Texas Businesses Dread Fallout from California Travel Ban
Texas business executives are fearful that the current travel ban to Texas by the State of California could have adverse effect on businesses in the state.
Texas business groups warned lawmakers this week that passing bills that restrict LGBT rights would take a toll on Texas economy.
Jessica Shortall, the managing director of Texas Competes, a coalition of businesses in Texas, which has been outspoken in its opposition to the measures, stated that such a decision makes Texas a discriminatory state and creates unnecessary risk for Texas economy.
Chuck Smith, the CEO of Equality Texas said that “drafting policies that target transgender adults and kids to be mistreated is not a Texas value.” He said that the California’s travel ban is a reasonable response. “The Californians do not want their taxpayer dollars to support fear, misinformation, and discrimination,” he added.
California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s announced the state’s decision banning state employees from traveling to Texas at their taxpayers’ expense. He also said there will be more sanctions to come after Texas lawmakers passed limits on gay parents rights to adopt and foster children.
Becerra said that he would not allow the use of California taxpayers’ money to travel to states that choose to discriminate.
For years, Former Gov. Rick Perry made it a central theme of his administration to feud with California while announcing business relocation or expansions by companies based there.
Current Gov. Greg Abbott’s staff echoed those sentiments while attacking Becerra’s decision.
“California may be able to stop their state employees but they cannot stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas,” Governor Abbott’s representative John Wittman said.
The bill, signed into law recently by Gov. Abbott, allows faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to reject potential parents based on sexual orientation.
A second fight centers on a push by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to pass legislation similar to a controversial North Carolina law, that would ban transgender friendly bathroom and locker room policies in schools and government buildings
Californians travel ban list, which includes eight states was established after North Carolina enacted the state’s controversial bathroom ban.
The North Carolina law requires transgender individuals to use the bathrooms that aligned with their genders at birth. The law re-enforces the identity that many people spend their lifetimes trying to shed.
Becerra’s office could not provide information about how often state employees have visited the banned states.
The travel ban exempt trips needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts made before 2017. It is not clear if travel to conferences, out-of-state training or California’s public university college sports programs are banned as well.
Fresno State, a public California university’s football team is scheduled to play against the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa this fall and State-funded San Jose State is expected to travel to Austin to face the University of Texas in their second game as well. Alabama and Texas are on California’s banned list.
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