House Bill 2 will cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion over 12 years, according to an Associated Press analysis report.
The estimate was compiled based on businesses moving development from North Carolina, musicians canceling planned tour stops and athletic events being pulled from the state. The largest contributor was PayPal’s decision to cancel development of a Charlotte operations center — an estimated $2.66 billion financial blow to the state by the end of 2028.
The bill, passed last March, has attracted a slew of criticism from North Carolinians, including Gov. Roy Cooper.
“That means fewer jobs and less money in the pockets of middle-class families,” Cooper tweeted in response to the report.
Although, according to Public Policy Polling, 58 percent of North Carolina voters think the bill is hurting the state, Cooper and the state legislature have been unable to compromise on a repeal plan.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest criticized the AP report, saying it did not have basis in fact and ignored North Carolina’s economic growth in 2016.
“It is a sad commentary on our media that outlets are willing to report on potential losses 12 years out, that are not based in fact but rather opinion, all while refusing to highlight the economic successes our state continues to experience,” he said.
Other politicians took to Twitter to voice their support of the report.
“AP story says NC HB2 bill will cost state 3.76B,” Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe tweeted. “Come to Virginia-open and welcoming.”
N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein tweeted a response calling for a repeal of the law.
“Ouch. VA Gov (not to mention SC, TN & GA) is eating our lunch because of HB2,” he tweeted. “Let's stop shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, said she questioned the report and why there is opposition to a 'common-sense' law.
"The AP's 12-year estimate equates to (a) tiny fraction of North Carolina's estimated GDP of ($)6.8 trillion over the next 12 years," Fitzgerald said.
N.C. Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, characterized the response to the AP report with a gif from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
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