The Texas “bathroom bill” died Monday night in Austin when the legislative session ended. However, it’s supporters hope the governor will give it new life in a special session.
One of those supporters is Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who sat down for a one-on-one interview with KENS 5’s Phil Anaya this week in which he repeated claims that the proposed bathroom law regulating transgender Texans’ access to bathrooms would have no significant economic impact on the state.
He also claimed that the negative economic impact of a similar law in North Carolina is overblown.
We wanted to Verify those claims, so we did some digging.
First, we spoke to Sherry Sylvester, an advisor to Lt. Gov. Patrick, who cited several Politifact articles that refute the overall size of the losses in North Carolina. However, several sources in those articles affirm that the state suffered at least a $500 million setback.
It’s a large number, but still only a fraction of the state’s GDP.
Sylvester also pointed out that Houston voted down a non-discrimination ordinance last year despite fears of a severe economic hit, and, so far, no losses have materialized.
However, we also spoke to Richard Oliver with VisitSA regarding the projected impact on Texas tourism. He asserted that San Antonio, alone, lost more than $3 million in convention revenue just because the bill was considered by lawmakers.
Oliver also pointed us to a recent study by the Perryman Group, a well-respected economic consulting agency, that projected the state could lose $3.3 billion in tourism dollars, and more than 35,600 jobs if the legislation becomes law.
Regardless, most Texans apparently wants state lawmakers to focus on more pressing issues. According to the latest UT/Texas Tribune poll, more than half of all Texans say that bathroom regulations are not an important issue for the legislature.
WATCH: Lt. Gov. Patrick stands firm, says Texas needs a 'bathroom bill'
READ: Politifact: Checking on North Carolina's bathroom law affecting it's economy
SEARCH: New study renews fears about bathroom bill's financial impacts
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