In an effort to keep Texas from enacting a so-called "bathroom bill" and a "religious freedom" bill in the state, business organizations are stressing the economic impact of such legislation.
At a press conference Tuesday at the Texas State Capitol, Keep Texas Open for Business and the Texas Association of Business (TAB) unveiled an economic impact study that looked into the effects of the proposed bills on the Texas economy.
TAB said the study will help frame the debate heading into the 2017 legislative session. The social issue of the next legislative session is likely to be bathrooms, after Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told the Dallas Regional Chamber that it would be a priority in 2017.
According to the study conducted by St. Edward's University, the economic impact of two proposed laws in the upcoming legislative session could mean a loss as high as $8.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product. The study also shows there would be a loss of 185,000 jobs.
Representatives believe these laws would make it more difficult for businesses to attract and keep dynamic talent. According to the TAB, businesses make up 60 percent of the state's income.
Nineteen states have considered so-called "bathroom bill" legislation in 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. North Carolina enacted it and ended up losing several big events as a result.
To read the full study, go here.
Watch the full press conference, which started at 11 a.m., below: