State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer believes members of the US Senate should work as long as it takes to pass two laws.
DALLAS – State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer believes members of the United States Senate should work as long as it takes to pass two laws, even if that means working on vacation.
The San Antonio Democrat recently sent a letter to Senate leaders asking them to remain in session until the John R. Lewis Advancement of Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act are enacted .
More than 200 other state lawmakers from 41 different states and Guam also signed the letter.
“It’s a very fluid conversation. And very recently, in the last few days, we’ve all realized that Build Back Better is now sort of sidelined as Senator Manchin and the White House negotiate the finer points. And so now you see an opportunity to maybe bring voting rights back to the fore, ”Martinez Fischer said on Inside Texas Politics.
John R. Lewis’s Advancement of Voting Rights Act and Freedom to Vote Act would strengthen voting rights and overhaul the country’s electoral systems. The American House has already passed both measures.
Democrats argue they are needed to protect voters after Republicans changed election laws in many states, which they say makes voting more difficult for some people, especially minorities. In his letter, Martinez Fischer says that 19 states have passed 33 laws this year alone that restrict access to the ballot.
After posting the letter, Martinez Fischer says he and a few colleagues traveled to Washington, DC to again lobby national lawmakers in person, visiting some senators and other voting rights groups.
“What I’m starting to realize is that things are moving very, very slowly in Washington,” said Martinez Fischer. “I know the indoor game in Austin. I legislate behind the scenes. And I know that sometimes it takes a long time. But in Washington, they have this manana mentality where everything is going to be done tomorrow.
Martinez Fischer says many of the people he meets are expressing concern over what’s going on in Texas after talking about how high the barriers are to voting.
And the Democrat says that when his group recently visited West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a fellow Democrat, they made it clear that voting in Texas is very different from voting in West Virginia.
“In West Virginia, if you’re a shift worker, if you’re a medic or a firefighter, you can vote by mail. We don’t do that in Texas. In West Virginia, if you’re worried about standing in line at the polls because of COVID, you can vote by mail. You can’t do that in Texas. In West Virginia, if you have a DWI and are in the county jail, you can vote by mail. You can’t do that in Texas, ”Martinez Fischer said.
Martinez Fischer also filed one of the first lawsuits challenging the state’s new redistribution maps. His lawsuit specifically targets the lines drawn for Congressional District 35, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, and argues that the cards violate voting rights law and discriminate against Latino voters.
For Martinez Fischer, this is all part of a global battle to protect voting rights. And he says he’s not alone.
“Texas Democrats have been very bold on this issue. We are at the center of the conversation across the country. “
Letter from Martinez Fischer to Senate leaders: 2021.12.14-State-Lawmaker-Letter-to-Senate-Leadership_Delay-the-Recess.pdf (dfadcoalition.org)
Copy of Martinez Fischer’s trial:  TMF v Abbott – Original complaint.pdf – Google Drive
Representative Trey Martinez Fischer: Texas House of Representatives: Representative Martinez Fischer, Trey