The Texas business community is expected to play an oversized role in the special session of the legislature, which gets started tomorrow in Austin, News RAdio 1200 WOAI reports.
A huge rally will take place this morning on the steps of the state capitol, this morning, in opposition to the so-called bathroom bill, which would limit transgender bathroom use. The legislation died during the regular session, but was resurrected during the interim when Governor Greg Abbott put it on the agenda.
"To avoid a patch-work quilt of conflicting local regulations, Texas should establish a single statewide rule protecting the privacy of women and children. At a minimum, the legislature should pass a bill that protects the privacy of our children in public schools," he wrote in a statement.
That triggered renewed outrage from the state's large employers, who feel it will tarnish the state's image.
A group called Keep Texas Open, which includes businesses such as Apple, IBM, Intel and Cisco, forming an alliance.Chuck Smith, who heads Equality Texas, says they realize that continuing the bathroom debate tarnishes the state's reputation of being welcoming.
"Any time of legislation that targets LGBT people for discrimination has damaging effects for the state's brand," he says.
There is no guarantee that the bathroom bill will even come up for debate in either the Texas House or Senate. After a bill to renew the Texas Medical Board, there more than one dozen priorities the governor listed as priorities.
Regulations of bathrooms will be competing against annexation and teacher pay hikes for the spotlight.
In a press conference last week, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick launched into a half-hour policy briefing about a plan for education funding. Not once did he mention bathrooms.