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Missouri Senate committee considers controversial ‘Bathroom Bill’

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-A Missouri Senate Committee will tackle the "Bathroom Bill" controversy Tuesday, February 21st.

Senate Bill 98 is styled after the contentious North Carolina law which requires individuals to use the bathroom based on the gender listed on their birth certificate. The North Carolina bill involved all government buildings, however, the Missouri proposal would only apply to public schools with students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Schools would be allowed to offer alternate options for students who notify school officials their gender is different from their biological sex and provide written consent from a parent to use these facilities. Accommodations may include "single-stall restrooms, unisex restrooms, or controlled use of faculty restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms."

Last fall, more than 100 students at Hillsboro High School, south of St. Louis, walked out of school to protest a transgender teen using the girls' locker room to change for gym class.

State universities like Southeast Missouri State University and Missouri State University offer gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

Passing the bill proved to be costly in North Carolina. Several companies canceled plans to expand operations in the state. Events like the NBA All-Star Game pulled out of the state.

The Department of Justice sued North Carolina on the claim the law violated the "Violence Against Women Act" and discriminated against transgender residents. North Carolina counter sued to defend the law.

North Carolina's former governor Pat McCrory, who was a strong supporter of the bill, lost his re-election campaign in November.

Similar bills are being considered in 11 other states, including Illinois. Earlier this year, legislation failed to pass in South Dakota and Virginia.