AUSTIN – The Texas Senate voted overnight to approve a dozen bills, including the “bathroom bill,” which will now go to the House for consideration.
Senate Bill 3, which would bar public schools and governments from allowing transgender people use restrooms of the gender they identify with, saw debate on the Senate floor before its passage.
There was also debate over Senate Bill 4, which seeks to bar state tax money for abortion providers. Several senators proposed amendments to the bill, saying it is less about women’s health and more about defunding Planned Parenthood.
“We've already highlighted how our needs -- our healthcare needs are vastly different across the great state of Texas -- from our urban, to rural, to suburban areas. And I think that this bill could result in the closing of many clinics around the state that provide many health care services,” said Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio).
“My concern, again, is state, or local tax payer dollars flowing toward abortion providers or their affiliates. Those services are vital and very necessary, the ones that you mentioned. But I do think there is an array of providers across the state, through the state programs as well as through local public health departments, QHCs and private providers that will fill that void and have filled that void,” said Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown).
Other bills that were approved overnight Tuesday into Wednesday:
- SB 1, would require automatic elections to approve property tax increases of four percent or more;
- SB 2, would allow private school tuition for students with disabilities;
- SB 7, would bar state and local governments from automatically deducting union dues from teachers’ – and other government employees’ – paychecks;
- SB 9, which would cap government spending to population growth times inflation;
- SB 10, which would require stricter reporting of abortion complications;
- SB 11, would require specific patient approval for hospital do-not-resuscitate orders;
- SB 16, would create a commission to study and recommend improvements to public school finance;
- SB 17, which extends a commission to study the state's high rate of pregnancy-related deaths, which has gone up drastically in the last decade;
- SB 19, would provide a bonus for teachers and a boost to Teacher Retirement System benefits;
- SB 73, requiring stricter reporting of abortions for minors.
Tap on any of the above bills to learn more about them.