The Associated Press unveiled a hefty price tag Monday for how much House Bill 2 will cost North Carolina — $3.76 billion in lost business by the end of 2028.
The AP’s analysis was compiled through interviews and public records requests and “represents the largest reckoning yet of how much the law, passed one year ago, could cost the state.”
“Still, AP’s tally is likely an underestimation of the law’s true costs. The count includes only data obtained from businesses and state or local officials regarding projects that canceled or relocated because of HB2. A business project was counted only if AP determined through public records or interviews that HB2 was why it pulled out.”
You can see a full breakdown of the AP’s numbers here.
Republicans have assured North Carolinians and others that the sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation isn’t hurting the economy and said they’re willing to pay the price if it keeps sexual predators from going into women’s restrooms and assaulting them.
Opponents say that claim is bogus and that there should be a law in place to protect LGBTQ community members.
Efforts to repeal the law have failed. Efforts to compromise on repealing the law have failed.
Gov. Roy Cooper, who tried to broker a deal in December to get the law repealed, responded Monday to the AP’s report.
“We now know that, based on conservative estimates, North Carolina’s economy stands to lose nearly $4 billion because of House Bill 2,” he said. “That means fewer jobs and less money in the pockets of middle class families. We need to fix this now. I remain ready to support a compromise that works to end discrimination and brings jobs and sports back to North Carolina.”
Republican leaders have yet to respond to the report on social media. Lt. Dan Forest declined to be interviewed by the AP, according to its report. He is one of the law’s strongest supporters and has “accused news organizations of creating a false picture of economic upheaval.”
The ACLU of NC legal director Chris Brook recently spoke with Chris Fritzsimon about the discriminatory HB2 and what the last year has been like. Brook is involved in the ACLU’s litigation over HB2.
You can listen to his full radio interview on News and Views here.