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A major business group predicts billions of dollars in economic losses should Texas lawmakers advance "discriminatory" legislation including so-called bathroom bills or measures limiting local control of non-discrimination ordinances.
We checked on whether the widely cited projections, linked to actions in other states, hold up.
Portions of the study commissioned by the Texas Association of Business proved solid. But other elements were shaky. One projection, for instance, rests in the Super Bowl set for Houston on Feb. 5, 2017 being moved to another state. Another extrapolates Texas losses from research rooted in Arizona’s immigration law--not that state’s failed proposal targeting LGBT residents. And the report’s biggest projected loss to Texas starts from an Indiana legislator’s comment that might lack documentary backup.
There could be heft to claims that a Texas Senate proposal poses economic risks.
Opponents of Senate Bill 6, requiring Texas residents to use bathrooms matching their assigned sex at birth, underscore North Carolina’s experience, which gets TAB attention elsewhere in its report presenting the possible economic losses. In 2016, Republicans in the Tarheel State curbed protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, touching off economic losses mostly tied to boycotts adding up to as much as $201 million, PolitiFact North Carolina confirmed.
The TAB, which calls itself the state’s leading advocate for employers, initially highlighted the study that caught our attention in a Dec. 6, 2016, press release urging the 2017 Legislature to spurn "discriminatory legislation." That release said the study, undertaken at St. Edward’s University in Austin, found that a discriminatory law could result in $964 million to $8.5 billion in reduced state gross domestic product and up to 185,000 lost jobs, partly due to fallout in the tourism sector. State GDP refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a state in a particular period of time.
We broke down the figures in the study, exploring research assumptions and identifying instances of unstated or questionable sourcing. Separately, outside experts sounded a few cautionary notes.
This just in:
- Texas Tribune: After Super Bowl, NFL raises prospect of Texas "bathroom bill" impacting future games.