Repealing HB2 Now Is How NC's Reputation Starts To Heal
The North Carolina General Assembly has begun its short session and now lawmakers have the opportunity to repeal HB2. Senator Dan Blue believes there is a chance to stem the loss of revenue and reputation with action now. Losses of jobs, conventions, events, and other tourist expenditures will cost an estimated $568 million through 2018.
Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue of Raleigh said, opponents of the law rewriting anti-discrimination protections will put their faith in the justice system, as they have in other Republican-written laws that have ended up in court. A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HB2 was filed soon after it became law with Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature.
But Blue said there’s a chance to reverse the loss of jobs, revenue and reputation. He said he has seen estimates of up to $568 million private sector losses by 2018 through loss of jobs, tourist dollars, conventions and events. (Blue’s office later said that figure is a projection from a report by the Center for American Progress.
“I think this short session is the one opportunity in North Carolina to stem the reputational harm that will be long-lasting if it is not done — harm that will have a tail 20, 25 years long,” Blue said.
Blue said the state’s diversion of taxes to sales and consumption leaves it even more vulnerable to economic boycotts and damage from loss of tourism dollars. He said it doesn’t prevent sex offenders from looking for victims in public restrooms.
“I’m assuming at some point the leadership in the General Assembly along with the governor, will decide this is the king of thing that concrete and decisive action has to be taken on, and has to be taken pretty immediately,” Blue said.