A day before the special session of the Texas Legislature begins, Dallas-Fort Worth CEOs are warning state leaders about the potential financial hit Texas would take over the so-called “bathroom bill.”
CEOs of 14 North Texas companies, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, AT&T and Texas Instruments, signed identical letters Monday and sent them to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus.
The CEOs say the bill, which would require transgender people to use public restrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate, would "seriously hurt the state’s ability to attract new businesses, investment and jobs."
"Our companies are competing every day to bring the best and brightest talent to Dallas," the letter says. "To that end, we strongly support diversity and inclusion. 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."
Other companies that signed the letter: Kimberly-Clark, Fluor, Atmos Energy and BNSF Railway.
The bathroom bill is among several items state lawmakers could take up during the special session. The bill appeared dead in the near-term when the Legislature ended its regular session on Memorial Day without approving it. The Texas Senate had passed a strict version in March, but the more-moderate House — led by vocal bathroom bill opponent Republican Speaker Joe Straus — balked and approved a watered-down version applying only to public schools. The Senate rejected that. A stalemate may yet prevail if neither side budges during the special session.
Read the letter