The Texas Senate on Wednesday formally passed Sen. Lois Kolkhorst's controversial Senate Bill 6, dubbed the "bathroom bill."
Some Texas teachers are now urging lawmakers in the House of Representatives to stop the bill, which would require people to use the restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates.
As KEYE-TV in Austin reports, the 21-10 final vote on Wednesday came over opposition from big business, the NFL and hundreds of people who packed the Texas Capitol last week during 13 hours of public testimony.
After much debate and testimony Tuesday and into the early morning hours Wednesday, the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs voted 7-1 early Wednesday morning to advance Senate Bill 6, dubbed the “bathroom bill.”
SB 6, authored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and championed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, would require school districts and charter schools to develop a policy requiring that bathrooms be used only by individuals of the same biological sex, as identified on their birth certificates.
School districts, open-enrollment charter schools, state agencies and other political subdivisions – counties, cities, towns, villages, water districts, park districts, airport districts, etc. – would be liable for civil penalties of $1,000–$1,500 for the first offense and civil penalties of $10,000–$10,500 for the second and subsequent offenses.
Kolkhorst introduced the bill early Tuesday morning and testimony began shortly after.
“At the core of this bill is privacy,” she said. “At the core is safety and security, women rights, children rights.”
We followed the events live from the Texas Senate committee floor and shared updates on social media. Here is a wrap of the day’s events as told by Twitter:
The full Senate is set to take up the measure next week. House Speaker Joe Straus has said before he is “not a fan of the bill.” We will continue to track the latest developments on SB6 and how it may impact school districts in Texas.