Is Abbott Trying to Dodge the Bathroom Bill?

Speculation is growing in state government that Gov. Abbott is trying to come up with a way to dodge the controversial 'Bathroom Bill' by not calling a special session of the Legislature, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Abbott had said he would call a special session by the end of last week, and then the governor deferred.

The Legislature passed a biennial budget before adjournment on May 29, and the only items that absolutely have to be dealt with are re-approving five minor state agencies, like the Texas Medical Board, which some analysts say Abbott could handle through executive orders.

"Regardless of how you obtain it legally, it is going to be seen like you are doing something crooked," Rice University analyst Mark Jones said, adding it could make Abbott appear, especially among his core conservative constituency, to be 'politically weak.

'"By avoiding the topic, all you are doing is saying you don't want to publicly face those individuals."

Experts say in 1993, then Gov. Ann Richards handled the re-approval of the Texas Dental Board through an executive order.

"Legally it would be very tough to do that for five separate agencies in a way that didn't bend the rules," Jones said.

Jones says by calling a short special session that would deal only with the re-approval of the agencies would be the best way to handle the situation.  Only the governor can set the agenda for a special session.

The House and the Senate deadlocked during the regular session on whether to restrict transgender bathroom access.  

The Senate, dominated by movement conservatives, approved a robust bill that required all public and school restrooms be used only by the gender on the user's birth certificate.

The House, dominated by business conservatives who are worried about potential harm to the state's economy, approved a weaker bill that only covered public school restrooms, and included several loopholes

.Movement conservatives are worried that sexual predators will take advantage of new city 'Non Discrimination Ordinances' which allow transgender individuals to use the restroom of the gender that they 'identify with' to enter women's restrooms and sexually assault women and girls.

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