Deadlocked over the Bathroom Bill

Joanna Estrada
June 4, 2017

It now goes to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature. Dan Patrick had given them in the home stretch. But because of senators' concerns about problematic wording, which they did not detail, Senate leaders said they took no further action.

Texas state lawmakers only convene every-other year, meaning they won't meet again until 2019 — unless Abbott calls a 30-day special session.

Tensions between the chambers have spiked.

"The only way to fix this is in a special session", Taylor said.

Sen. Robert Karnes, R-Upshur, the lead architect of the plan, called fiscal notes from the state Department of Revenue projecting that the plan will result in revenue shortfalls each year after 2017-18 budget year as being "very pessimistic".

Talk of a special session has consumed the Legislature in recent days, especially following Patrick's ultimatum to the House.

"We can't continue to treat this issue like a political football and punting it down the field", Creighton said.

"If the Senate wants to pass a 'bathroom bill, ' it can concur with the bill we passed earlier week", Straus told reporters during a Friday news conference.

Despite the tremendous economic repercussions of North Carolina's transphobic "bathroom bill", Texas is doing its best to push a version of that legislation forward.

Hours after Abbott's comments Thursday, the House Freedom Caucus, a group of 12 conservative lawmakers, issued a statement saying it "strongly agrees" with the governor on property taxes and the bathroom issue.

Patrick's latest public denunciation of Straus and the House leadership came minutes after the entire Senate met behind closed doors to discuss the status of the sunset bill and whether the Senate could so anything to approve it.

The Senate rejected that and asked for a conference committee on the issue - which Straus has now declined.

Abbott has harbored an aversion to special sessions, arguing that taxpayers expect their representatives to get their work done on time.

The sponsors want to teach students what's expected of them when interacting with police.

While Patrick is holding onto a significant bargaining chip, only Gov. Greg Abbott can call a special session. "But it's clear this needs to be fixed".

At one point, Karnes drew gasps when he suggested the state could deal with potential cuts in federal Medicaid funding by not paying for "transgender surgeries". Straus flatly responded that he considered that to be 80 co-authors.

However, Fortune has published an analysis that shows how Texas has a lot to lose if the state's GOP passes this bathroom bill.

On Sunday, House members of the Sunset Commission pointed to the Senate's decision to strip a key amendment from Senate Bill 1929 that would have saved some state agencies from closing their doors. Each chamber points to the other.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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