California bans state-funded travel to Texas

Another fight the Texas Attorney General's Office is taking up is with California.

AUSTIN - Cranes in the sky, homes flying off the market and the unbearable traffic are all signs the Austin, and Texas, economy is booming. 

In fact according to the Texas Relocation Report, Florida was the only state more people relocated to in 2015.

"Well I mean what is there to not draw people to Texas," questioned Marc Rylander,  Director of Communications for the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

Rylander also pointed out the largest number of people relocating to Texas are coming from California.

"We have the most vibrant economy, these are the greatest times in our state. We're not perfect like most places; however, we have the best food, the best football, the best people, the best culture," he said. "Who wouldn't want to come to Texas?"

Well, turns out it's California. It's Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, added four states, including Texas, to the list of restricted state travel. That's places state-funded and state-sponsored travel is prohibited if the state has laws that "authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or against same-sex couples or their families."

So what Texas law does that?

According to California's leaders, it's House Bill 3859. It's the bill lawmakers approved last month that allows faith-based agencies to place children in homes based on the group's sincerely held religious beliefs.

"At the end of the day, what we're trying to get is more homes. And I don't think this prevents more homes from coming from any sector of society from coming to the table," said Representative James Frank (R - Wichita Falls) who authored the bill. 

Opponents of the new law, and the Attorney General of California, say the law allows foster care agencies to discriminate against and disqualify LGBT families.

Rylander says the ban is just political grandstanding.

"If it wasn't this bill, it would be another bill. And so what we find is that California, the left coast, people there who are seeing people leave their state in droves to come to Texas are doing everything they can to build Texas in a bad light," said Rylander. 

The ban is already putting one Texas convention in jeopardy. The National Communication Association is set to meet in Dallas later this year, but leaders say now they're reconsidering.

It could also impact university sporting events. The California AG's office tells KVUE News it will provide guidance to universities soon.

California now bans state-funded travel to eight states.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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