Controversial laws cost North Carolina more than $8 million
Many have wondered how much legislature's suspect laws are costing North Carolina, in the state's reputation and in taxpayers dollars for defense in court. Even though it's impossible to put a dollar amount on the state's reputation, the legal cost has been estimated at more than $8 million.
The Associated Press reported last week that the Republican-led General Assembly has budgeted $4 million a year for the next two years to pay outside lawyers to defend controversial N.C. laws.
The legislature’s outside legal costs have totaled more than $3 million just since July 2014, the AP reported, mostly to defend its election reform bill that included photo ID and other provisions.
Republican leaders say they question whether Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper will vigorously defend the laws in question, considering he is running for governor against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature’s conservative policies.
That’s understandable, given Cooper’s sometimes outspoken and transparently political opposition to those laws.
A wasteful pattern
The shame, though, is that the legislature has passed so many suspect laws, and persisted in defending them even, at times, in the face of certain defeat. The policies hurt the state, and the legal tab dings taxpayers’ wallets.
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