McNally says bathroom bill no longer needed; sponsors disagree

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally says that he sees no need for Tennessee’s so-called bathroom bill now that President Trump has issued a new guidance on transgender students and rest rooms, reports The Tennessean.

“I think given what the Trump administration has done, my assessment would be it’s not needed,” McNally said Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education announced that their agencies were withdrawing a guidance advanced last year by the Obama administration that permitted students to use restrooms for their chosen gender.

…McNally said he thinks the latest announcement returned the power to state and local governments to make the decision on how to address the issue.

“I think leaving it up to local districts to handle on an individual basis would be best. They’re responsible to the people in that county or that city and I think that’s handled best at that level,” the Oak Ridge Republican said.

McNally’s remarks are in line with Gov. Bill Haslam, who has frequently said he prefers to allow districts to handle the matter on a case by case basis rather than instituting a statewide policy.

…Despite the recent reversal, Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, said Thursday he has no plans to halt the bill he and Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, are pushing… Pody said he was “very happy” about the recent guideline that reversed the Obama administration’s decision on the matter but he stood behind his bill.

“I think something should be done. And it will be up to the entire state legislature to make the decision to concur or if they think it’s unnecessary,” he said.

Beavers tells the Nashville Post that she also intends to push for passage of the measure.

“I do plan to pursue the bill,” Beavers said, adding that the administration’s decision leaves it up to the states to decide how to handle things. “I’m not sure that [McNally] has read all of President Trump’s comments on that.”

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