A first-of-its-kind study by renowned Texas economist Dr. Ray Perryman, commissioned by the business coalition Texas Competes (a project of Equality Texas) has been released. The study examines the expected economic impacts of a statewide, comprehensive nondiscrimination law covering employment, housing, and public spaces for LGBTQ Texans and visitors. The Perryman Group found that in the first biennium, such a law would create $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenues, and in the 2021-2045 period, it would create 700,000 new jobs, more than $1.3 trillion in gross product, and $130 billion in tax revenues for state and local governments.
The study found major opportunity costs to Texas of not including LGBTQ people in its existing nondiscrimination laws. A welcoming Texas would enjoy increased competitiveness for talent, corporate investment, and tourism, with benefits flowing to every region and industry in the state.
“Texas is one of the best states to do business. If we want to escalate our competitive advantage into the future, our research shows significant benefits from enactment of a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that includes all people, including LGBTQ people, ” said Dr. Ray Perryman, CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic analysis firm based in Waco, Texas. “Our analysis found enormous, untapped economic potential for our state if LGBTQ people were protected from discrimination based on who they are.”
Topline findings of the study show that a 2021 statewide nondiscrimination policy would result in:
“The good news is that 70% of Texans – including majorities in both parties and all major religious groups – already support the idea of nondiscrimination protections for their LGBTQ neighbors, coworkers, family members, and friends,” said Jessica Shortall, Director of Texas Competes. “Passing a comprehensive nondiscrimination law isn’t just the right thing to do to ensure LGBTQ people have the same opportunities to earn a living, support their families, and contribute to their communities. Dr. Perryman’s work shows us that such a policy is crucial to the future competitiveness of the state, and that it would deliver tangible benefits to all Texans.”
As a part of the public rollout of the study, Representative Jessica González, Democrat of Dallas and LGBTQ House Caucus Vice Chair, announced she would author and prioritize the bill next session. González brought together a diverse group of House leaders, including Republicans Sarah Davis (Houston) and Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi) and Democrats Senfronia Thompson (Houston), Chris Turner (Grand Prairie), Raphael Anchia (Dallas), and Garnet Coleman (Houston), who helped launch the study and have agreed to work together on a bipartisan, comprehensive nondiscrimination bill to be filed in the 87th Texas legislative session in 2021.