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Big economic loss could be in store if ‘bathroom bill’ becomes law

Report estimates millions in lost tourism and business revenue

Lego model of a public bathroom with light brown walls, toilet, urinal, sink, toilet paper holder, paper towel dispenser, greenish floor, on white and green grid
Lego model of a public bathroom
Online Design/Creative Commons

The Texas Privacy Act (SB6)—better known as the “bathroom bill”—could potentially cost the city of Austin millions of dollars in revenue, according to a KVUE-TV report.

Last week, the local NBC affiliate looked at a report, commissioned by the Texas Association of Business, to project potential losses based on what happened after other states passed similar laws.

According to the report, estimated potential losses are $38 million over four years for revenue associated with the annual South by Southwest festivals and conferences alone.

Measuring by the repercussions of a similar law in North Carolina, the report also estimated a $108 million loss over four years associated with the Formula 1 racing event.

The story also quoted the concerns of Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, over potential losses in his district, which he expressed at a Texas Association of Business conference. In contrast, KXAN reported, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the Texas Tribune he thinks the state’s economy is strong enough to weather any such storm.

The bill, filed by State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, on Jan. 5, would require “biological sex” to be a factor in the use of multiple-occupancy bathrooms in public schools and government buildings—that includes places such as shower rooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms as well, the station reported in an earlier story.

That story also clarified that the rule would apply to governmental buildings only, although it also forbids cities from making requiring other arrangements from nongovernmental businesses; the law, if passed, would override any applicable local statutes

KXAN added that the law would be enforced via possible fines if a complaint is filed against an institution to which the law applies.

Report details potential losses for Austin if ‘bathroom bill’ passes [KXAN]

Breaking down what the so-called ‘Bathroom Bill’ means for Texans [KXAN]