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Relating to discrimination by a state agency against an applicant
for or holder of an occupational license.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 17 would prohibit state agencies from adopting rules or policies that would limit an applicant's ability to obtain, maintain or renew a license based on a sincerely held religious belief or that would burden an applicant's freedom of speech, or free exercise of or membership of any religion. This would not apply to the licensing of peace officers by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and could not be used to allow a license holder to refuse to provide a medical service necessary to prevent death or imminent serious bodily injury.
Texas Action supports SB 17 for promoting the principles of limited government, individual liberty and free markets. This bill would help to ensure that state agencies do not discriminate against the First Amendment rights of license applicants or holders, and that the state does not construct additional barriers to entry into the workforce.