WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is considering whether North Carolina’s new law on gay and transgender rights makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing, officials said Friday.
Cutting off any federal money — or even simply threatening to do so — would put major new pressure on North Carolina to repeal the law, which eliminated local protections for gay and transgender people and restricted which bathrooms transgender people can use. A loss of federal money could send the state into a budget crisis and jeopardize services that are central to daily life.
The Times asked various departments about what this would look like for North Carolina:
- Department of Transportation provides $1 Billion
- Department of Education last year provided $4.3 Billion (Policy Mic last week noted that it is possible that Title IX might be violated, which is totally enforceable and has precedent)
- HUD is looking into it, and is not sure how much they provide
New Jersey-based Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said it is “reevaluating our options based on the recent, unjust legislation” whether to build a $20 million manufacturing and research facility in Durham County. The 50 new jobs paying an average of nearly $76,000 a year were announced two weeks ago.
Lionsgate, the California-based entertainment company, had been lining up hotel and equipment rentals and hiring more than 100 workers in North Carolina, but decided to shoot its pilot episode for a comedy series in Canada instead, said Jennifer Irvine, a Charlotte production coordinator.
Significant, too, is that start-up funding for the tech sector in North Carolina is drying up. Google Ventures has announced no money for startups there until the law is repealed. The Research Triangle is a hotbed of Life Science and Bio-Tech companies.
Travel boycotts are in place from the cities of Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, and Portland, as well as the states of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Washington.
So bigotry has a price. We hop that Mississippi is watching as North Carolina destroys their robust economy in the same fashion that Indiana did and is still trying to dig out, even after repealing their poorly considered We Don’t Serve Your Kind law. Georgia dodged a bullet.