State Rep. Byron Cook Exclusive: Gov. Abbott Should Take Bathroom Bill Off the Table

Business universally does not like this type of legislation. Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN Texas I continue to believe that if Gov. Abbott who is our most popular elected official would just make a statement that were taking this (bathroom bill) issue off the table say its not going to happen on my watch and were going to go about our business then we would width=371give business the certainty theyre looking for in a location said Byron Cook chairman of the Texas Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness in an exclusive interview immediately after gaveling the Committees final hearing to a close. When I look at the RFP for Amazons second headquarters when I look at Amazons mission where Texas might be a state that has a finalist city or two in the end unless the state withdraws bathroom legislation from its legislative agenda I dont think well be chosen Cook tells Texas Insiders Jim Cardle. The one thing businesses dont like that industry doesnt like is uncertainty. So as long as this cloud hangs over us and theyre not certain what Texas is going to do then its not likely that Amazon or any other major significant company like them is going to step forward (and move to Texas) said Cook who also chairs the Houses powerful State Affairs Committee. Business universally does not like this type of legislation.
And by the way if you look at North Carolina when they enacted similar legislation everything kind of came to a standstill. In fact Forbes just came out and said that during the course of that legislation it cost the state of North Carolina a half a billion dollars. Now North Carolina rescinded that legislation said Cook and they went back up to the top location (of the states considered most attractive to business.) That was because they removed what is considered to be punitive discriminatory non-productive legislation. And Ill tell you one of the big drivers of that I think was Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. He had one of the top teams in last years NCAA Final 8 games and Duke was supposed to play a home width=332game because they were seeded higher. But they had to go to South Carolina to play (because of North Carolinas Bathroom Bill) and guess who ends up in the Final 4… South Carolina. Afterwards he said publicly that he blamed part of the loss on losing his home court advantage said Cook. So we heard from some of the brightest corporate executives this state has to offer and they will all tell you that if Texas is going to continue to land the major business opportunities we have to have incentives. Remember were competing with every state in the nation and most have major business incentives packages. Business is going to go where they have the greatest opportunity. If no other state offered incentives then thatd be a different situation. But theyre looking at where can we get the most productive workers at the least amount of cost. These are things we have to deal with noted Cook. And by the way when these jobs come in theyre high-paying jobs that afford a great quality of life for our younger generations. So we have to have these tools. We heard (in these hearings) that Texas has laid a good historical foundation for businesses to want to be here and thats the good news. But the reality of the fact is we have a challenge because there are threats to us continuing to have that dominant position. Theyre all things we can address but were going to need to address them said Cook. Cook said the the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness will release its recommendations report on December 12 2017.
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