Texas Business Leaders Slam Controversial Bill
They don't want to see a NC-style backlash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 4:21 AM CDT
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Protesters dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale" chant in the Texas Capitol Rotunda under portraits of former Texas governors George W. Bush and Rick Perry in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – Texas lawmakers are debating a "bathroom bill" that would restrict choice for transgender people—but state business leaders have no interest in dealing with the kind of backlash that forced North Carolina to roll back a similar bill. Some 14 CEOs from major Texas employers, including AT&T, American Airlines, and Texas Instruments, sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and other lawmakers Monday, warning that passing the bill "would seriously hurt the state's ability to attract new businesses, investment, and jobs," the Dallas Morning News reports. "This legislation threatens our ability to attract and retain the best talent in Texas, as well as the greatest sporting and cultural attractions in the world," they wrote.

Around 80 business execs gathered at the Capitol on Monday to protest the bill. "On this discussion, conservatives can disagree with conservatives," Jeff Moseley, the head of the Texas Association of Business, told reporters at the scene, saying it's important to protect the "Texas miracle." Execs from tech companies including Apple and Google urged Abbott to reject the measure to restrict bathroom use for transgender people when it was before the legislature in May. It didn't pass during the regular legislative session, but the controversy returned when Abbott made the issue, a conservative priority, part of the agenda for a 30-day special legislative session that began Monday, the Texas Tribune reports.

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