Texas transgender bill unveiled ahead of 2017 session

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas lawmakers will decide whether to embrace an issue that caused a national uproar in North Carolina – requiring people to use government and public school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers that correspond with their biological sex.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unveiled the proposed law Thursday. The GOP-controlled Legislature convenes next week and could support it, although House Speaker Joe Straus suggested it won’t be the highest priority.

The proposed law lets private businesses set their own policies and allows schools to make special accommodations. But Texas’ largest business lobbying group says it could cost the state up to $8.5 billion and 100,000-plus jobs. Patrick said that’s unlikely.

North Carolina faced boycotts, and potentially billions of dollars in lost state revenue, after passing its own version last year.