News Roundup: Greg Abbott Likely To Sign ‘Save Chick-Fil-A’ Bill Into Law

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMay 22, 2019 1:00 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Texas House gave final approval Tuesday to a measure that’s become known as the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill. With just days left in the legislative session, Senate Bill 1978 passed with a vote of 79-64.

The measure is in response to San Antonio’s decision to ban that fast food chain from the city’s airport, in part due to its track record of supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations. Those who back the bill say it would protect businesses from being targeted by legal action for supporting religious groups. Opponents have argued it will allow broad discrimination against LGBTQ communities.

Ahead of a third and final vote, some Democrats spoke out against the legislation. One was state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, who said that if Chick-fil-A were concerned about losing its contract with San Antonio the company would address it.

“I promise you, Chick-fil-A’s a big company; they got a lotta money. They would have filed a lawsuit that day – ask yourselves about that. And they didn’t file a lawsuit, and they still haven’t, and I doubt it’s because they’re waiting for the Texas House of Representatives to protect their First Amendment rights,” Raymond said.

Gov. Greg Abbott has indicated he plans to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke tackled a number of topics during a CNN town hall meeting in Iowa Tuesday night, from health care to immigration.

One of the members of the audience also asked the former El Paso congressman what he’d do to reduce gun violence, specifically mass shootings in schools.

O’Rourke listed four policies, the first of which would be universal background checks for firearm purchases; the second would be banning what he described as “weapons of war.” 

“Two more steps I want to take: red flag laws, and not just do it town by town or state by state, but do it nationally so that anyone who exhibits a tendency to harm themselves or to harm somebody else can be stopped before they do that. And the last part: Let’s make sure that we invest in the counseling and the mental health and the therapy necessary for people to get the care that they need,” O’Rourke said.

The other Democratic presidential contender from Texas, Julián Castro, participated in a CNN town hall last month.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins in a week and a half, and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says Texas is still waiting on a significant chunk of Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

Cornyn, a Republican, spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday. He pointed out this money was appropriated about 15 months ago.

“But we haven’t seen a cent of that $4 billion because it’s been tied up at the Office of Management and Budget,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn said this money would be distributed as community development block grants.

Houston-born rapper Travis Scott will donate the profits from his merchandise sales at an Alabama concert to Planned Parenthood. He made the announcement while performing at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores this past weekend. Twitter user and festival attendee, @ripscrew_, captured the announcement in a video .

“We feel for those out in Alabama; I love y’all,” Scott told the crowd.

Just last week, Alabama enacted the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion legislation.