Tomorrow: Texas Legislature Reconvenes for Special Session Amid Lawmakers’ Vows to Pass Anti-LGBTQ Bills

By Adam Polaski • July 17, 2017 • 10:20 am

Tomorrow, July 18, the Texas Legislature returns to Austin for a special legislative session, called by Texas Governor Greg Abbott several weeks ago, to tackle an inordinate agenda – including HB 2899, discriminatory legislation that bans municipalities across the state from passing nondiscrimination measures protecting the safety of transgender people in restrooms. The bill also would roll back existing protections in at least five Texas cities. For weeks Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick demanded Abbott call a special session to advance Patrick’s anti-business, anti-transgender agenda – and the special session that begins tomorrow underlines Abbott’s obedience. 

It’s estimated that the special session, which will run for 30 days, will cost Texas taxpayers about $1 million. Abbott is including 20 items on the call – a tall order for a time-limited session. The first order of business will be to move a sunset bill, which is related to the funding and administration of some state agencies. 

Kasey Suffredini, Acting CEO & President of Strategy for Freedom for All Americans, said when Abbott ordered the special session:

“Governor Abbott will now assume responsibility for the consequences of this special session. We know passage of HB 2899 would be bad not just for the scores of transgender Texans whose lives will be made more difficult and more dangerous, but for all the hardworking Texans who stand to suffer from the economic losses this action invites. Dan Patrick’s anti-business, anti-transgender agenda stalled for a reason – because many lawmakers understood that legislation like this was dangerous, mean-spirited and ultimately bad for business. In giving this non-issue such a prominent platform, Governor Abbott is signaling that he is perfectly comfortable ceding his most basic governing responsibilities to his belligerent lieutenant governor.”

Suffredini added: “Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott are demonstrating an unprecedented and deeply disturbing commitment to advancing legislation that imperils the safety of transgender Texans, but this fight is far from over. We’ll continue working with our partners at Equality Texas and the Texas Association of Business to defeat discriminatory proposals and send a message that anti-LGBT legislation is one of the most irresponsible actions lawmakers could take at this time.”

Throughout 2017 business leaders – including major tech companies with presences in the Lone Star State and major investors – have decried attempts to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state, celebrating when the regular legislative session ended without extreme anti-transgender attacks advancing. We urge the Texas Legislature to stand strong in opposition to passing cruel legislation designed to target LGBTQ people for discrimination.

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