Image ©John Branch for the Rivard Report, 2017.

One day after the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 6, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick deemed House Speaker Joe Straus “out of touch with the voters” for opposing the so-called bathroom bill.

The bill would prohibit transgender people from using restrooms in public schools, government buildings and other publicly-owned facilities that match their gender identity.

Straus has been vocal in his opposition to the bill, saying lawmakers should be “very careful” about doing anything that makes the State less economically competitive.

“There’s been a lot of work put into our State’s economic success,” Straus said in a speech to the Texas Association of Business, which has also opposed the legislation. “We want to continue that success, and we want Texas to keep attracting the best and the brightest. One way to maintain our edge is to send the right signals about who we are.”

By a vote of 21-10, the upper chamber gave tentative approval Tuesday to Patrick’s legislative priority. Though the bill has made it to the House, chamber leaders have hinted that the controversial legislation may never reach the chamber’s floor for a vote.

“I think the speaker is out of touch with the voters,” Patrick said in an interview on Dallas radio station KLIF. “This is an issue that people, supporters, constituents, voters want.”

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John Branch

Cartoonist John Branch has commented on San Antonio and Texas politics for decades; his work is syndicated nationally by King Features.