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The Brief: Texas bathroom battle heats up

Three separate press conferences focusing on the so-called "bathroom bill" will take place at the Texas Capitol on Monday, the day before the legislation gets its first hearing before a committee.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick looks around the Senate Chamber on Feb. 7, 2017 prior to bringing up SB 4 sanctuary city bill for debate.

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What you need to know

Three separate press conferences focusing on the so-called "bathroom bill" will take place at the Texas Capitol on Monday, the day before the legislation gets its first hearing before a committee. For updates, follow Texas Tribune reporters Alexa Ura and Patrick Svitek.

  • Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is bringing in outside reinforcements. At a 10:30 a.m. press conference, Patrick and bill author Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, will be joined by North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who championed a similar bill in that state. Like our Facebook page and watch later for a livestream.
  • Visitors to the Capitol for Texas Trans Lobby Day will address the media on the north steps. That press conference, emphasizing protections for transgender Texans, is set to begin at 11 a.m.
  • Later, at 1 p.m., business leaders will have their own press conference. The business community has pushed back against the bill, arguing it would hurt the Texas economy. 

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Now, your take

In the latest UT/Texas Tribune poll, 39 percent of Texans said it’s important for the Legislature to pass a bathroom law, while 51 percent said it’s not important. 

What we're reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $) 

FBI director James Comey asked Justice Department to refute Trump's wiretapping claims, sources say, ABC News

California exports its poor to Texas, other states, while wealthier people move in, Sacramento Bee

Oil exports hit 1 million barrels, opening door for West Texas producers, The Midland Reporter-Telegram

Dallas Sen. Don Huffines says he sent apology letters to students he argued with in viral video, Dallas Morning News ($)

GOP bill could dismantle one of nation's most robust school desegregation efforts, The Washington Post ($)

Travis DA makes deal to ensure criminal cases aren't derailed by ICE, Austin American-Statesman ($)

For your calendar 

Bring your friends and join us for happy hour and conversation about the Texas Legislature at "On the Record" at the W Austin Records Room on Tuesday, March 7. 

Photo of the day

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, speaks with constituents during a town hall meeting at Flower Mound Marcus High School on March 4. Photo by Cooper Neill. See more photos on our Instagram account

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. If you have feedback or questions, please email We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.

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