NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Senate is advancing a bill to require transgender students to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth, while House members are seeking to revive the measure that was defeated earlier in the week.
The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday voted 7-3 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville. Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Jim Coley of Bartlett told the House Education Administration and Planning Committee that he will seek to have the committee reconsider its decision to study the measure after the Legislature adjourns for the year.
Religious conservatives are pushing the legislation, but Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has raised concerns it could endanger federal education funding and says that he wants to leave the issue to local school districts to decide.
Note: Further from The Tennessean:
Although the House Education Administration and Planning Committee voted against the bill on Tuesday, when the committee reconvened on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Coley, R-Bartlett, made a motion to force the committee to reconsider its action.
Coley later admitted it was an attempt to bring back bills the committee has previously taken action on, including the controversial bathroom bill, which was unanimously sent to summer study by the committee.
After the voice vote, four committee members — Reps. Harry Brooks, Kevin Brooks, Debra Moody and Kevin Dunlap — recorded votes against the motion to send it to summer study.
Although the committee is technically done meeting, Harry Brooks, the committee’s chairman, said the group of lawmakers will meet Tuesday to reconsider their action.