HB2 repeal may bring economic benefits for N.C.

Cheryl Sanders
April 3, 2017

This morning, the state Senate voted in favor of the repeal in a 32-16 vote. Pat McCrory, "North Carolina and its commercial real-estate industry has suffered millions in lost revenue from taxes, leases and fees, as dozens of economic-development prospects have passed over our state because of this law". "With their resources and power and money, and their trying to get some other corporations to help support them in the battle...[The] fact of the matter is, they did not get a full repeal of HB2". "And then they have to wait and see whether or not the board of governors will determine whether or not this bill that was recently passed is a sufficient change in the law for the board to feel comfortable going back to North Carolina".

Mac McCorkle, a political consultant to the two previous North Carolina Democratic governors, said he doesn't think complaints from outside groups will hurt Cooper unless he disappoints them repeatedly. That's why Duke hosted NCAA women's basketball tournament games in Durham this month.

HB2 had also restricted local governments' ability to enact nondiscrimination ordinances.

Michael Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State University in Raleigh, said that from an economic perspective, "now discussions of business expansion in North Carolina can focus on fundamentals, such as labor quality and availability, business costs and access to markets".

The ACC moved its championship games out of state, and Duke and SC were forced to play an NCAA tournament game in Greenville, S.C., instead of Greensboro, N.C., this year.

More replacement than repeal, the measure eliminates the requirement that transgender people in government facilities use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate.

College athletics' governing body said that it is deciding this week on locations for tournaments through the spring of 2022 and that it won't award any to North Carolina if the law known as House Bill 2 is on the books.

But the angry reaction by gay-rights activists means the issue could remain a red flag, said Pete Mohan, a site selection consultant in Florida.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign and various advocates have slammed the new bill for its lack of protection for LGBT people.

"I don't know why any of these people thought they could use the exact secret process and incompetence that got them into this problem to get them out of this problem", Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in an interview Friday.

"What we proved two weeks ago is that there is a place for basketball in SC too", Buddie said.

"This is not a ideal deal, and it is not my preferred solution", he said during a news conference. Other artists who refused to perform in North Carolina due to the bill include Blue Man Group, Pearl Jam and former Beatle Ringo Starr.

Amid the mounting pressure from the NCAA, the Republican-controlled North Carolina Senate approved a compromise measure to roll back HB2, sending the legislation to the GOP-dominated House.

Buddie contends that Greenville's almost flawless management of the event this year and the University of South Carolina's run to the women and men's Final Four exhibit the Palmetto State's appeal.

It was one of the most controversial state laws in recent times and led to many boycotts from companies, music stars and sports organisations.

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