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A warning from North Carolina

Are we listening?

A North Carolina mayor issued a warning Thursday to Texas lawmakers concerning Senate Bill 6, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s anti-transgender bathroom bill.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said a similar law in the Tarheel State — House Bill 2 — has created a “manmade recession,” and recently prompted a Fortune 500 company to decide not to relocate its headquarters to her city.

Vaughan added that the law, estimated to have cost North Carolina’s economy hundreds of millions of dollars, has been especially harmful to low-wage, hourly workers who rely on jobs related to concerts and sporting events.

“I have not heard of one business that has said, ‘I’m coming to North Carolina because of HB 2,’” Vaughan said. “I would caution your legislature to be careful, because repealing it is much harder than passing it.”

Karrie League, co-owner and co-founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, said she fears SB 6 would have a devastating impact on events such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.

“Texas will receive the same treatment North Carolina did, if not worse,” she said.

Vaughan and League were two of the speakers at a briefing in the Capitol last week to discuss SB6 and other anti-LGBT bills that have been filed. I’ll be publishing an interview with Jessica Shortall of Texas Competes on Monday that will discuss some of these issues in a bit more detail. The main point is, this will be bad. We know it will be bad, because we have seen it be bad in North Carolina and Indiana. Anyone who says it will not be bad is at best in denial and at worst outright lying.

Meanwhile, Greg Abbott does Greg Abbott things.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is maintaining his largely neutral stance on Texas’ “bathroom bill” as pressure picks up on him to weigh in on the legislation.

“This is an alarming issue that is an obvious concern to a lot of Texans,” Abbott told The Texas Tribune on Thursday night while attending the Latino Inaugural Gala, an event celebrating Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. “I think it’s very important that legislators have the opportunity to listen to the concerns of their fellow Texans and consider the right remedies for those concerns.”


When he was asked about the bill before it was released, Abbott took a wait-and-see approach, calling it a legitimate issue but saying more information was needed on it. He indicated Thursday night his posture toward legislation has not changed much in the two weeks since Patrick unveiled it alongside state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, the bill’s lead author.

Pressed on the issue Thursday night, Abbott again emphasized that it is worthy of attention, especially after President Barack Obama created a “new paradigm” by issuing guidelines last year allowing for public schools to accommodate transgender students.

“So you have parents of kids in schools who have legitimate concerns about this new situation that their children are put in that they’re going to have to address,” Abbott said. “Now, it may mean dealing with the administration in Washington, it may mean that we come up with some new laws, but what’s important is we find remedies that allay the concerns of these parents about the situation their children have been put in.”

Joe Straus wants no part of this. Dan Patrick is all in on it. Greg Abbott tosses a big ol’ word salad and heads for the exit when asked. Leadership, y’all.

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