What you need to know
Inching toward the legislative finish line and with the possibility of a special session looming, the Texas Legislature had another busy night on Tuesday. From the Senate rejecting the House’s “bathroom bill” compromise to the lower chamber passing a handful of important measures, here’s what you need to know:
• The Senate said “no thanks” to the House’s “bathroom bill” compromise. State Sen. Larry Taylor announced on the Senate floor he would reject a House amendment requiring school districts to provide single-occupancy bathrooms for students who don’t want to use ones matching their “biological sex.” Taylor suggested he would request the bill head to a conference committee, where lawmakers from both chambers could hash out the differences.
• The House spent most of the day on a voter ID overhaul. After a six-hour debate, the lower chamber tentatively signed off on Senate Bill 5, a Gov. Greg Abbott emergency item that would in some ways relax one of the nation’s most stringent voter ID requirements. If the Senate approves changes to the bill and Abbott signs it, SB 5 would overhaul the 2011 voter ID law that courts have ruled discriminatory.
• The chambers passed other bills, too. Both the House and Senate approved measures seeking to help mothers before and after they give birth, with the former passing a bill that aims to lower the the number of pregnancy-related deaths in the state and the latter clearing another to curb postpartum depression. The House also approved a bill that would make it easier for poor people to satisfy traffic tickets with alternatives to payments; it now heads to the Senate for approval.