Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Wanted Bathroom Bill to Fail, Key House Leader Says

AUSTIN -- Late in last year's session, Gov. Greg Abbott signaled that he would sign a "bathroom bill."But earlier, Cook said then-Abbott chief of staff Daniel Hodge told him and key business leaders that "the governor did not want the bill on his desk."The bill to restrict transgender Texans' use of restrooms posed a big threat to the state's prosperity, according to Rep. Byron Cook.Cook, a Corsicana Republican, said in an interview that Abbott nevertheless remained silent about the bill's risks. Of Republicans controlling the Capitol, House leaders alone had to shoulder the politically painful task of killing the measure, which they did, Cook said."We're sent here to do what's right for the state," he said. "We have laws on the books that address any situation this legislation contemplates."Cook said House leaders and business types were surprised when Abbott said he would sign such legislation and made it a priority in a special session.He said he hopes Abbott will repudiate any intent to have a bathroom bill passed in Texas."That would really be a positive step," Cook said.Spokesmen for Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hodge, now a lobbyist in Austin, also could not be reached immediately.  Continue reading...

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