LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he opposes addressing the issue of bathroom access for transgender people in the current special session, but he expects the issue to come up in next year’s regular session.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he opposes addressing the issue of bathroom access for transgender people in the current special session, but he expects the issue to come up in next year’s regular session.


A state senator said Thursday she plans to file a bill in the next regular session in response to the federal government’s recent directive on transgender bathroom access.


Hutchinson told reporters, "I did oppose adding (to the special session’s agenda) at the last minute an additional item to address privacy in facilities. The reason being, it had not been vetted out, it had not been reviewed, it had not been discussed and debated sufficiently. And just as importantly, this is a highway session. I did not need to have that complexity as we entered the highway session."


But Hutchinson said the issue "will probably come up in the general session next year."


"I have indicated to those legislators (pushing for legislation) that I would be happy to work with them to address any privacy concerns that need to be addressed, like President Obama’s directive," he said.


On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a directive advising public schools and colleges to let transgender students use bathrooms that match their gender identity. Hutchinson has said Arkansas schools should disregard the directive, and on Wednesday the Arkansas Legislative Council adopted a resolution also urging schools in the state to disregard the federal guidance.


Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, said she plans to file a bill next year "to address the overreach into my child’s privacy."


"There are a lot of moms and dads out there that are really incensed and angry about that overreach into that child’s privacy" by the federal government, she said.