Lawmaker will wait to reintroduce bathroom bill

Kremer waiting for U.S. Supreme Court decision
Lawmaker will wait to reintroduce bathroom bill

A bill to designate which bathrooms and changing areas transgender people may use has an unclear future in the Wisconsin state Legislature.

Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, had said he intended to push a bill that would regulate bathroom and changing area use in all public buildings including schools, requiring the use of the bathroom or changing area of a person’s biological gender or for that location to offer a gender-neutral and completely private option. He’d previously introduced a measure that regulated bathroom use in schools called the “Student Privacy Act.”

Kremer now says he’s watching what happens in the U.S. Supreme Court, as they prepare to consider a case from Virginia this year about the use of bathrooms by transgender students. But he says he has not given up on the idea.

“This is not the time to say, ‘The federal government is taking care of it. Let’s not worry about it,'” Kremer said. “We have to still take care of our own kids and worry about the privacy, dignity and respect of our own children in our schools here.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Burlington, said he did not expect the Legislature would take up the issue in the early months of the year, in part because of a recent effort in North Carolina to attempt to roll back a similar law.

“I’m always willing to look at proposals that any legislator brings forward so I don’t want to say absolutely not or its never going to happen, but I certainly look at North Carolina as an example where they are looking to make changes to the law they already passed,” Vos said. “We should probably at least see what they’re doing before we go down that same path ourselves.”

Kremer says he does not anticipate introducing a measure until he sees what happens in the Virginia case, which could take months for the court to handle.