Gov. Abbott: Lawmakers must pass ‘bathroom bill’ and property tax relief

Brandi Grissom, Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott told Hispanic Texans not to fear the state’s new “sanctuary city” ban on Tuesday and warned lawmakers at the Capitol that they have more work to finish in the final days of the legislative session.

With less than two weeks remaining in the 140-day legislative session, Abbott said he wants to see legislators approve a law that would ban transgender Texans from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. He also wants them to pass a law providing tax relief to Texas homeowners.

“We are on a pathway where those priorities can be addressed during the regular session,” he said, adding that he has been meeting with legislative leaders to “hammer out” the details. “It’s just a matter of getting everybody on the same page.”

Abbott spoke to reporters after addressing the Texas Department of Public Safety’s annual memorial service for fallen officers. At the service, he paid tribute to Trooper Bill Davidson, who was killed by a motorist in a 1992 traffic stop. (A lawmaker this year accidentally filed two bills that would have named a section of highway after the man who killed Davidson.)

In response to a Univision Austin reporter’s questions regarding the so-called sanctuary cities ban that Abbott signed earlier this month, the governor urged Hispanic Texans not to “fall for all the fear mongering.”

The measure will punish local governments that prohibit law enforcement from asking people about their immigration status. It will also allow officers to ask anyone they detain about their status and has been called the “papers please” law, in reference to a similar controversial Arizona approved in 2010.