The Texas Senate recently passed Senate Bill 17 in a 19-12 vote along party lines. This bill would require universities to close their diversity, equity and inclusion offices, prohibit mandatory diversity training, and restrict contracting departments from requesting diversity statements. In early April, Senate Bill 8, drafted by State Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), was approved by the Senate. However, it has not yet received a vote in the House Committee on Public Education. Chairman of the education committee, Brad Buckley, drastically modified and limited the scope of the bill in an effort to obtain the necessary votes in the committee.
Despite this, none of the six bills that Texas legislators introduced in the House of Representatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education had received a committee hearing as of Wednesday. In response, the University of Texas System suspended all new DEI initiatives and the Texas A&M University System banned the inclusion of DEI statements in hiring. Senator Borris Miles (D-Houston) expressed his concerns about the bill's potential impact. Meanwhile, Senator Creighton argued that Texas university brands were at stake and that the Legislature should address the “damage and destruction that DEI offices are causing to Texas schools.” After hours of debate, the Senate approved a bill that would greatly restrict how public universities can promote equitable access to higher education and cultivate diversity among students, faculty and staff. In addition to technology policy legislation, Senator Creighton has also reported to Texas Tech University on efforts to improve treatment for students with disabilities. His version of a bill would have eliminated the much debated Texas State Academic Readiness Evaluations (STAAR program) and replaced them with a new test. Senator Brandon Creighton has been an influential figure in technology policy legislation in Texas.
He has been a vocal advocate for bills that would limit diversity initiatives at universities and replace STAAR testing with a new system. His efforts have been met with both praise and criticism from fellow legislators. However, it is clear that his actions have had a significant impact on technology policy legislation in Texas.