More HB2 fallout; Pearl Jam cancels show, calls law 'despicable'

April 19, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Top administrators at Duke University, including President Richard Brodhead, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce issued statements Monday opposing House Bill 2; Boston and Pearl Jam are the latest performers to cancel concerts in North Carolina over HB2. Pearl Jam said it plans to donate to local groups fighting the new law. The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau said event cancellations have quadrupled since HB2 was passed.

McCrory: More dialogue needed on HB2; NBA keeps All-Star game in CLT — for now

April 18, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Gov. Pat McCrory discussed House Bill 2 on Sunday's episode of NBC's Meet the Press, where he said Charlotte's ordinance to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice amounted to "government overreach." Host Chuck Todd said NBC estimates the law has already cost North Carolina between $39.7 million and $186 million. The NBA said on Friday the league has no immediate plans to move the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, though Commissioner Adam Silver called the law "problematic."

NC universities look at 100-year debt option

April 15, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. State University and UNC Chapel Hill want to borrow up to $500 million each using a century bond to pay for a backlog of repair and maintenance projects. The current debt limit is 30 years.

CLT hotel adds 'any gender' bathroom, NBA talks HB2

April 15, 2016

The Westin, downtown Charlotte's largest hotel is adding an "any gender" bathroom and on Thursday hung an "Always Welcome" banner to let patrons know it is LGBT-friendly. The NBA is expected to address the topic of HB2 at a briefing during its board of governors meeting on Friday. The league, which plans to hold its 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte, has said it is "deeply concerned" over the new law. Rockers Mumford & Sons, which played in Charlotte on Thursday, didn't boycott the state but will donate profits from their concert to a local LGBT group. And 170 North Carolina-based startups signed a petition calling for the bill's repeal. The companies say out-of-state investors are delaying and canceling investments in N.C. companies over the controversial law.

Charlotte kicks off 'Always Welcome' marketing campaign

April 14, 2016

The slogan, intended to promote diversity and inclusion, will be displayed on billboards, news racks and at venues such as BB&T Ballpark and the Westin hotel in downtown Charlotte. Meanwhile, Gov. Pat McCrory's executive order dialing back some of the controversial provisions of HB2 seems to have done little to appease the business community, with many companies saying more needs to be done. Ringo Starr canceled an upcoming concert in Cary over the new law, and six senators are calling for the NBA to move its 2017 All-Star game out of North Carolina. Speaking in New Bern yesterday, N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said the law won't have a long-term affect. "The dust is going to settle," he said.

Executive order pleases some; others say it doesn't go far enough

April 13, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order that expands protections for state workers to include sexual orientation and gender identity and seeks to restore workers' rights to sue in state court when they feel they are victims of discrimination. But the order leaves many controversial parts of HB2 intact. McCrory's order came just hours after Deutsche Bank said it was freezing plans to create 250 new jobs in Cary.

Crowd rallies at state Capitol in support of HB2

April 12, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

About 700 people gathered on the lawn of the state Capitol on Monday in support of North Carolina's new law limiting LGBT protections. State Sen. Buck Newton was there, with harsh words for N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who refuses to defend the law in a suit by the ACLU and others. Newton, a Republican from Wilson, is seeking to replace Cooper as state attorney general; Cooper is running for governor against Pat McCrory.

Springsteen cancels G-boro show, more HB2 fallout

April 11, 2016

Ekornes, a Norwegian furniture maker that employs about 40 people in Burke County, is among the latest to oppose HB2. The president of the company sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday that suggested it could relocate its manufacturing plant, which opened in Morganton in January 2012. And Bruce Springsteen canceled his concert, scheduled for last night in Greensboro, over the controversial bill. Meanwhile, Guilford County Democrats have appointed Chris Sgro to finish out the term of state Rep. Ralph Johnson. Sgro is executive director of Equality N.C., a statewide group that advocates for LGBT rights. Despite opposition from corporations and state governments across the country, many residents in rural areas, such as N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore's Kings Mountain, support the law.

Haley says no need for 'bathroom' law in South Carolina

April 8, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — who landed at No. 17 on Fortune magazine's 2016 list of the world's 50 greatest leaders — said her state doesn't need a "bathroom" law, since her office hasn't received any complaints on the issue. S.C. Sen. Lee Bright introduced a bill similar to North Carolina's HB2 that would prohibit transgender people from using bathrooms of their choice. The S.C. Chamber of Commerce says it will campaign against Bright, who is seeking a third term this year.

Other states try to lure NC companies in wake of HB2

April 7, 2016

More than 40 members of Connecticut's General Assembly sent a letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, encouraging the bank to move its headquarters there from Charlotte. BofA politely said "no thank you." Meanwhile, Montana officials invited PayPal to bring its operations center, originally planned for Charlotte, and 400 jobs to Big Sky Country, offering up to $5 million in incentives. Not afraid of the economic fallout and tarnished reputation North Carolina is beginning to face, South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright on Wednesday introduced a bill similar to HB2 that would ban transgender people from using public bathrooms of their choice.