Texas governor gives first clear support for 'bathroom bill'

Six weeks left for the Texas Legislature, and there's a lot of fighting to be done

Six weeks left for the Texas Legislature, and there's a lot of fighting to be done

Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, said he supports the new measure but would rather work with House Bill 375 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, or the original version of the bill.

"Facts should matter more than perception, and as I indicated, this House bill approach does not get involved in telling people which bathrooms to use", he said.

Silence from Abbott, coupled with Republican House leaders outright saying they didn't want a "bathroom bill", stalled the idea in Texas for the past month.

Heading into the committee hearing, the House version states that local governments may not adopt an ordinance to "protect a class of persons from discrimination, or reduce or expand a class of persons protected under state law from discrimination".

Rep. Randy Fine, R-South Brevard, filed the legislation in response to backlash over the Common Core State Standards, which Florida fully implemented in 2014. It also raises funding for school district transportation and educating dyslexic students.

A Texas House committee has approved a law that would ease state gun restrictions even further, permitting Texans to carry a weapon without a license.

No school finance fix is required since Texas' Supreme Court has ruled the system flawed but barely constitutional.

Dan Huberty said it at least would begin to reverse a decade-long slide in state support for public education.

The bill by Chris Paddie, a Republican from Marshall, brings ride-hailing companies under Texas regulators' control while requiring them to pay state fees.

The committee voted, 10-0, to send his bill to the Senate floor, acting shortly after the House approved its workers' compensation bill, HB 7085. John Whitmire, D-Houston, was not present when the vote was taken.

Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, said she was anxious the bill would make it harder for law enforcement officials to do their jobs.

HB100 voids existing city ordinances and does not require fingerprint background checks.

Senate Bill 303 would issue a $200 fine to drivers caught driving below the speed limit or "impeding the flow of traffic" in the left lane of a highway - unless the driver is actively passing another auto or preparing to turn left. Those who spoke in front of the Texas State Affairs Committee to oppose the bill outnumbered those in favor, 66 to 6. The 1997 law was created to promote campus diversity, most notably at the University of Texas.

It is day two of debate on a bill to raise the gas tax with some Republicans leading the argument against raising tax at the pump. But schools would be allowed to cap their automatic enrollees at 30 percent of their incoming students. More than $9 million and 55 full-time positions would go to the state Department of Health to implement the law. It's named after the former National Football League and University of Florida quarterback who was home-schooled in Florida but competed with public-school teammates.

Diaz also moved to relabel a Level 3 score on the Florida Standards Assessments as "grade level" instead of the current "satisfactory". A similar measure is pending in the House.