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August 8, 2017

Texas “Bathroom Bill” Stalls in House

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Texas’ controversial “bathroom bill” legislation has hit a roadblock in the state’s House.

KXAN reports that House Chair of the State Affairs Committee and State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, has said he will not hold a special session hearing on the legislation, which could mean the end of progress on the bill this year. Cook said the hearing would distract from other priorities of the Texas House, including school finance and property tax reform, as well as reversing cuts to child therapy through Medicaid

“I’m not sure that the legislation…that’s been proposed accomplishes anything that would be beneficial to the state of Texas,” Cook told KXAN. “It seems to be a diversion from the real issues that Texans face.”

The Texas Senate passed the bill in July. It would require public school students to use the restroom that matches the sex on their birth certificates or state identification cards and strike down city laws that protect the rights of transgendered people.

Local business leaders had warned that the legislation could harm the state’s ability to attract major events, with the Texas Association of Business running a $1 million ad campaign arguing that the bill could hurt the state’s efforts to land the NFL draft. Local law enforcement leaders also spoke out against the legislation. 

The legislation comes about a year after a similar bill in North Carolina prompted many events to boycott the state, including sporting events hosted by the NCAA. According to an analysis released by the Associated Press, the legislation cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in lost business over the next 12 years. 

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