House Bill 900 Hurts Small Business
Attention, Texas neighbors: We want to bring your attention to House Bill 900 (HB900), a law that we are urgently opposed to.
In a nutshell, HB900 would slow down school book purchases, which will negatively affect the business of local bookstores like us — and the local economy.
Read more on why we oppose House Bill 900 below, and please join us in contacting your state lawmakers to voice your opposition.
How You Can Help
1. Contact your state lawmakers to voice your opposition using this quick, easy resource: https://www.bookweb.org/advocacy?vvsrc=%2fCampaigns%2f103635%2fRespond
2. Please reach out to SENATORS on the Education Committee (specifically Republicans) about why book vendors should be removed from HB900 using the contact information below. Focus your messaging on how it will hurt small business — don't get into the weeds regarding values or programs.
CHAIR: Brandon Creighton: firstname.lastname@example.org
VICE-CHAIR: Donna Campbell: email@example.com
Paul Bettencourt: Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Birdwell: email@example.com
Pete Flores: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil King: email@example.com
Morgan LaMantia: firstname.lastname@example.org
José Menéndez: email@example.com
Mayes Middleton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tan Parker: email@example.com
Angela Paxton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Springer: email@example.com
Royce West: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also reach out to:
Speaker Dade Phelan: email@example.com
Lt Gov. Patrick: https://www.ltgov.texas.gov/contact/
Rep. Patterson: firstname.lastname@example.org
More Information on HB900
As written, HB900 is impractical and would be nearly impossible to implement. Here's why:
1. It could force neighborhood bookstores like ours to stop serving educators in their communities, because it will impose unrealistic requirements on book sales. House Bill 900 makes bookstores responsible for knowing about and rating *any book ever purchased from us* that may still be in circulation at any public school. We do not have records of purchases made by teachers and librarians who have come into the bookstore or attended a festival or author event and purchased a book for their school that might still be in circulation.
This aspect of the bill is simply impossible to fulfill.
2. Staff members at bookstores like ours cannot individually read, review, and rate every book in print that an educator might reach out to us about ordering. This is not how bookstores operate their businesses and is not a realistic expectation of a book vendor.
The task to make decisions about the books in circulation at school libraries falls at the local school level, where librarians and teachers are trained and certified to do this.
3. Individual book vendors should not be involved in deciding which materials a school library can and cannot carry. This could lead to different vendors rating books differently and could put our business on the line should we make the ‘wrong’ decision.
4. We trust trained and certified educators and librarians to make informed decisions and choose to buy books that serve their student body, work with their individual school’s curriculum goals, and adhere to their school district's guidelines and policies.
For these reasons, we urgently oppose House Bill 900, and we hope you will join us in doing the same.
Easily contact your state lawmakers using this resource: https://www.bookweb.org/advocacy?vvsrc=%2fCampaigns%2f103635%2fRespond
Thank you for your support, Texas neighbors.