STATEWIDE — Is Texas losing its reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation? The state's most powerful business lobby group says it's committed to that not happening after a legislative session fraught with challenges to the business community.
On Tuesday, the Texas Association of Business released its lawmaker scorecard for 2017 and made it clear it'll ramp up its lobbying efforts to keep anti-business legislation from passing in the future.
"Our biggest concern is that the business community hasn't been as fully-engaged, and that's allowed for low voter participation in primaries," said Texas Association of Business CEO Jeff Moseley.
The Texas Association of Business says 12 senators and 75 house members voted with the organization at least 80 percent of the time. The only lawmaker to vote for 100 percent of TAB's so called "pro-business" bills was Rep. Oscar Longoria, D-Mission.
The lowest scores went to two Tea Party Republicans: Sen. Konni Burto, R-Fort Worth, and Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.
But there's concern from business leaders that the state's status as an economic powerhouse could be in jeopardy. They worry the so-called bathroom bill proposal scared business away from the state, and that Texas' new anti-sanctuary city law could open up the door for discrimination.
Critics worry that even debating these measures are scaring off potential businesses, like Amazon who is considering building a second headquarters in Texas.
"When you are talking about discriminatory legislation, legislation that disenfranchises large groups of people, that is not something that Amazon is interested in," said William Mellor of Angelou Economics, who helped devise the scorecard.
The bathroom bill behind them and lucrative business incentives approved during the legislative session, some business leaders are pitching the positives to pull Amazon in.
"There's a lot of opportunity that's there," said Austin Chamber of Commerce legislative Director Drew Scheberle.
Amazon's set to decide next year if Austin or any other Texas city is really is the full package for its next headquarters.