Speaking with Hearst Newspapers, new Texas
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen called a transgender “bathroom bill”
a distraction he would like to avoid.
Bonnen was unanimously elected House
Speaker on Tuesday.
“I would be very discouraged if a
distraction of that type derailed the opportunity of significant
school finance reform or property tax reform,” Bonnen said.
The bill sought to restrict bathroom
access in public buildings, including schools, for transgender
During the last legislative session,
Governor Greg Abbot and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who oversee
the Senate, made passage a priority despite a backlash from civil
rights groups and business leaders, who predicted economic disaster
for Texas if such a bill were to become law.
Abbott called a special legislation
session that included the measure on its agenda. Lawmakers adjourned
the special session without passing many of the signature items
Abbott, a Republican, had asked for, including the “bathroom bill.”
While campaigning for a second term,
Abbott said that passage was no longer a priority, but declined to
say whether he would sign such a bill if it landed on his desk.
Patrick has described the issue as “settled.” And the lawmaker
who introduced the measure in 2017 lost his re-election bid.