wnol.info November 25 2017


Key facts as Texas governor revives push for 'bathroom bill'

November 25 2017, 07:33 | Irvin Gilbert

Governor Tom Wolf would be unlikely to sign the bill if it eventually passed.

Dan Huberty, the much-watched proposal seeks to increase annual, per-student funding about $210 to $5,350 while raising funding for school district transportation and educating dyslexic students.

"It's a safety issue, first and foremost", he said, noting that it would reduce passing on the right, congestion and road rage generated by left-lane drivers "trying to enforce the law with their own vehicles".

The Texas House was churning through hours of debate but appeared poised Wednesday to approve a sweeping, bipartisan school finance plan that pumps an extra $1.6 billion into classrooms and begins overhauling the troubled way the state pays for public education.

Texans of all stripes came out in force against the Texas House's bathroom bill Wednesday night, stretching a late-night public hearing for House Bill 2899 well into Thursday morning.

HB100 voids existing city ordinances and does not require fingerprint background checks.

Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, who sponsored Senate Bill 94, urged his colleagues to reject the provision during the floor vote and noted the substantial changes the bill has undergone since he introduced it at the start of the session. Republican Representative Keith Regier of Kalispell is carrying the bill. Kel Seliger would cap top 10 percent admissions at 30 percent.

If passed, HB 2899 would not allow any exceptions including cases of parents with young children, which even SB 6 offered. This bill would mainly affect UT-Austin and Texas A&M University, which receive the most automatically accepted students.

Texas has about 350,000 home-schooled students who are now barred from competing in the University Interscholastic League, the state's governing body for high school sports. The students would have to demonstrate grade-level proficiency in order to participate.

Republican House Speaker Austin Knudsen is using his parliamentary power to kill a measure allowing counties to hold an all-mail ballot in Montana's May 25 special congressional election. But critics worry the new curriculum still injects religious ideology into classroom instruction and could make students believe God helped create human life.

Despite the bill advancing out of its initial committee, Gov. Tom Wolf's spokesman J.J. Abbott all but confirmed that Wolf would veto the measure if it makes it though the Senate and House.

The Senate also voted Tuesday to approve SB 1408 to let firefighters and EMS personnel carry their handguns while on duty if they're licensed and take a training course. The Senate is back at 11 a.m. but will tackle an agenda not expected to take as long.

Among those in favor of a state regulation was Cheri Kimbrell of Houston, who said she has rented out her house using short-term rental services to earn money.



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