Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Texas Governor Gives First Clear Support For 'Bathroom Bill'

Texas Governor Gives First Clear Support For 'Bathroom Bill'

It also could mean more state money for children who need extra instruction to learn English in a state where many youngsters speak Spanish at home.

Christy Rome, executive director of the Texas School Coalition, a group of mostly property-wealthy districts, said she anxious the simplification of the formula would harm some districts in a diverse state.

Florida House and Senate members are trying to reach a consensus on a proposal to carry out a constitutional amendment that legalizes medical marijuana for patients with a broad swath of conditions.

It could face a tougher road there, however. Although it's unlikely that such a substantial change will be approved this legislative session, it could be considered more seriously in the future when the Legislature explores school finance fixes during the interim and following sessions. Both chambers are Republican-controlled.

"There have been many, many bills proposed, but it's never had a hearing, so this is a major step forward to end prohibition", said Melissa Villar, with NORML Tallahassee.

"There's lots of people out there that are low income that can't afford their property taxes - we're not helping them".

But those increases wouldn't be seen everywhere.

"Funding the public schools is one of the most important things that we do".

Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, leads the Judiciary Committee and is sponsoring numerous gun bills, but a key Republican on the panel opposes the legislation.

"It would be the first time in the whole country that a state has overturned the local will of voters when it comes to public safety for transportation networks", said State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin.

The two bills would repeal a law the Legislature passed in 2014 that opened the door for local governments to apply some restrictions on vacation rentals, such as limiting occupancy levels.

None of that work was as complex as learning Texas' school finance formula, he said.

"While our system is lawful, it is very bad", he added. City leaders from Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso called the bill discriminatory and transgender Texans from across the state told stories of the fear they feel from potential bathroom legislation. By the time the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee passed it Tuesday evening, however, it had been amended to provide for just three new licenses. "Well that means yes, we have crappy roads, which is what we have right now in SC", he says. The House has $1.3 billion in the tax bill.

Houston Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton said Darby's change would only exacerbate the larger problems of a fundamentally flawed system.

"Putting somebody through pain, that's kind of like torture", he said.

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