Patrick unswayed by House votes on bathrooms, property taxes

GOODWYN: The leadership in the Texas Senate is expected to approve the House's version of the bathroom bill, and it's anticipated that Texas Governor Greg Abbott will sign it. Wade Goodwyn, NPR News.

The amended bill, the product of a deal between conservatives who fought for broader bathroom legislation covering all public facilities and moderate Republicans who would've preferred to avoid the issue altogether, requires transgender kids attending public schools to use single-occupancy restrooms. It would prohibit transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The Texas House has given final approval to a scaled-back version of a hotly debated transgender "bathroom bill" similar to one in North Carolina that caused national uproar previous year.

The measure now heads back to the Senate, where lawmakers there have called for a stricter "bathroom bill".

"This is meant to be respectful, fair, and protective", said State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angelton, the author of the original bill. "It could be because you are transgender or you are shy". 'Some people don't want to admit that. As I said last week, it is hard for me to believe any Texas lawmaker would vote against a half billion dollars for public schools, as well as voting against children with disabilities, simply to oppose school choice. Moody said, "It takes us to separate but equal bathrooms that we know can never be equal". "Because it is clearly an effort to ostracize and to discriminate against transgender students, who are the most vulnerable people in the entire population", she said. How's that been working out?

Throughout the session, Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus have been at odds over what should be the Legislature's priorities.

The North Carolina law prompted economic boycotts and the loss of sporting events, and was later revamped in the face of criticism.

The so-called "second-chance" bill previously cleared the House and was passed Monday by the Senate, which included an amendment ensuring that Texans convicted of some crimes involving sex or violence wouldn't be eligible.

The modified bill passed 91-50. Instead, lawmakers have settled on restrictions for trans kids.

The backlash against North Carolina's HB2 has been significant, with companies such as Deutsche Bank and PayPal Holdings announcing that they would not expand operations within the state.

Additionally, the National Basketball Association's 2017 All-Star Game was also moved out of North Carolina.

"I would think it's unprecedented that this many actions by the Legislature will be contested in court", said state Rep. Chris Turner, the Democratic leader in the Texas House of Representatives. "Transgender children aren't bargaining chips for lawmakers to trade, and their safety and dignity are non-negotiable".

Since Abbott signed the sanctuary city bill, the American Civil Liberties Union and big Texas cities have pledged lawsuits, while the state in turn has pre-emptively asked a federal court to declare the law constitutional. She plans to pull him out of school if the bill becomes law.

"Transgender children fear using the restroom in gender segregated spaces far more than any child should". President Donald Trump then rescinded the order in February.

  • Salvatore Jensen