March 13, 2018-
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ hand-picked committee released its delayed report on the future of the state’s economy Tuesday, and it’s a ringing condemnation of last session’s transgender bathroom bills as unneeded and dangerous to the state’s economy as well as Austin’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. The report’s release also was accompanied by a political bombshell from the committee’s chairman, Rep. Byron Cook, who blamed Gov. Greg Abbott for much of the turmoil surrounding the bathroom fight, saying Abbott’s top aides emphasized that the governor wanted the legislation to fail during the 2017 regular session.
Cook said he and business leaders were shocked when Abbott reversed himself by ordering the Legislature to pass a bill limiting transgender bathroom use during the July-August special session. “I can tell you that in the regular session, they said they did not want this bill on the governor’s desk,” Cook, a Republican from Corsicana, told the American-Statesman. “Why that would’ve been added to the special session, I can’t speak to that.”