On Monday, four county judges from some of the largest counties in Texas, collectively with a population of more than 6.5 million, told Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, they were opposed to the so-called "bathroom bill."
The judges who signed off on the letter include Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt.
The judges call Senate Bill 6 an unnecessary, discriminatory and economically damaging piece of legislation and say the state could miss out on billions in lost business if it is passed.
"In North Carolina, HB2 —the 'twin bill' to SB 6— will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over 12 years based on an analysis of data by the Associated Press," the letter reads. "The North Carolina economy is less than one-third the size of the Texas economy."
The judges said the bill may have already cost Texas money. According to the letter, Texas likely experienced direct spending losses totaling $407 million, which equates to the yearly salary for more than 500 Child Protective Services investigative caseworkers. These losses were reported by officials from Texas' tourism industry in hearings on the bill.
In addition, the letter cites criticism of the bill from officials within their counties, including San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, El Paso Police Department Sgt. Enrique Carillo and Austin Police Department Detective Mike Crumrine.
The letter states fast-growing cities like Katy, Pflugerville, Alamo Heights and Grand Prairie will be harmed right alongside Dallas, Houston and Austin.
"We cannot jeopardize that growth with irresponsible, unnecessary legislation like SB 6," the letter reads. "Please continue to focus on the core priorities of our state and oppose costly, discriminatory distractions like SB 6."
Read the full letter here.