Anti-LGBT HB2 will cost North Carolina $3.76 billion

The top Republican in North Carolina's executive branch is throwing a blunt counterpunch to the Democratic governor's call to repeal the state's "bathroom bill", despite economic losses stemming from the legislation that's stirred up fierce debates about gender.

The "bathroom bill" is set to cost the state $3.76 billion over the course of the next 12 years, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Over the a year ago since the law was enacted, North Carolina has lost several major events and planned business expansions, including a new PayPal facility that would have brought in an estimated $2.66 billion to the economy. And according to a North Carolina Commerce Department analysis the AP cited, the impact was massive, as officials there expected PayPal to put more than $2.6 billion into the state's economy by 2028.

The draft bill and subsequent news conference by Berger and Moore came after elected officials were warned Tuesday that the NCAA is ready to make official a bypassing of North Carolina's athletics venues through spring 2022.

North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, a Republican, said in a statement Monday that lawmakers continue "to work toward a reasonable compromise that ends the distraction of" the bill. And he said the "conscience protection" provision would "provide little to no relief for the religious person in North Carolina".

"What's going on that you don't know about?" Instead, most of the losses the AP tallied came from a tech company calling off big plans for the state just days after then-Gov. PayPal, Deutsche Bank, the NCAA, and Lionsgate all pulled out of the state after the bill's introduction, with performers such as Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Bryan Adams boycotting North Carolina amid the law's introduction.

While HB 2's 2016 passage made it the only such state law now on the books, other states have tried to pass similar laws, both before HB 2 and after its effects were known and estimated to be "only" in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Events including NCAA tournament games all jumped out of the Tar Heel State along with business investments after the "bathroom bill" was passed past year.

"AP story says NC HB2 bill will cost state 3.76B", Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe tweeted.

"That means fewer jobs and less money in the pockets of middle-class families", Cooper tweeted in response to the report. The proposal was made by the governor's attorney, Berger said.

The fiscal cost-benefit analysis model has been used for more than a decade when the state offers major discretionary tax breaks to attract jobs. "The effect is minimal to the state", Forest recently assured Texas lawmakers, who are considering a similar bill. Repeal efforts have failed.

North Carolina could lose additional revenue - hundreds of millions of dollars worth - because the NCAA is avoiding the state, the AP reported.

UNC men's basketball coach Roy Williams said last week that the resolution of HB2 should be driven by more than sporting events saying, "It should be about what's right and wrong and what we have now is wrong".

  • Larry Hoffman