Rafael Anchia in Law360: Texas Legislation And Regulation To Watch In 2017

01/04/2017

For the 2017 Texas legislative session, attorneys are predicting a wait-and-see approach to energy regulation as the impact of Donald Trump presidency’s becomes clearer, a battle over whether to pass a “bathroom bill” that purports to afford women and girls privacy in restrooms, and sweeping reforms to property tax laws...

Here are the Texas policy areas that experts will be watching in 2017...

Bathroom Bill

Passing the Women's Privacy Act has been flagged as a priority for Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to counteract an Obama administration directive that schools allow students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. The Texas legislation, which as of Dec. 20 had yet to be filed, was described by Patrick in his priorities list as a law that would afford “women and girls” privacy in restrooms, showers and locker rooms... 

During a recent symposium hosted by Haynes and Boone LLP’s Houston office on the upcoming legislative session, state Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, questioned the research behind the study and stressed that his constituents have told him to push for the bathroom bill...

But Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, pushed back during the event, saying that the lieutenant governor was trying to “conflate sexual predators with transgender Texans” by actively campaigning for the legislation. The state's penal code already includes laws against peeping Toms and laws against sexual assault, leaving no need for the “bathroom bill,” Anchia added. 

“[T]hese are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and for elected officials to prey on them, and use them politically, is not leadership. That is craven opportunism,” Anchia said. 

He added, “This is a solution in search of a problem that not only can have grave economic consequences on our state ... but this can get kids killed." 

Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, please click here (subscription required).

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