Tech Companies Urge Texas to Reject 'Bathroom Bill'

First it was the hedge fund managers and other financial experts, and now seventy high tech companies have written an open letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, urging that the so called 'bathroom bill' not be approved, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The firms say it is hard enough for them to convince the top tech talent just getting out of college to bypass the lure of Google and Facebook in Northern California and instead locate to Texas, and approval of a bill which is seen as discriminatory isn't going to help.

"We feel that we are competing regularly with California for access to the best minds coming out of the universities," said Lori Knowles of Austin's Silicon Labs, one of the state's leading tech firms.  "It is important to our buisness to have an inclusive community and an inclusive state, as well as an inclusive workplace."

Anti LGBT bills are seen by many Millennials as a barometer of a state's receptiveness toward creativity, toward new ideas and new technologies.

Knowles says if the 23 and 24 year old tech grads start bypassing Texas, tech companies will not be able to continue to thrive here.

"The real important thing for central Texas is to be able to attract Millennials to Central Texas," she said. "Our Baby Boomers are retiring in droves."

Last month, dozens of money managers representing $3 trillion in assets, wrote a similar open letter, saying they are concerned that approval of the 'bathroom bill,' formally known as SB 6, would damage the state's economy.

The bill has yet to come up for a vote in a State Senate committee, even though it is being strongly pushed by conservatives, led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.  If it passes the Senate, its chances in the House are seen as very poor.

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