Texas House passes bill extending alternative high school graduation route

  • Texas House passes bill extending alternative high school graduation route

Texas House passes bill extending alternative high school graduation route

Amid threats of a special legislative session over the "bathroom bill", the Texas House on Sunday took a last-minute vote and approve a proposal that would keep transgender students from using school bathrooms in line with their gender identity.

Texas' Republican-controlled Senate has given final approval to a law that allows publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections.

A revised version of the "bathroom bill" has passed in the Texas House of Representatives.

The issue has become a flash point between proponents - who argue that such religious protections give agencies the ability to help an overburdened state welfare system while sticking to their bedrock principles - and those who worry that the bill's broad language could create an environment of discrimination that will harm children. The bathroom amendment was added as a way to improve the "privacy, dignity and safety" of students, according to the author Republican State Rep. Chris Paddie.

Before debate over the bill began Sunday night, some Democratic female lawmakers protested by using the men's restroom. Democrats oppose the bill, with Houston Representative Senfronia Thompson stating, "Bathrooms divided us then and bathrooms divide us now". 'Some people don't want to admit that. From there, it will need to be approved by the Senate before it reaches Governor Greg Abbott, who's expected to sign it.

The measure passed the state House and is now headed to the Senate.

The chamber's last-minute traction on the bathroom legislation follows Lt. Gov.

But an amendment to Senate Bill 2078, a school emergency procedures bill, has passed the House. The UIL has a ban on steroids but its rules allow their use if they have been "dispensed, prescribed, delivered and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical goal". He had meant to hold hostage the budget and what's called the "sunset safety net", which keeps various state agencies from shutting down while they await review.

When the Obama administration past year issued guidance that required public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that matched their gender identity, Texas was one of the first states to sue the federal government. The NCAA pulled sporting events and the state faced losing billions of dollars in related economic fallout, though some opposition has quieted since North Carolina lawmakers voted in March for a partial repeal. Dallas-based companies American Airlines and Dell both spoke out against it, and the National Football League said that it would reconsider hosting future Super Bowls in the state if the legislation passed. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers also have proposed bills or amendments allowing "religious liberty" exemptions for lawyers, pharmacists and nurses.