Ah—the 2017 debate about SB 6, the Texas bathroom bill. There continue to be debates about what’s in it, what it does or doesn’t do to whom and when. There are multiple news accounts of who testified on, for and against the bill when the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee of the 85th Legislature held its March 2017 public hearing on the bill.
(photo credit in accordance with Creative Commons license)
But did you know two “bathroom bills” were filed during the 84th Legislature back in 2015 and the Texas House never held a hearing on the bills?
Authored by then State Representative Debbie Riddle, H. B. 1748 related to the use of public locker rooms, shower facilities, and toilet facilities. The bill prohibited individuals over the age of 13 from entering and using women’s & men’s facilities if they were not biological males and females.
A violation of Subsection (c) would have been a Class A misdemeanor.
The bill proposed two defenses to prosecution: entering the facility to give medical attention or to accompany a child under the age of eight.
According to House Journals, H.B. 1748 was read for the first time on March 27, 2015 and referred to the House Committee on House Affairs also on March 27, 2017.
Read the full text of H.B. 1748 here.
H.B. 2801 was also filed during the 84th Legislature. H.B. 2801 required Texas school districts to adopt a “bathroom” policy. H.B. 2801 was authored by former State Representative Gilbert Pena.
H.B. 2801 wasn’t scheduled for a hearing—it too must not have been a priority for the 84th Legislature.
Exit (rhetorical) question: if bathroom bills were not priorities of the 84th Legislature, why are they priority for the 85th?