Texas State Senator Ken Paxton

This past Monday marked the first day of the second 30-day special session that Governor Rick Perry has called in order to take up unfinished business from the first special session. This week's Senate business consisted of referring bills to committees and committee hearings. The Senate Criminal Justice and Finance committees met and passed the juvenile justice and transportation funding legislation, respectively. On Tuesday the House State Affairs committee met to hear public testimony regarding HB 2, the legislation to protect the rights of unborn children and ensure that women are given the highest standard of health care during abortion procedures. HB 2 was passed out of committee for consideration by the full House and its Senate companion, SB 1, has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services committee.

Both the Senate and the House now stand in recess until Tuesday, July 9.

In the midst of these important legislative matters, Texas citizens should keep in mind how blessed we are as Texans and Americans. As you gather with your families this holiday and weekend, remember those who fought and are still fighting to keep our nation free, and pause to consider the individual liberties and freedoms we are so blessed to have.

On the 4th of July in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom from England as a sovereign nation. The Declaration of Independence is far more than just a piece of paper, but our nation's foundational expression of its commitment to independence and to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

If you have not had an opportunity to pause and reflect on these words that shaped history, I would encourage you do to so this Independence Day. To review the text of the Declaration of Independence click here.

Ken Paxton: Official site | State Senate Page