New Analysis: HB 2 Will Cost North Carolina $3.76 Billion

By Adam Polaski • March 27, 2017 • 12:01 pm

A new Associated Press analysis released this morning finds that HB 2, the discriminatory North Carolina law that bans transgender people from public restrooms, will cost the state at least $3.76 billion in lost investment over the next 12 years. The comprehensive analysis includes interviews with business and tourism officials, and looks at what sporting events or businesses specifically cite HB 2 as a factor in the decision to divert investment elsewhere. The report also found that HB 2 has cost the state at least 2,900 direct jobs.

The AP analysis comes as several states – most notably Texas – consider legislation similar to HB 2. In fact, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest recently visited Texas to promote that state’s SB 6 legislation, and summarily dismissed the facts surrounding the economic impact of HB 2: “Our economy is doing well. Don’t be fooled by the media. This issue is not about the economy.”

Matt McTighe, Executive Director of Freedom for All Americans, said today:

“It’s indisputable that discriminatory measures like HB 2 and SB 6 hurt a state’s economy and deliver nothing but economic hardship to small business owners and countless other employees who depend on things like travel and tourism, sporting events and major conventions to earn a living,” said Matt McTighe, Freedom for All Americans’ executive director. “There’s no running away from the facts – HB 2 and its copycat bills that have cropped up across the country are about discriminating against transgender people. Lawmakers who support discrimination will have an increasingly hard time denying that there is a real economic fallout to these types of measures.”

The AP’s analysis is likely to reverberate beyond North Carolina. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, the primary supporter of the state’s discriminatory SB 6 legislation, has falsely claimed: “There is no evidence whatsoever that the passage of Senate Bill 6 would have any economic impact in Texas.” In fact, preliminary and conservative estimates indicate that SB 6 would immediately cost the Lone Star State at least $407 million in lost revenue.

The AP analysis highlights particularly large hits to North Carolina’s convention and tourism industry, as well as losses from sporting events moved to other states. These two sectors should present warning lights for Texas lawmakers considering discriminatory legislation – the tourism industry generates more than $68 billion in revenue annually and supports more than 1.1 million jobs. Revenue from upcoming NCAA events, meanwhile, is projected to bring in nearly $159 million over the next two years, with cities like Dallas, Austin, College Station, and San Antonio all slated to host championship events. But just last week, the NCAA warned North Carolina lawmakers that the state was at risk of missing out on hosting any championship events through at least 2022, as long as HB 2 remained on the books.

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