>> The so-called bathroom bill aimed to restrict access to public restrooms for transgender people may be doomed in Texas. Top business leaders, along with moderate Republican power brokers, blocking the bill, leaving no likely path to passage before a 30-day special session of the state Legislature that wraps up on Wednesday.
House Speaker Joe Straus, a pro-business Republican who controls the agenda in the body showing little interest in passing the bill, saying it's not a priority. That position backed by well-financed campaigns by major corporations, including Texas based energy company's Halliburton And Exxon Mobil Global Services, who say the bills are discriminatory and would make it hard for them to recruit top talent.
Global tech giants IBM and Apple have also voiced opposition. But as in North Carolina, where a similar bill passed in 2016, supporters claim it helps protect women and children from sexual assaults. Republican Representative Ron Simmons among those saying he'll still press for legislation. Senate Bill 3, which cleared the Senate before stalling in the House, requires people to use restroom, showers and locker rooms in public schools and other state local government facilities that match the gender on their birth certificate.
In March, North Carolina partially repealed its measure after boycotts by athletic organizations and businesses costs the state hundreds of millions of dollars.