Patrick has previously called this bill his "women's privacy act", saying it will protect women from male predators; a curious fixation for someone who recently stumped hard for Donald Trump, a President-elect who's been caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women.
AUSTIN - Setting up what looks to be one of the most heated fights for Texas lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen.
"You can mark today as the day when Texas is drawing a line in the sand", Patrick said.
"All Texans care deeply about safety and privacy, but Senate Bill 6 isn't about either of those things", said Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which leads the Keep Texas Open for Business coalition. "This legislation codifies what has been common practice in Texas and everywhere else forever-that men and women should use separate, designated bathrooms", Patrick said at a Capitol press conference.
The bill allows any individual who feels uncomfortable sharing a space with a transgender individual, or believes that a government entity or school is violating the law, to report their concerns to the attorney general, who can asses civil penalties against the locality or school district. First, it would prohibit cities and other local governments from passing laws that prohibit discrimination against transgender people when it comes to bathroom, shower and locker room policies.
Critics have likened the proposal to North Carolina's controversial "Bathroom Bill".
North Carolina lawmakers passed their own legislation a year ago in response to a Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance that extended protections to transgender residents who use public facilities based on their gender identity.
On Thursday, Kolkhorst said she filed the legislation "not to start a controversy but to end one".
In North Carolina, PayPal and Deutsche Bank stopped planned expansions in the state, and the city of Charlotte estimates it lost $130 million when two major sporting events were pulled after HB2's passage.
Though the contents of the bill have grim implications for trans people, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vowed to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
A Texas Republican state senator introduced legislation on Thursday to limit public restroom access for transgender people, despite warnings from a business group that the measure would hurt the Texas economy because it was discriminatory.