LITTLE ROCK — The sponsor of a bill on transgender bathroom access said Thursday he is withdrawing the bill but plans to file another measure that would give legal protection to school districts’ bathroom policies.
Sen. Greg Standridge, R-Russellville, said he will withdraw Senate Bill 346, which he filed as a “shell” bill without many details. The bill was aimed, he said previously, at requiring people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he opposes such legislation. Other states that have passed or considered bathroom access laws targeting transgender people have experienced widespread criticism and boycotts.
Standridge said Thursday that instead of seeking passage of his bathroom-access bill he will file a bill to “help our school superintendents, school boards and everything else … feel a little more comfortable about setting their policies when it comes to dealing with bathroom issues.”
The planned bill would give schools immunity from lawsuits over their policies on bathroom access, but it would not dictate what those policies should be, he said.
“There are some things (that some school districts) don’t have in their policy books due to some of the climate and some of the things going on,” he said.