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Top Stories: Legislative Chatter On Borders And Bathrooms; Texas Film Incentives At Risk

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Discussions about border security and bathrooms dominated day two of the Texas Legislative session.

Some Republican state lawmakers want the incoming Trump administration to reimburse Texas $2.8 billion that the state has paid for border security.

A group of tourism bureau presidents and business organization leaders also announced a campaign opposing Senate Bill 6. The measure would require Texans to use the public restroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.

Phillip Jones, who heads the Visit Dallas bureau, told the Texas Tribune the bill creates a perception that the state is not open and inclusive.

However, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said he doesn’t believe the so-called bathroom bill would lead to boycotts of Texas. It did happen in North Carolina after similar legislation passed.

The Texas House yesterday also debated — but did not approve — similar rules for restrooms at the State Capitol.

Other stories this morning:

  • Former Gov. Rick Perry’s trying to remove himself from potential conflicts of interest if he’s confirmed as U.S Energy Secretary. The ethics disclosure he filed this week said Perry would sell off his holdings in several energy companies, including Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • With news that Texas will have less money to work with this legislative session, lawmakers in both the House and Senate are introducing bills to abolish a program offering incentives to lure movie and television productions to the state. Our Big Screen team talked about what that would do for the Texas film industry.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and KERANews.org. She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.