“And the national headlines are just beginning,” Texas Competes warned in a recent tweet.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called passage of some sort of bathroom bill one of the two most important priorities of this legislative session. Although his pet bathroom bill — with Sen. Lois Kolkhurst’s name on it as author — passed easily in the Senate, it was shunted aside in the House. So Patrick has managed, in the waning days of the session, to tack it on as an amendment to unrelated legislation and, failing that, has threatened to force a special session to get it passed.
During the current legislative session, 25,774 articles have been written about the attempts to pass a bathroom bill to discriminate against transgender Texans. Of those, 20,000 were written out of state, according to Texas Competes. Meltwater, a media tracking service, was used to generate the data. Of that, 73 percent of the coverage was negative while 2 percent was positive. In other words, the coverage generally put Texas in a bad light, especially as a bad place to do business.
The Texas House added an anti-trans amendment to a bill targeting public school students. The bill would force students to use the bathroom based on the sex on their birth certificate or to use a single-stall bathroom. That bill, with the bathroom amendment, passed the House, but the Senate rejected it for not discriminating against all trans people. They’re adding the original SB6 language, which does discriminate against all trans people, as an amendment to a House bill instead. A conference committee will meet to reconcile the two forms of discrimination. Because the amendment is attached to a bill that must pass, if the two houses come to an impasse on just how to discriminate, a special session will be called.
Because, you know, people having been peeing in Texas very long and we need our legislature to regulate it.