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ate, not the pub­lic stances of law­mak­ers on pro­pos­als or bills that never came up for a vote.

For in­stance, the Texas As­so­ci­a­tion of Busi­ness and many other groups lob­bied hard against the so-called “bath­room bill” backed by so­cial con­ser­va­tives — which would have re­quired trans­gen­der peo­ple to use pub­lic bath­rooms match­ing the gen­der listed on their birth cer­tifi­cates — and it died in the House af­ter win­ning ap­proval from the Se­nate. As a re­sult, the bath­room bill is in­cluded in the Texas As­so­ci­a­tion of Busi­ness rank­ings for state sen­a­tors but not for House mem­bers, be­cause the bill never came up for a vote there.

Other is­sues that aren’t re­flected in the score­card in­clude suc­cess­ful ef­forts by the Texas As­so­ci­a­tion of Busi­ness and its leg­isla­tive al­lies to pre­vent elim­i­na­tion of a num­ber of state in­cen­tive pro­grams for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Is­sues in­cluded on the score­card in­clude votes in both the House and Se­nate on Se­nate Bill 4, which bans so-called “sanc­tu­ary ci­ties” that de­cline to as­sist with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment. The Texas As­so­ci­a­tion of Busi­ness op­posed the bill, say­ing it “cre­ates a cli­mate for dis­crim­i­na­tory be­hav­ior,” but it was ap­proved by both cham­bers any­way and signed by the gov­er­nor.

Suc­cess­ful pro­pos­als backed by the busi­ness group in­clude a mea­sure pre­vent­ing ci­ties from im­pos­ing a new kind of fee on con­struc­tion, a mea­sure aimed at cur­tail­ing friv­o­lous law­suits af­ter hail­storms and other nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, and a new fi­nanc­ing mech­a­nism to fund port im­prove­ments.

State Rep. Os­car Lon­go­ria, D-Mis­sion, was the group’s top-ranked law­maker this year, reg­is­ter­ing a 100 per­cent in the score­card. State Rep. Jonathan Stick­land, R-Bed­ford, ranked low­est, with a 41 per­cent grade.

Mose­ley said the score­card il­lus­trates that many law­mak­ers in the state “are fight­ing for high-pay­ing jobs and tax base that is healthy.”

Still, he pointed out that Texas dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 in a CNBC rank­ing of “Amer­ica’s top states for busi­ness” pub­lished in July, call­ing it an in­di­ca­tion that the state’s busi­ness com­mu­nity needs to be­come more en­gaged in vet­ting po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates.

Jim Hen­son, di­rec­tor of the Texas Pol­i­tics Project at the Univer­sity of Texas, said an ef­fort to mo­bi­lize busi­ness groups to be more po­lit­i­cally in­volved is a sound strat­egy, if a bit late.

“What we’re now see­ing is a de­layed ad­just­ment and a late re­al­iza­tion that the na­ture of the far-right groups within the (Repub­li­can Party) has sub­tly shifted and is not quite so easy to bar­gain with and align with (busi­ness) in­ter­ests,” Hen­son said. But “it’s a rea­son­ably re­al­is­tic goal for the busi­ness and trade groups to be­come both more strate­gic and more ac­tive in the way that they in­ter­vene in the process.”

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