Just when you thought it was over you find out it’s not. The 85th legislative session in Texas is supposed to end on Wednesday, May 31st but that may not happen. Today the Texas Senate decided to not move forward with the amended bill SB 2708 sent back from the House. The original SB 2708 was a bill on “multi-hazard emergency operations plans” which originally pertained to the regulation of school districts’ emergency response plans in cases of natural disasters, active shooters and other “dangerous scenarios”.
The Texas House added an amendment that required school districts to provide single-occupancy bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities for students who don’t want to use the ones associated with their “biological sex.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick was not happy with this “watered down” bill that he stated had “ambiguous language” that didn’t “appear to do much.” He sent a message to the Senate today asking that this bill not be passed. Because of the Senate refusing this amendment a conference committee will have to be called. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus will have to appoint representatives from both chambers to try to reach a compromise on this “Answer Looking for a Problem” that has put the two presiding officers at odds throughout the legislative session.
So here we are on hold once again. A Governor and Lt. Governor who will not be satisfied until they have forced the legislature to pass a bill that not only discriminates against transgender students but all LGBTQ Texans. I promise you Speaker Joe Straus of the Texas House will not go down without a fight. As Straus stated on May 17th “My experience in the House is that the House doesn’t take to threats terribly well. I’m not ready to even talk about a special session. I’m ready to talk about working on one another’s priorities, trying to come together the way the system was built to be.” Straus will not be bullied and will stand up to Patricks strong arm tactics and tyranny.
Will Texas pass a “Bathroom Bill”? I can’t know for sure but under this current discriminatory administration pushing religious exemption and anti-LGBTQ bills I will be watching. I’ve bookmarked the Texas Senate’s live video (link and the live feed for the House (link) for those who want to see how this plays out. They are actually live right now as I write this at 11:30 p.m. central time in Austin. If you live in Texas be sure to call Governor Abbott at 512-463-2000 and tell him “No Bathroom Bills in Texas” and make your voices heard. The Resistance is here and we must speak out now!