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Top Stories: Texas Business Group Airs Radio Ads Against So-Called 'Bathroom Bill'


The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Business and tourism groups are continuing to speak out against the state’s so-called “bathroom bill,” being deliberated during the special legislative session that's underway.

The Texas Association of Business announced a $1 million ad buy across the state last week to oppose the legislature’s effort to restrict access of transgender Texans to public restrooms and other facilities.

TAB radio ads began running this week, and one airing in the Dallas area zeroes in on the city’s hopes of hosting the NFL Draft next year. Here's an excerpt from one of those ads:

A Texas Association of Business radio ad against the so-called "bathroom bill."

“As a lifelong Cowboys fan, I’m thrilled that the 2018 NFL draft could be in Dallas, bringing the NFL’s brightest stars, tens of thousands of fans and millions in revenue to our state – but all of that could be in jeopardy. The legislature is considering unnecessary legislation that could harm our state. These bathroom bills won’t make us safer, but if they pass, the NFL could reject Dallas’s bid to host the draft.”

The ad goes on to tell listeners to contact their legislators and ask them to reject the legislation.

Angela Hale, a spokesperson for the Keep Texas Open for Business Coalition associated with the TAB, said the organizations remain “steadfastly opposed” to the legislation and plan to invest heavily in efforts to halt it.

“We believe that a bathroom bill would result in terrible economic consequences for the state on sporting events, on talent, on tourism, on investment, on growth, on our small businesses,” said Hale.

A Senate Committee passed Senate Bill 3 last week, which would require people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate in government buildings and public schools.

Other stories this morning:

  • Texas senators have given preliminary approval to extending a study of why an alarming number of Texas mothers are dying after childbirth. Senate Bill 17 would allow the Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity to continue its work until 2023, which includes looking at what other states are doing to curb their maternal death rates and to better help women with postpartum depression. The chamber is expected to pass the bill — which has bipartisan support – on third reading Tuesday.
  • This summer, KERA’s education reporters are profiling folks making a difference in North Texas schools. We’re calling them American Graduate Champions. Today – what happens when your school heads to the state championship for smart kids three years running? The Academic Decathlon team doubles in size. KERA’s Bill Zeeble visits Seagoville High School in Dallas and the force behind this team: teacher Mark Harrington.

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 Stephanie Kuo is an award-winning radio journalist who worked as a reporter and administrative producer at KERA, overseeing and coordinating editorial content reports and logistics for the Texas Station Collaborative – a statewide news consortium including KERA, KUT in Austin, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.