AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Major tech companies and business groups are joining advocates from the gay community to try to stop a pair of proposals in the Texas Senate. Two years after a bathroom privacy bill created huge divides in Texas politics, a coalition of hundreds of businesses signed a letter against proposals they say form a ‘bathroom bill 2.0.’
Senate Bill 17 would protect state-licensed professionals who cite religious beliefs while refusing to serve certain people. Senate Bill 15 would standardize statewide rules for paid sick leave, but critics say the bill would also eliminate local non-discrimination ordinances.
Both SB 15 and SB 17 are priority bills for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. He also led the charge on the bathroom bill two years ago. Concern over the potential negative economic impact of those bills led the business coalition Texas Welcomes All to step up in opposition.
This week’s State of Texas program takes an in-depth look at the proposals, from why supporters say Texas needs this law to how it’s bringing businesses and the LGBTQ community together in opposition.