texas.

For more information about Lutheran Legislative Event or this legislative agenda, contact:

Brenda Krueger


Southwestern Texas Synod

Ashley Dellagiacoma


Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod

Lissy Bethmann


North Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod