Sen. Bryan Hughes discusses session highlights, remaining issues

CBS19 News at 10 p.m. - June 5, 2017

TYLER - After seven terms in the House of Representatives, Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, moved to the opposite side of the State Capitol this legislative session to represent the 850,000 East Texas who live in Senate District 1.

"It's a big responsibility, and it's a real honor to be the voice for that many Texans," said Hughes.

In an interview with CBS19 on Monday, Hughes reflected on the regular session.

"From a statewide standpoint, most of the big stuff was taken care of," he said. "It remains to be seen if the governor will call us back for a regular session, but overall we're happy with the session."

Bills outlawing sanctuary cities and dismemberment abortions were among the successful bills he highlighted Monday, along with legislation to fund border security.

"Seeing what's happening in Europe reminds us of how important it is we know who's coming across that border," Hughes said.

With the possibility of a special session looming, Hughes noted that lawmakers left Austin last week with some issues unresolved.

Should Gov. Greg Abbott call a special session, he would also set the agenda.

"Some relief on property taxes and women's privacy and dignity are priorities of the governor and legislature," Hughes said. "We don't know what he'll do but we anticipate in a special session those will be good issues for us to address."

While critics of Texas' so-called bathroom bill call it discriminatory and fear negative economic impact should it pass, Hughes is among supporters who argue its mandates would protect women and children.

"We passed that bill in the Senate, and over in the House it didn't make it through the process," Hughes said. "We think the votes are there for it, so we hope if there's a special session we'll have a chance to get that done."

Should lawmakers not address Senate Bill 6 during a special session, Hughes said he expects the conversation surrounding where people who are transgender use the bathroom will carry over to 2019.

"It's going to continue to be an issue, and rational-thinking people have to continue to take a stand and make sure the law is clear and move on," Hughes said.

Gov. Abbott has scheduled a press conference for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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