Speaker Straus, Rep. Cook Kill Privacy Protections for Texans

August 17, 2017

In yet another abuse of power, liberal House Speaker Joe Straus abruptly adjourned the Texas House yesterday over objections of some Republican House members, killing broadly supported privacy legislation that would have protected our children in public schools, in addition to other priority conservative reforms set by Gov. Greg Abbott. Millions of Texas students now head back school to without basic and uniform privacy protections.

Texas Values Action is thankful to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate on leading the effort to final passage of several key pro-life reforms, yet is strongly disappointed that privacy protection in showers, bathrooms and locker rooms was blocked and ultimately killed by Speaker Joe Straus and Rep. Byron Cook – without an up or down vote by House members.

Gov. Abbott has also expressed his disappointment in the House’s inaction and has left the door open to call an additional special session to address the issues killed by the Texas House. Frustration by conservative House members also led to a House Republican Caucus meeting today to lay the groundwork on creating a new method to select the Speaker of the Texas House.

“The leadership of Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, the Texas Senate, and a few House members are the only reasons why some positive things happened during the special session,” said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values Action. “If Joe Straus and Byron Cook would have let the House vote, we would also have a privacy bill being sent to the Governor as well. There is unfinished business and the voters will soon have the final word.”

Texas Values Action released a new survey of over 1,500 Texas Republican primary voters this week showing nearly 80% of voters support privacy legislation and will cast their primary vote accordingly.

For a full rundown of Texas Values Action supported bills that passed and were killed during the Special Session, click here.

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