Bathroom Bill Law Not A Priority For Texas Speaker Of The House
The 85th Texas Legislative Session doesn't begin until January 10th, and already we are seeing some differences of opinion from Republican leaders on what is and what is not a priority for the upcoming legislature.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick released a list of legislative priorities for the session. Included in that list was a North Carolina style "bathroom bill". Patrick along with other lawmakers have called for legislation that would require transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate.
During an interview on Tuesday with the Texas Tribune, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus
commented on the issue and said that he didn't believe it was of most urgent concern. when asked if a bathroom bill was a priority, Straus said "it isn't". Straus also said that it didn't mean the House would feel differently than he did.
Straus seemed concerned that businesses could leave Texas if such legislation was passed. According to the Dallas Morning News, Straus said he didn't want to do anything that could cause a huge economic loss.
"We don't want to do anything that jeopardizes that," Straus said, referring to major events the state risks losing, including San Antonio hosting the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2018. "I know the lieutenant governor is very enthusiastic about this. Let him run with it. We'll see what the House wants to do."
This will be an issue to keep an eye on as Republican lawmakers draw lines in the sand over what is and what is not a priority beginning in January.