Though "bathroom bills" targeting transgender people fizzled in deep-red states across the U.S., the issue is still white hot in Texas, where the Legislature is heading into special session prepared to revive it and conservative groups are vowing revenge on Republican lawmakers who don't approve it.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on July 12 announced his office would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts almost $680 million in local sales tax allocations for the month of July, an amount 9 percent more than in July 2016.
"The transition from a state to federal status, in terms of funding, will not impact the mission of the Texas National Guard or its role in protecting and serving the citizens of Texas", he said.
One of the ideas laid out by Patrick is a tiered salary increase schedule for active and retired teachers.
Combs, who owns and operates a ranch in Brewster County, served as Texas comptroller from 2007 to 2015, commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture from 1999 to 2007, and as a state representative, 1993 to 1996.
The issue's top Texas proponent is Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a fiery former radio talk show host who oversees the Senate and is the state's leading conservative voice. They hope for those issues to be added to the agenda. The legislation stalled in the House before a compromise limited to public schools was approved as an amendment.
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans - and engages with them - about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. There really is no way to do so. He and other supporters say a ban helps protect women and girls in public restrooms from predators.
Some of the bill authors Abbott has lined up for the special session have already drawn primary challengers back home.