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Senate Effort To Pass Bathroom, Property Tax Bills Backfires

State Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) says he’ll kill his own bill before allowing it to pass with the Senate measures as amendments.


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Garnet Coleman
Andrew Schneider / Houston Public Media
State Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)

The Senate's bathroom bill and property tax reform bill struck another tall roadblock in the Texas House.

Senators converted both measures to amendments and tacked them onto an omnibus bill designed to benefit county governments. State Representative Garnet Coleman of Houston is the omnibus bill's sponsor. The Democrat says he'll kill his own legislation before seeing it as a vehicle for passing the Texas Privacy Act. Better known as the Bathroom Bill, it would mandate people use the bathroom of their gender at birth.

"I represent the Montrose [area]," Coleman says. "I've been dealing with the bathroom issue for a very long time. I think it's discriminatory. I think it's to divide people, not unite them."

Coleman is also no fan of the property tax reform bill. He says this isn't the first time he's been in this situation. The representative was a supporter of the now-defunct Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO. In 2015, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick tacked amendments opposing HERO to another Coleman bill.

"You know, I'm not stupid," Coleman says. "If they did it last session, they're going to do it again this session, and they did. The joke's on them."

The House has until Friday to vote on any amendments attached to House bills by the Senate.

Note: This story was reported with the assistance of Jennifer Rice of the Texas Station Collaborative.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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