New Study Says a Nondiscrimination Law Could Bring Big Business to Texas

Texas Competes report: LGBTQIA protections could generate $738 million in state revenue

New Study Says a Nondiscrimination Law Could Bring Big Business to Texas

A study analyzing the economic benefits of a statewide comprehensive nondiscrimination law is now putting numbers and dollars behind the maxim that discrimination is bad for business.

According to recent analysis commissioned by Texas Competes – a statewide coalition of businesses, chambers of commerce, and other entities "making the economic case for Texas to be welcoming to LGBTQ people" – the Lone Star State stands to gain billions in business activity, among other economic advantages, over time if Texas were to pass an LGBTQIA nondiscrimination act with protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

In a webinar last week co-hosted by Texas Competes and the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the study's leader, economist Ray Perryman, presented findings from the Perryman Group's May survey that indicate a statewide LGBTQIA nondiscrimination law could generate $738 million in state revenue and $531 million in local revenue in the next biennium. Such a law could also lead to the creation of 180,000 jobs, plus $19.8 billion in gross product in the tourism and tech sectors by 2025, according to the study – growth that would stem largely from Texas' greater ability to attract tech talent, tourism, conventions, and related activities. Of those 180,000 jobs, Austin would account for 27,000, with a projected path to 123,000 new jobs by 2045 out of the study's estimated 700,000 new jobs statewide by then.

"If we want to escalate our competitive advantage into the future, our research shows significant benefits from enactment of a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that includes all people, including LGBTQ people," said Perryman in a press release.

The survey coincides with a concerted effort by state lawmakers working to pass a statewide LGBTQIA nondiscrimination law in the 87th Texas Lege session. In a May virtual announcement – which also referenced some study findings – state Rep. Jessica González (D-Dallas), vice chair of the LGBTQ House Caucus, announced she would prioritize the bill next session, with the bipartisan support of state Reps. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) and Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), plus early backing from several Demo­cratic state reps. Last week members of the Central Texas House delegation – state Reps. Erin Zwiener, Sheryl Cole, James Talarico, Eddie Rodri­guez, Donna Howard, Vikki Goodwin, John Bucy III, and Gina Hinojosa – added their support to working on a bipartisan, comprehensive LGBTQIA nondiscrimination bill to be filed in the 87th Lege Session.

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