Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus said today (Friday, May 26) that he and the House members have compromised enough when it comes to anti-transgender bathroom bills, referring to the amendment to Sen. Larry Taylor’s SB 2078 that the House approved last Sunday. Straus said that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and his right-wing minions in the state Senate can take it or leave, because the Legislature has already spent way too much time wrangling over where people can pee.
Instead, Straus said, lawmakers should be paying attention to funding public schools and bolstering mental health services.
According to Quorum Report, Straus said today he WILL NOT appoint conferees on the latest bathroom bill.
Gov. Greg Abbott has urged lawmakers to reach a compromise, and Patrick has threatened to force a special session if he doesn’t get his way.
According to a Dallas Voice source in Austin, “Patrick is unraveling. He can only grandstand so much. The Senate has played its last cards. This is in Abbott’s hands and he is, of course, going to fuck up.
“This is unreal,” the source said.
The House passed the SB 2078 amendment, offered by Rep. Chris Paddie and which would require schools to have single-stall restrooms available for trans students who do not want to use multi-stall bathrooms, and Straus said today that schools had approved the amendment, saying it would allow trans students to use the facilities matching their gender identity. But Taylor said the amendment didn’t go far enough and when the amended bill ended up back in the Senate, he said he wouldn’t allow it to go through with the amendment.
Instead, the Senate tacked Sen. Lois Kolkhurt’s SB 6 — which would restrict bathroom use in schools and government buildings and rescind local nondiscrimination ordinances — onto a “catchall” bill by Rep. Garnet Coleman. Coleman has, in turn, said he will pull his bill rather than allow it thru with SB 6 attached.
Patrick is slated to speak to the press at 7:30. Stay tuned for updates.