Texas Senate Passes Sunset Bill; Agenda For Session Is Set

It's a critical step before the Governor will allow lawmakers to start working on 19 other items: including the controversial "Bathroom Bill".

"I think people can look at that photo and see how ridiculous this bathroom bill would be", said Ashley Smith, the woman in the photo.

Smith said she took the photo with Abbott at his re-election announcement Friday.

So when she saw Abbott was coming to town, she got a ticket to the event and waited in line to meet him after the rally with the hopes of getting a photo.

The intent of Mr. Patrick was clear from the onset of the special session that he meant to have all 20 of Gov. Abbott's bills heard during the session. House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is against the measure because of economic impact, and he says it could affect vulnerable Texans.

SB6 would force Texans to use public restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender assigned at birth and not their gender identity.

Alana also touched on Texas' two USA senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and their roles on the now-failed GOP healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Abbott weighed in on the issue in April, tweeting that he supports "the principles of both the Senate & House to protect privacy in bathrooms".

The Republican governor called for a special 30-day session in which the debate over the bathroom bill is expected to continue. Moderate voices say Texas will face the same backlash North Carolina did previous year when it passed a similar but broader bill. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he won't add other hot-button items to legislators' agenda until after they keep those agencies afloat.

Though some advocate were not pleased that the North Carolina repeal went far enough, it did prevent a massive loss of revenue for the state.

Huberty filed a bill this week - mirroring one he filed during the regular session - that would inject state money into public schools and simplify the formulas for funding them.

"I did not think [shouting] would work, or that I would be heard and was more interested in the getting the photograph and not getting thrown out", Smith told the San Antonio Express-News. "Transgender people have faced harassment just for being who they are".

Smith said a bathroom bill would put already vulnerable transgender people "at significant risk".

  • Joey Payne