House committee chair won’t hold hearing on bathroom bill

State Rep. Byron Cook

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, chair of the Texas House’s State Affairs Committee, has said he won’t hold a hearing on Dan Patrick’s pet bathroom bill during the current special session, according to reports by Austin TV staton KXAN.

Cook’s decision could mean the detestable anti-transgender legislation is dead for this session. The bill must pass his committee to become law, and he has not called for a vote on it, with only about a third of the special session remaining.

“Quite candidly, at this point I don’t know what a hearing would add when we already had hearings,” Cook said, noting that his committee already held a hearing during regular session.

He said, “I’m not sure that the legislation … that’s been proposed accomplishes anything that would be beneficial to the state of Texas. It seems to be a diversion from the real issues that Texans face.”

Cook added that another hearing on the bathroom bill would only serve to divert attention from truly important issues facing the Legislature, such as overhauling the school finance system and property tax reforms. He said he is also asking Gov. Greg Abbott to add another item to the special session agenda: reversing controversial cuts to child therapy through Medicaid.

Even without a hearing, the bathroom bill could make its way into law. State Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, who authored the House version of the bathroom bill, said that while he respect Cook’s decision not to hold another hearing, he hopes to see the measure included in a last-minute deal with Patrick, Abbott and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-Antonio.

Straus has repeatedly said the bathroom bill is unnecessary and a waste of time, and even said that he does not want blood on his hands if a transgender person were to commit suicide because of such legislation.

Simmons said he respects Chairman Cook’s decision to not hold another hearing on the issue but hopes it will be included in a last minute deal with Straus, Patrick and Abbott.

“There’s still a lot of things we have to get done and this is just one of them,” said Rep. Simmons. “The privacy and the protection of our wives and daughter is very important. I don’t know how you could say something is more important than that.”

Of course, everybody who’s got any sense and isn’t flat-out lying knows the bathroom bill has nothing to do with privacy of and protection for women and children, but is instead about anti-transgender discrimination and hatefulness.

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About Tammye Nash

Dallas Voice Managing Editor