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 bill will now head to the House after passing the Senate in a 22 to 6 vote.
According to the Texas Tribune, the Texas Senate on Tuesday tentatively signed off on the so-called "bathroom bill" on a 21-10 vote.
Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, called the bill unnecessary and pointed out it's already illegal to harass or assault someone in a bathroom or anywhere in the state. Sen.
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Only one Democrat, - state Sen. That's the same margin by which the Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill a day earlier. The Austin Chamber of Commerce said last week that a number of groups had threatened to cancel events in the city if the bill passed.
"I think the speaker is out of touch with the voters", Patrick said in an interview on Dallas radio station KLIF, bringing up polling that he said shows wide support for the legislation.
The Budget Committee's sole job is to combine the recommendations of previous committees - which have passed the GOP proposal - and send the legislation to the House Rules Committee. It would undo that law's individual mandate, which requires most people to have coverage, by ending the tax penalty on those who don't.
"After hearing an outpouring of opposition to this bill during almost 20 hours of citizen testimony last week, it's outrageous that the Texas Senate would advance SB 6 to the House", Winterhof said.
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Republican state Senator Lois Kolkhorst who introduced the bill said even though she has been subjected to much ridicule as a result of the bill, the aim of the measure is to protect women and children.
The Texas Senate has advanced an anti-transgender bathroom measure.
"I will tell you as a woman, this is not a joke", Kolkhorst said.
Introduced by Lt Governor Dan Patrick, SB6 would require trans people to use the bathrooms matching their "biological" gender and not their gender identity. "That's why I think we should take a pause, try to solve as numerous problems on both Medicaid and the individual insurance market in this bill in the House and then allow the Senate to take its work up". The budget panel cannot make substantive changes to the bill, but it can make nonbinding recommendations before it goes to the floor for a final vote.
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