Special Session Requested: Unfinished Business Forces Texas to Need Overtime for Key Issues

texas capitol (620-240)

While the 85th Legislature regular session made moves on religious liberty and pro-life issues (mainly via amendments), privacy in school restrooms, showers, and locker rooms remains a question mark. And other issues such as property tax relief and Sunset provisions were left unaddressed.

Click here to see the numerous Texas groups and organizational leaders who are requesting that Gov. Greg Abbott call a special session.

Today being sine die (the final day of the regular legislative session), we wait to see if Gov. Greg Abbott will call a special session of the Texas Legislature including privacy (Gov. Abbott said earlier today that he will make a decision this week on whether or not he will call a special session). Meanwhile, there are schoolchildren and parents left wondering how their schools will approach privacy in intimate spaces.

Although privacy legislation was passed with bipartisan support by the Texas Senate (SB 6) and sent to the Texas House in March, House leaders like Rep. Byron Cook and Speaker Joe Straus publicly and privately opposed common sense solutions (including HB 2899 which had nearly 80 co-authors) and the House never took a vote on these bills. Instead the House tried to tack on last-minute language that even the media agreed would not keep boys out of girls’ bathrooms in public schools.

“Students and parents in Dripping Springs, Fort Worth and now Coppell should not have to wait to know whether there girls will be forced in showers and locker rooms with boys,” said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values. “There are 5 million children who will go back to public school later this year and their privacy concerns matter. This problem needs a solution that can be no doubt addressed with a special session.”

The issue of bathroom privacy was a priority long before session started, and should not have come as a shock to anyone that a special session is needed now that a bill was never passed on this issue, Saenz continued.

“House members wanted to vote on the privacy issue, but Speaker Straus said no and chose his agenda over the will of the people. That’s why Gov. Abbott is left with no choice but to call a special session to address the privacy issue and many other ‘must pass’ issues,” Saenz added. “Regardless of where any legislator stands on this issue of allowing men into girls’ restrooms, the fact remains that this issue is not solved. There has been no closure, and still no statewide policy remedy to the problem of local ISDs allowing boys in girls’ restrooms.”

SEE: 700+ pastors, multitude of churches and organizations that want the Texas Legislature to protect privacy: http://tinyurl.com/700pastors and http://tinyurl.com/sb6businesses

ALSO: Texas is still No. 1 for business after pushing privacy legislation for six months:

VIDEO: Watch our footage of the press conference here:

The most recent violation of privacy in a Texas public bathroom:

A list of privacy violation incidents from across Texas may be read at the following link:http://tinyurl.com/SB6Texasincidents (PDF).


About Texas Values

Texas Values is a nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org

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