Abbott says he’ll work with House, Senate on bathroom bill

Apr 18, 2017 by

AUSTIN — Calling it “a thoughtful proposal,” Gov. Greg Abbott praised a House bill that would prohibit cities, counties and public school districts from enforcing non-discrimination ordinances when they involve multi-occupancy restrooms or locker rooms.

He promised to work with House and Senate leaders on bathroom-related legislation, a key measure championed by social conservatives in the legislature this session.

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“I applaud the House and Senate for tackling an issue that is of growing concern to parents and communities across Texas who are now looking to the Legislature for solutions,” he said. “Rep. Simmons is offering a thoughtful proposal to make sure our children maintain privacy in our school bathrooms and locker rooms. As the debate on this issue continues, I will work with the House and Senate to ensure we find a solution and ultimately get a bill to my desk that I will sign into law.”

Later Tuesday, Abbott tweeted, “I support the principles of both the Senate & House to protect privacy in bathrooms. We will work to get a bill to my desk.”

House Bill 2899, by Republican Rep. Ron Simmons of Carrollton, was significantly scaled back from an earlier version that would have nullified all local non-discrimination measures across Texas that did not conform to the state’s standards. Current Texas law includes only race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin and age as protected classes.

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Simmons’s bill is set for a public hearing Wednesday in the House State Affairs Committee.

Until now, the governor had remained silent on the fight over bathroom-related legislation, which has prompted heated back and forth between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Senate’s leader who supports a broader approach, and House Speaker Joe Straus, who has said he opposes any bill that would harm the Texas economy.

In March, the Senate approved its so-called “bathroom bill” that would force transgender Texans to use restrooms and other facilities at public colleges and government buildings that match their “biological sex” as designated on their birth certificate.

Source: Abbott says he’ll work with House, Senate on bathroom bill – Houston Chronicle

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