Last week, the Texas Lege began their $1 million special session, ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott.
One of the main reasons why the session was called is because Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a must-pass bill involving the reauthorization of the Texas medical board hostage. Now with the special session called for, 19 bills have been set on the agenda, with three targeting women’s healthcare and another reviving the controversial, so-called bathroom bill.
The bill, if passed, will essentially ban transgender children and adults from using their preferred bathrooms in public schools, universities and government buildings in Texas. It would also override any non-discrimination laws Texas municipalities may have. Patrick claims the bill is about safety, but who’s safety?
It should go without saying that legislating where people can pee is a waste of time and money. Not only is the bill a “solution” seeking a problem, it blatantly targets transgender Texans, who are already some of the most vulnerable people and forces them into uncomfortable situations.
The business and Texas community have turned out en masse to protest every version of the bathroom bill, and yet, here we are in a special session so Abbott can get another chance at passing the controversial bill.
The Texas Association of Business announced this week it would start running ads on Texas radio stations warning if the special session of the Texas Legislature passes a bathroom bill, it could cost Texas the NFL draft.
To avoid appearing complicit with the bill, the NCAA may threaten canceling the 2018 Final Four tournament in San Antonio. That could cost San Antonio an estimated $234 million in lost revenue and $14 million in missed tax revenue, according to a city study by Sabér Research Institute.
Tech powerhouse IBM — which employs about 100,000 employees in Texas — recently announced their opposition of the bill, claiming the bill will affect their ability to recruit and retain talent.
At the time of this writing, Texas law enforcement officials are hosting a press conference protesting the bathroom bill, including Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, who are saying the bill is unnecessary and will “only encourage discrimination and targeting.”
As it turns out, the majority of Hill Country News readers said they find the bill discriminatory and harmful to the Texas economy. Here’s the poll results from hillcountrynews.com:
43.1 percent — The state needs to avoid passing this bill - it's discriminatory and would hurt the state economically.
25.9 percent — This is a waste of time - the bill is not needed.
22.4 percent — We need the 'bathroom bill' to protect children from pedophiles
5.2 percent — This is a waste of money and resources - if it could have passed in regular session, it would have. Now it's a waste.
3.4 percent — Transgender is immoral and the state should pass this bill.
Why is it that Texas, a state that greatly values individual liberty, is governing so aggressively to chill local control? Such government overreach should be concerning to any Texan.
More concerning, why aren’t our top politicians listening to Texas business executives and law enforcement officials about issues concerning our economic future?