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May 22, 2017

Texas House Passes New Bathroom Bill; What’s Next for Events Industry

dallas, texas
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A new “bathroom bill” that would bar transgender public school students from using the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity has passed the Texas House, Dallas News reports. If the Senate agrees to the bill and Texas Governor Greg Abbott declines to veto it, Texas will become the second state in the United States to pass such legislation. 

According to KXAN, the bill that passed the house removed language from the original version, restricting its applicability to public schools. 

Passage of the bill could be significant to the state’s meetings and events industry, as similar legislation in North Carolina prompted a backlash from the state’s hospitality and events industry. Executives from Starwood Hotels, Choice Hotels and Hilton joined a range of other businesses, along with the Human Rights Campaign, to sign an open letter calling for repeal of the legislation. 

According to an analysis released by the Associated Press, the legislation cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in lost business over the next 12 years, as organizations including the NCAA pulled events out of the state. Other financial setbacks included the loss of a PayPal facility that was being planned for the state to the cancellation of a concert by Ringo Starr. The AP compiled its analysis through interviews and public records requests. 

Business groups in Texas had voiced concerns over an earlier version of the legislation passed in March, according to The Hill. Dallas-based companies American Airlines and Dell both spoke out against it, and the NFL said that it would reconsider hosting future Super Bowls in the state if the legislation passed. Additionally, the NCAA is scheduled to host the Final Four in San Antonio next year. 

Stay tuned to www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for further updates to this developing story. 

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