Having quickly proceeded through the Texas Senate, Senate Bill 6 known as the “bathroom bill”, sits languishing in the Texas House. The bill has not been assigned to a committee with 80 days of the 140-day legislative session already gone.
A key component to opposition of the “bathroom bill” in the Senate would be that passage would cause heavy negative economic consequences to the state. Yet, Republican state senators slapped away any and all economic impact studies and arguments.
Lobbying heavily against SB6 has been Texas Association of Business (TAB), and its new president, Chris Wallace. Testifying before the Senate’s State Affairs Committee, Wallace admitted that TAB had taken a position against the bill even before the bill was written and filed.
In arguing against SB6, Wallace relied on a study done by MBA students at St. Edward’s University.
State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston RER79) commenced shredding Wallace over his use of the study. In eight minutes, Bettencourt confronted Wallace with flawed facts and data contained in the study regarding the economic impact of similar “bathroom bills” in other states.
WASN’T THE HOUSE LISTENING?
As the SB6 sits in limbo in the Texas House, the talking points dealing with economic impact continue.
Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio RER0) has expressed his opposition to SB 6, repeatedly. His media appearances have been notably increased this session. During a sit-down interview with Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, Straus stated, “I oppose it… I’d never even heard about [this issue] until a year or two ago. Count me as a ‘no’”.
It should be noted that Speaker Straus is from San Antonio where a major battle was fought over a “bathroom bill”. One would think it’s safe to say that Speaker Straus is also aware of the battle that took place in Houston over the H.E.R.O. “bathroom bill” which was defeated by a margin of 61% to 39%.
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