North Carolina Republicans rammed through the disastrous HB2 “bathroom bill” in less than 24 hours last year and have since piddled away multiple opportunities to repeal the law, which is projected to cost the state upward of $3.76 billion over a dozen years, according to a new Associated Press analysis:
Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. 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.
North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through 2022, and North Carolina won't be among them as long as the law is on the books. The NAACP also has initiated a national economic boycott.
The AP analysis (http://apne.ws/2n9GSjE ) — compiled through interviews and public records requests — represents the largest reckoning yet of how much the law, passed one year ago, could cost the state.
The story goes on to say that the AP's numbers are likely still an undercount because the research only took into account known projects that were either scrapped or displaced from the state. There's essentially no way to know the full ripple effects of future projects for which the Tar Heel State might have been in the mix absent the HB2 law.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan — who leads the largest company based in North Carolina — said he's spoken privately to business leaders who went elsewhere with projects or events because of the controversy, and he fears more decisions like that are being made quietly.
"Companies are moving to other places because they don't face an issue that they face here," he told a World Affairs Council of Charlotte luncheon last month. "What's going on that you don't know about? What convention decided to take you off the list? What location for a distribution facility took you off the list? What corporate headquarters consideration for a foreign company [...] just took you off the list because they just didn't want to be bothered with the controversy? That's what eats you up."
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has been advising Texas lawmakers considering a similar measure that the law hasn't been all that harmful to the state's economy. But somehow, Forest couldn't find time to speak with the AP about the new analysis.