Under the new Senate Bill 3, the state would bar local school districts and governments from passing rules on transgender bathroom policies.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee opened the day by hearing bills related to maternal health, regulation of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders, and abortion regulations. While the state has banned spending tax revenue on abortion providers since 2011, Schwertner's bill would extend that restriction to the local level, prohibiting cities and counties from sending public funds to or otherwise subsidizing health providers that offer abortions.
Abbott and lawmakers who support the bill say it would provide relief for homeowners struggling to keep up with growing property taxes.
"You know that transgender women encounter violence at a much higher level than the general public, and I am scared to think about what some people will do to us if this bill becomes law", Smith said. But conservatives say spotty reporting may be to blame. "But I also don't think they care".
Asked about police opposition by a Democratic colleague, Kolkhorst said her bill is about privacy and protection.
With the first week of the special session in the books, lawmakers have up to 26 more days to address the items on Abbott's to-do list and send bills to his desk for a signature.
Under Senate Bill 17, the state's Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity would be able to continue its work until 2023.
On Monday, the Senate passed a bill requiring hospitals and clinics to collect data on abortion complications, and another which would allow special needs students to attend private schools with public money.
State troopers removed a few protesters in the mostly empty Senate gallery who shouted "This is a farce!" and unfurled a banner that read "Y'all means all" over the second-story railing.
After the Senate gives the measures final approval, they will head to the House. There, it faces very uncertain prospects. "I am proud to stand here along with my peers from major cities around Texas to speak out about the concerns we have with this bill". Taylor said Monday that the state would delay the August 2019 payment to the companies by one month, then pay them double in September 2019. This measure was agreed to by Senate Education Committee after they heard from parents, activists, and educators testifying for the bill and against it for about eight hours.