HB2 Continues to Hurt NC's Economy, State Leaders Ignore the Problem
With HB2 still on the books, the damage from this discriminatory law continues to plague our state. Studies have shown that HB2 could results in the loss of hundreds of millions in economic activity, yet politicians left town without repealing this terrible law.
In a May 26 interview with the Journal editorial board, state Budget Director Drew Heath said that no study had been done by his office. The bill’s impact has been “relatively mild” in a state making a strong economic comeback, he said.
“The State Budget Office continues to monitor revenue and economic forecasts, but no specific individual impact analysis is planned for HB2. Again, our data indicates that the state has added new jobs, the unemployment rate is at an 8-year low and revenues are up above projections,” Melanie Jennings, a spokeswoman for state budget office, told me in an email Wednesday.
I wish GOP leaders would present their own fully detailed studies to put us at ease, because it’s been hard to keep up with the countless and costly cancellations that we keep seeing in the news. Among the biggest were PayPal cancelling a planned expansion in Charlotte and Deutsche Bank freezing an expansion in Cary.
The other hits keep coming, among them the NBA’s strong consideration of moving its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
In an April report, the Center for American Progress said that, based on publicly available estimates of the economic impact, HB2 could potentially cost our state more than $567 million in the private sector economy through 2018. That report claimed the state had already lost out on $86 million, and could lose more than $481 million more because of cancelled events, businesses leaving and tourism dips.
I have to wonder why the GOP leaders didn’t have their own analysis of the impact that they could publicly release.