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Florida Senate appears unlikely to pass transgender sports bill

Florida Senate appears unlikely to pass transgender sports bill
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It's looking increasingly unlikely that the Republican-controlled Florida state Senate will pass a bill that would ban transgender females from participating in girls' and women's sports teams.

Senate lawmakers postponed a vote on SB 2012 on Tuesday, the last day of scheduled Senate committee meetings before the legislative session concludes on April 30, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The Florida House passed a similar measure, the "Fairness in Women’s Sports Act," last week in a 77-40 vote. In order for it to become law, both the state's House and Senate would need to pass similar measures before being sent to Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocrat Nikki Fried teases possible challenge to DeSantis Controversial voting laws add to Democrats' midterm obstacles Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections MORE (R) to be signed. With the delay in the Senate hearing, it appears unlikely to make it to the Senate floor for a vote, the Times notes.

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The bill's Senate sponsor, state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R), said she hopes the bill will eventually pass, but wants it to be given sufficient time for debate.

"I believe Florida should protect the ability of girls and women to safely participate in athletics, and I think there is consensus among my colleagues surrounding that underlying policy objective. We want to get there in a manner that respects the inherent dignity of each person," Stargel said in a statement, according to the Times.

She added that time may not permit passage during the current legislative session.

"Right now, my primary focus as Appropriations Chair is our constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget, and in a time-limited environment, I don’t know that we will have sufficient time to revisit SB 2012 this session," Stargel said.

Similar measures have been passed recently in other states, including MississippiSouth Dakota and Arkansas

"Only girls should play girls’ sports," South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemGovernment indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong Montana governor approves restrictions on transgender athletes in schools The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE (R) tweeted last month after signing her state's bill into law.