HOUSE UPDATE:

Bathroom Battle:

It didn’t take long for the friendly pomp and circumstance to wear off for state lawmakers. On day two of the 85th Texas Legislature, the House got its first taste of the looming battle over access to bathrooms.

Rep. Matt Schaefer, (R) Tyler, offered an amendment to House administration rules that would restrict people using restrooms in the Capitol to only use those that correspond to their biological sex.

But House administration chairman Rep. Charlie Geren, (R) Fort Worth, quickly called a point of order and told members the Capitol bathrooms are managed by the State Preservation Board, not the House.

Rep. Schaefer eventually withdrew is proposal.

The Senate has made passing a so-called “bathroom bill” a top priority. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has said it’s about protecting women. Critics have said it discriminates against transgender people and the business community has warned it could cost the state billions in lost revenue.

 

SENATE UPDATE:

2/3 Rules Fight:

Senators began their debate on day two over whether to restore the two-thirds rule. That would mean the Senate needs 21 members to bring a bill to the floor for debate. The make-up of the current Texas Senate is 20 Republicans to 11 Democrats. Currently, the Senate operates under a three-fifths rule where only 19 senators are needed to bring up a bill. After heated debate, the Senate voted along party lines to keep the three-fifths rule, enough to give the 20 Republicans greater power over what legislation moves through the upper chamber.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling