Protections for gender-affirming health care passed the House before the crack of dawn Friday morning after a marathon all-night session.
The House Education Finance Committee laid over the proposal Friday, as amended, for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.
Kozlowski’s bill would help proliferate gender-neutral, single-user restroom and locker room facilities in local districts and charter schools. This would be accomplished by broadening the acceptable uses of long-term facilities maintenance revenue to include expenses associated with remodeling an existing bathroom or constructing a new bathroom at each school site for all students, regardless of gender identity. Funds would be available to schools starting in fiscal year 2025.
Grants would also be distributed to help schools cover these construction costs. A maximum of $50,000 would be provided per school site. A fiscal note on the bill is pending, so an exact appropriation request was not offered at the hearing.
Testifiers were united in support of the bill, framing the need for gender-neutral bathrooms as a health and safety issue.
Jupiter Sadowski, a non-binary student at Duluth Public Schools, spoke about harassment experienced in school bathrooms, while John Magas, the district’s superintendent, indicated state revenue would help greatly in providing additional gender-neutral bathrooms for students.