Week of February 27th through March 3rd
Now that it’s March, we’re approaching the cutoff for bill filing. Lawmakers have one more week—until March 10th—to file bills for this legislative session. There are currently 93 bad bills, which is an increase from last week, but they continue to be outpaced by the number of good bills! If you want to check the exact number of LGBTQ+ related bills and what they’re proposing, take a look at our Legislative Bill Tracker and keep an eye out for a special announcement on Tuesday, March 7th!
We’re in that stage of the legislative session where things are happening, but it doesn’t look like much to us on the outside. For the lawmakers who turned in their homework early, their bills are being referred to committees. If you’re mumbling through SchoolHouse Rock lyrics right now and trying to remember the process of how a bill becomes a law, we’ve got a flowchart for you! Follow the arrows (red for bills that start in the Senate and blue for ones that start in the House) and save yourself from inevitably falling down a YouTube rabbit hole of 70s educational cartoons.
Remember the religious refusal bill we explained last week—the one that would essentially provide attorneys with a special license to discriminate? At the hearing earlier this week, the bill was voted favorably out of committee without amendments, so now it will move on to the whole Senate for consideration.
If you’ve heard of SB 1029, you might be particularly stressed about it. Everyone processes difficult information in their own way, so whatever you’re feeling—scared, anxious, tired, angry, defeated—is completely understandable. Feel your feelings, take a step back when you need to, and check in with your body. Take a few deep breaths, drink some water, and remember that your well being comes first.
This bill is targeted at healthcare facilities that provide gender-affirming care to trans people of any age. It seeks to eliminate public funding for these institutions, which would make it harder for trans people to access care. Despite the terrible things it does say, this bill does not make gender-affirming care illegal. This bill is not aimed at individuals, so it would still be legal for you to take your medication as prescribed.
But the other big thing to note is that Bob Hall, the bill’s author, has a comically low track record for getting his bill passed. In the 8 years he’s been in office, only 4.2% of the bills he’s filed have passed. Even so, we’re taking this bill seriously and will fight against it every chance we get, but we hope this additional context is helpful, even a little.