We can’t relax yet since the 85th Texas Legislative session is still running until May 29, but for those of us watching odious bills like SB 6 and HB 2899 I have some good news for you.
In addition to today being the 120th day of the 140 day biannual Texas legislative session, yesterday was the deadline for bills that originate in one chamber to be passed and be taken up for consideration in the other legislative chamber.
Translation into English: If your House bill for example, hasn’t been voted out of committee or been voted on by the Texas House to send it to the Texas Senate, it is dead for this session.
That means the odious SB 6 and HB 2899, which are both stuck in the House State Affairs Committee that yours truly and over 389 friends from across the state testified against a few weeks ago into the wee hours of the morning, are dead for this session.
That also means that if they didn’t get a hearing, or out of committee, some of the good bills that would positively impact us also died for this session like SB 1341, which would have made the name change process in Texas an administrative procedure and taken it out of our partisan judicial court system.
I am keeping an eye on another one of those positive bills, HB 192 authored by Rep Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as classes in the area of preventing housing discrimination aimed at TBLGQ Texans. I testified in favor of passage of it and it surprisingly made it out of the Business & Industry Committee on a 4-3 vote when Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) voted YES.
We still have to be on the alert for attempts by legislative haters to attach these unjust anti-trans bills as amendments to other bills already on the House calendar to be attached to them in order to pass them that way.
Attempts have already been made by the GOP House legislative transphobes to do precisely that, but so far have failed. I hope that pattern continues as the clock inexorably ticks down and the days rapidly dwindle to the last day of the 85th Texas Legislative session on May 29.
As far as getting bills on the House Calendar and through that committee to the House floor, the deadline to make that happen was May 8
So exhale a little, but not completely until 12:01 AM CDT on May 30.