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The Brief: How important is the "bathroom bill" to Texas voters?

Round two on the "bathroom bill" begins at the Texas Capitol in less than one month — and only 44 percent of voters in the state think the issue is important, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

An all-gender restroom at The University of Texas at Austin.

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What you need to know

Round two on the "bathroom bill" begins at the Texas Capitol in less than one month — and only 44 percent of voters in the state think the issue is important, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Here's what you need to know

Why is the issue headed into overtime? After the House and Senate failed to compromise on legislation to regulate restroom use for transgender Texans in the 140 days allotted for a regular session, Gov. Greg Abbott listed the issue — one that's been brewing in Texas for some time — as one of the 20 items he wants lawmakers to tackle starting July 18. 

The bathroom debate, then vs. now. About a month after the regular session kicked off, 44 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats dubbed bathroom regulation legislation important. Four months and hours of finger pointing later, 54 percent of the GOP's voters say the issue is important, while only 35 percent of Democrats say it is. 

• Speaking of the upcoming special session: Property tax reform — another issue lawmakers didn't pass during the regular session — is also on Abbott's special session to-do list. The two chambers were at odds over how and when local governments could raise property taxes without voter approval. According to another response to the UT/TT Poll, 77 percent of Texas voters support new limits on local governments trying to raise taxes. 

Texas voters on the "bathroom bill" 

Now, your take: Do you think it's important for the Legislature to pass some version of the "bathroom bill" during the upcoming special session? Tweet us with #MyTexasTake

Other stories we're watching today: 

Land Commissioner George P. Bush is promising supporters he'll announce "big news" Monday morning. He did not offer any hints in a text to supporters Sunday evening, but it's campaign announcement season, and the first-term land commissioner has previously said he plans to seek re-election in 2018. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek for updates. 

Tribune today

• Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was fined more than $2,500 for improperly reporting campaign finances. 

• U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told The Texas Tribune that the congressional baseball shooting last week should be a "wake-up call to us all."

• Legislation that craft breweries in Texas said would limit their ability to grow was signed into law and went into effect immediately. 

• A measure tightening state laws on child brides will go into effect Sept. 1.  

News from home

Register for the 2017 Texas Tribune Festival! Join us for three days of the best conversations in politics and public policy, Sept. 22-24. Register here. 

What we're reading

Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.

The Alex Jones show, Texas Monthly 

EPISD outspends peers on superintendent, board travelEl Paso Times 

How trucking companies forced drivers into debt, worked them past exhaustion and left them destitute, Corpus Christi Caller-Times 

Nirenberg taking a progressive focus, San Antonio Express-News ($)

Oil slump slammed many companies' revenues, The Houston Chronicle ($)

How one Austin affordable housing district escaped Abbott's veto, The Austin American-Statesman ($)

Photo of the day

Patrick Conroy, Chaplain of the House of Representatives, leads Democrats and Republicans in prayer before they face off in the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Washington D.C. on June 15. Photo by Reuters. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"This is one additional example of why the Texas Ethics Commission should be renamed the Texas Compliance Commission.”

— Todd Smith, campaign spokesperson for Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, about the commission fining Miller for improper accounting

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Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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