Facing defiance, GOP leaders press ahead on health bill

Facing defiance, GOP leaders press ahead on health bill

Facing defiance, GOP leaders press ahead on health bill

After holding a almost 5-hour debate, the Texas Senate on Tuesday gave initial approve of a bill that seeks to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in many buildings.

The pre-emption bill ultimately failed tonight on a party-line vote, with four Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voting for advancing the bill, and five Democratic members casting "no" votes. - Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, sponsor of the Senate "bathroom bill". A final Senate vote could come as early as Wednesday.

"[The bill] is a way to slow the growth of government and a way to slow the growth of tax bills", said state Sen. "And I don't want to see the House majority put at risk on a bill that is not going to pass the Senate". Now that the bathroom bill has tentatively passed, he worries that could change.

Although proponents of the measure say it's needed for privacy in Texas, the state's two largest law enforcement organizations - the Texas Municipal Police Association and the Combined Law Enforcement Agencies of Texas - have said there's no need for SB6.

"I think the people of Texas expect boundaries between genders", said the bill's author, Sen.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made SB 6 one of his top legislative priorities for 2017, but leaders in the House have expressed much less interest in the measure.

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Democrat Juan Hinojosa asked how the state would enforce the law, asking who would check people's birth certificate at restroom doors.

Under Senate Bill 4, the state would be able to deny grant money to cities, counties and college campuses that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration laws.

"There needs to certainly be deliberation and something that ameliorates people's concerns", Cassidy said.

Still, these arguments were not enough to sway the Senate in Texas. House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, has said he is "not a fan" of the bill and would rather focus on other issues.

Last week the Senate Committee on State Affairs had a hearing on SB 6 that lasted several hours. "We call on the members of the Texas House to now consider the merits of the Texas Privacy Act, which respects private business while making it clear that boys do not belong in the girls' room in our public schools", he said in a statement Tuesday.

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