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Lurch to Right May Imperil Texas’ Attraction for Employers

  • Restrictions on voting, abortion are among toughest in U.S.
  • Governor Abbott defends measures, says many companies approve
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In the past decade, Texas attracted almost 4 million people and a cavalcade of employers thanks to low taxes, lax regulation and thriving cities. But a defiant attitude toward Covid restrictions, new limits on voting access and now the nation’s strictest abortion law could undermine its appeal for future moves. 

Companies including Apple Inc., Toyota Motor Corp. and Tesla Inc. have moved operations and college-educated, creative-class workers to Texas in recent years; enclaves like Austin and Houston’s Montrose neighborhood felt a little like San Francisco with withering humidity. Now, those workers find themselves in a state taking far-right stances in a culture war with national ramifications for women’s autonomy and presidential politics.