In late votes, transgender bathroom bill, 10 others sent to House

In a flurry of votes that extended beyond midnight, the Texas Senate gave final approval to almost a dozen bills early Wednesday, including legislation cracking down on transgender-friendly bathroom policies.

Most of the bills, which received initial Senate approval Monday and Tuesday, were sent to the House with little or no debate in about a half-hour of action.

One exception was Senate Bill 3, which seeks to bar public schools and local governments from adopting policies that would let transgender people use restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

“This bill will end up harming children who are vulnerable to being bullied (and) ostracized,” said Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

SB 3 was given final approval, as was Senate Bill 10, which would require stricter reporting of abortion complications. Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, called it another case of abortion-related “bureaucratic bullying,” saying there was no threat to health or safety that needed to be addressed.

Democrats also spoke against a bill to bar state and local governments from allowing for automatic payroll deductions to pay for union dues for teachers, jailers, Child Protective Services caseworkers and other government employees — although unions serving police, firefighters and emergency workers would be exempt under Senate Bill 7.

In addition, Republicans turned aside a Democratic attempt to amend Senate Bill 1, which would require automatic elections to approve property tax increases of 4 percent or more, by allowing local voters to opt in to the bill’s requirements.

In addition to approving SB 1 and 7, senators gave final approval to:

• SB 2, providing money for private school tuition for students with disabilities.

• SB 9, capping government spending to population growth times inflation.

• SB 11, requiring specific patient approval for hospital do-not-resuscitate orders.

• SB 16, creating commission to study and recommend improvements to public school finance.

• SB 17, extending a commission to study the state’s high rate of pregnancy-related deaths.

• SB 19, providing a bonus for teachers and a boost to Teacher Retirement System benefits.

• SB 73, requiring stricter reporting of abortions for minors.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Texan gets panel’s nod for federal judge post over Democrats’ objections
Texan gets panel’s nod for federal judge post over Democrats’ objections

It has become a familiar scene at the Senate Judiciary Committee: A Texas nominee for a federal judicial post gets blasted by Democrats before being approved on a party-line vote. On Thursday, the committee, which includes both Texas GOP Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, considered the nomination of Matthew Kacsmaryk for a district judgeship in Amarillo...
Police: Man was racing when he crashed and killed 2 boys in Cedar Park
Police: Man was racing when he crashed and killed 2 boys in Cedar Park

An 18-year-old man arrested in the deaths of two young stepbrothers in a car crash last week in Cedar Park was racing when the wreck happened, police said Thursday. Hayden Michael Hammer was arrested and charged Thursday with two counts of racing on a highway causing death, a second-degree felony, Cedar Park police Cmdr. Bryan Wukasch said Thursday...
Anti-CodeNext PACs spend thousands to force vote
Anti-CodeNext PACs spend thousands to force vote

Campaign finance reports filed in Austin this week show that groups trying to put CodeNext on the ballot are raising and spending tens of thousands of dollars. Two special political action committees that are by and large against the city’s current revamping of the entire land use code, calling the effort “CodeWreck,” have spent roughly...
BREAKING: Mother, 8-month-old baby found dead in house after fire, officials say
BREAKING: Mother, 8-month-old baby found dead in house after fire, officials say

A mother and her 8-month-old baby were found dead Thursday inside their Taylor house after it caught fire, Taylor police officials said. Taylor police said they are investigating this as a suspicious death. Taylor firefighters were responding to an unrelated medical call when they saw smoke coming from the home at 2006 Brewer’s Place. Firefighters...
Motorcyclist died in crash Monday near Travis, Hays county line

HAYS COUNTY Motorcyclist died in crash near county line A motorcyclist died in a crash with a tow truck Monday near the Travis and Hays county line, the Department of Public Safety said. Mackenzie Aloysius Gmitter, 26, died at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center less than an hour after the crash was reported, DPS officials said. Officials...
More Stories