HB2 Off To The Dustbin Of History, But Fracas Not Over
On Thursday, the North Carolina state Senate voted 32-16 and the House voted 70-48 to pass HB142, a repeal and replace of HB2, which Gov. Roy Cooper signed. The legislation moved quickly seemingly under the gun from the NCAA, which has the power to pull its tournaments out of North Carolina through 2022.
The legislators that pushed HB142 through characterized it as a compromise. It does away with provisions about bathroom usage, but does not allow local governments to create any LGBT anti-discrimination policies for the next three and a half years.
"The North Carolina Chamber thanks House and Senate leadership and the Governor for coming together on a bipartisan basis to find a solution," North Carolina Chamber president and CEO Lew Ebert said immediately after its passage.
The AP reported recently that HB2 has cost the state $3.76B, including the anticipated economic impact of canceled corporate relocation and expansion plans, and events (notably sports events) slated for a North Carolina location but which were called off.
"Our economy was definitely impacted, both on the business recruitment and expansion side of things, but also tourism," Richard Beard, legislative chair of NAIOP North Carolina's Piedmont Triad chapter, told NBC.
The fact that local communities cannot pass their own anti-discrimination policies — such as Charlotte's measure that voided HB2 — is still a focus of strong criticism.
"The way to undo HB2's profound damage to North Carolina and its people has always been a full, clean repeal," ACLU of North Carolina policy director Sarah Gillooly said.
The question now is how businesses and other organizations, especially the NCAA, will react to HB142. NCAA president Mark Emmert said on Thursday the NCAA's board of governors is considering whether the bill was a sufficient change in the law for its purposes, but also denied that the organization has any business telling a state what its laws should be.