jh-siesta.com January 19, 2018

Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools

22 May 2017, 01:02 | Ignacio Ramos

Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools


Last week, Patrick threatened to force a special legislative session unless the House approved bills on two of his priorities: restricting local property tax increases and prohibiting transgender Texans from using the bathrooms of their choice.

The Texas House on Saturday responded to Lt. Gov. Patrick's threat of forcing a special session by unanimously approving property tax legislation.

The Senate gave preliminary approval Sunday night. The proposal previously cleared the state Senate, but will have to return there because the House so expanded its scope. But the negotiations are far from over, and both sides will have opportunities to torpedo the other's plans before the regular session ends on Memorial Day.

Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, tweaks to the school finance bill aimed to address as many issues as possible with the limited funds available during a tough budget year.

Only the governor can actually call a special session, but Patrick warned he was willing to hold hostage a measure known as the "sunset safety net bill", a must-pass measure to keep certain state agencies from shutting down.

"Our faith compels us to oppose anti-transgender legislation ('bathroom bills), discriminatory laws masquerading as "religious freedom", or any other attempts to treat Texas' LGBT community as second-class citizens", said the letter from Texas Believes, which according to its website is a project of the Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas. The House's version leaves that "rollback" threshold at 8 percent and only triggers an election if constituents successfully petition for a vote.

As The Texas Tribune reports, Patrick has put out a list of bills he expects the House to pass.

The House cast aside the language on the rollback elections, which didn't have broad support in the chamber, and instead attached the transparency provisions as an amendment to SB 669, a separate measure that makes changes to the appraisal protest process. Taxpayers would get a copy of that and could intervene before the rates are finally set.

But the House on Saturday adopted an amendment by Rep.

Texas's Republican-controlled Legislature has pushed closer to law a bill that allows publicly-funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay. "This should solve that problem". Conservative House members also wanted such language but were unsuccessful in getting it added.

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