The New Numbers on What NC Is Losing

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the time has come for North Carolina to repeal House Bill 2 to end the economic hardship facing the state. The blows have landed in the state's biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.

By the end of this year alone, the AP estimates North Carolina will have missed out on more than $525 million, specifically due to HB2.

The NCAA moved championship events out of North Carolina this academic year because of its opposition to the law enacted in March 2016. The NAACP also has initiated a national economic boycott. For its analysis, the AP relied on data regarding businesses that have already chose to leave North Carolina or relocate planned projects in the state because of HB2, and did not take into account future losses. The number reached "is likely an underestimation of the law's true costs", per the AP.

The NCAA moved championship events out of North Carolina this year because of HB2 and could soon leave the state out of events through 2022.

The Republican leaders said Cooper presented them at four-point plan to repeal HB2, but then when they agreed, Cooper denied it had ever been made. Cooper's spokesman, Ford Porter, responded to the GOP news conference in a statement: "It's frustrating that Republican leaders are more interested in political stunts than negotiating a compromise to repeal HB2".

Some HB2 supporters remain unconcerned about the loss in money, saying that the state's economy is strong enough to absorb the hit. Pro-HB2 forces have had a champion in Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who this week wrote Republican legislators urging them not to succumb to a "new form of economic and corporate extortion" by the NCAA that others could use in the future against them on different legislative issues.

The NCAA is in the midst of planning its tournaments for through 2022 and North Carolina, home to some of the country's most prominent college basketball programs - including the University of North Carolina, who are in this year's Final Four (along with their neighbors at the University of SC, just a stone's throw away) - is being ruled out for those as well, thanks to this bill.

Take, for instance, North Carolina's controversial "bathroom bill," HB2, which strips LGBTQ people of anti-discrimination protections and mandates that in many public spaces, individuals must use restrooms in accordance with the sex listed on their birth certificates. The AP says that it arrived at that figure through open-records requests and interviews with officials.

Other measures show North Carolina has a healthy economy.

Forest said he's "deeply troubled" that lawmakers "seem to be reacting to the demands and timetables of an unaccountable, out-of-state organization (NCAA), not elected by the people, to enforce a radical policy change".

The AP report analyzes the projects that have been canceled or relocated because of the bathroom bill. "When you think about it, this whole thing is just such a dumpster fire, and nobody wants to go near it".

  • Larry Hoffman