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The purpose of SB 6 is to establish policies to ensure that students in public schools may use multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities without sharing those facilities with members of the opposite sex.
SB 6 would require that a public school district or open-enrollment charter school must adopt a policy requiring each multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility to be designated for and used only by persons based on the person’s biological sex.
A political subdivision or state agency with control over multiple-occupancy bathrooms or changing facilities in a building owned or leased by this state or political subdivision would develop a policy requiring each multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility located within the building to be designated for and used only by persons of the same biological sex. A private entity that uses a building owned or leased by this state or a political subdivision would not subject to these policies.
A school district, open-enrollment charter school, state agency, or political subdivision that violates these policies would liable for a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for the first violation. The civil penalty would be not less than $10,000 and not more than $10,500 for the second or a subsequent violation.
SB 6 would protect private businesses from being burdened with extra regulation under this legislation by specifying in the Local Government Code that a political subdivision may not adopt or enforce an order, ordinance, or other measure regarding the designation or use of a private entity’s bathroom or changing facility or that prohibits the private entity from adopting a policy. In awarding a contract for the purchase of goods or services, a political subdivision would not be able to consider whether a private entity competing for a contract has adopted a policy relating to the designation or use of the entity’s bathroom or changing facility.
Because public schools are political subdivisions within the state, the state has a responsibility to ensure the safety of students. Traditionally, for safety and decorum reasons, male and female students have used different restroom and changing facilities. It is likely good public policy to keep this framework intact. While it is within the legitimate role of the state government to address this issue, this is primarily a social issue and we do not make vote recommendations on social issues, therefore we remain neutral on this bill.