Texas, the most powerful Republican-controlled state, could lose about $5.6 billion through 2026 and businesses could find it hard to recruit top talent if such a measure is enacted, according to the state's leading employer organization. During the regular session Senate Bill 6, which became known as the "bathroom bill", would require people use the restroom, locker room and shower according to the sex on their birth certificate in state owned facilities and public schools and universities.
The Republican-dominated legislature begins a 30-day special session on Tuesday with 20 items on the agenda, including one of the "bathroom bills" that have been a flashpoint in USA culture wars.
The business leaders called it "state-sponsored discrimination" against transgender Texans.
"As of today, we have been able to track $66 million in conventions and events that have already been canceled in Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Arlington simply because we're talking about discriminatory legislation", said Phillip Jones, President & CEO of Visit Dallas.
In addition, a study from AngelouEconomics, commissioned by the Texas Association of Business, found that statewide losses could amount to $5.6 billion by 2026 if the bill passes.
Big 12's Bob Bowlsby expects to sign extension through 2025
The addition of the Big 12's championship game could give league members a boost of approximately $3 million per year. Bowlsby says he feels good about what the Big 12 is doing and he defended the league against negative perceptions.
"Proponents of this type of legislation are insisting that there will be no economic repercussions associated with the passing of this bill, but I am here to warn you that they are wrong", Graham continued. "Why would we want to go down that road", he added.
The special session will last 30 days. Reynolds said it is time to turn up the heat on lawmakers.
Still, some Democratic priorities described Monday are unlikely to enjoy bipartisan support - or even see much debate, as presiding officers in both chambers are unlikely to refer such bills to committee, and any measures not on the governor's formal call could be easily shot down by administrative points of order. "We all need to establish lists that we publish on a daily basis to call people out - who is for this, who is against this, who has not taken a position yet". Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso).
Both the House and Senate gavel in at 10 a.m. July 18.