This week, Georgia scored big when the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) awarded the Peach State three of its championship games after pulling them from North Carolina in boycott of its anti-transgender HB 2 law.
On Tuesday the ACC announced that Georgia would be now host the ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving/Men’s Diving Championships from Feb. 13-16 and the ACC Men’s Swimming Championship from Feb. 27-March 2, as well as the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships from April 26-30.
Georgia was a competitive location thanks to Gov Deal’s veto of HB 757, which sent a signal to the ACC that our state is serious about promoting a welcoming atmosphere for tourists as well as business investment. Governor Deal’s veto has led to other recent economic investments in our state, including GE’s decision to relocate its digital services division to Atlanta, and the NFL’s decision to award Atlanta the 2019 Super Bowl.
However, if legislators again try to push discriminatory bills during the 2017 legislative session, all of this could be in jeopardy. HB 757 almost sunk our economy last year, and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau is warning that could still happen. The group pointed to recent studies that showed the city would lose 40 percent of the economic stimulus it brings in from hotel room rentals alone.
Since North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 2 into law, the state has lost up to $450 million in diverted tourism revenue, frozen investments, and cancelled entertainment and sports events.
Clearly, Governor Deal’s veto and the ACC’s decision to move 3 championships have been a boon for Georgia’s economy. But not everyone is happy with the decision. Sen. Fran Millar—a vocal backer of HB 757, legislation that would have given a “license to discriminate”—took to social media today to blast the ACC.
According to the AJC, he wrote on Facebook: “I hope few people will attend these events. We are taking advantage of a state that stood by its principles and I find it shameful.”
The economic fallout from HB 2 shows clearly that Senator Millar needs to put his personal beliefs aside and start working to pass legislation that helps Georgia’s economy, instead of championing discriminatory bills that would hurt it.SHARE THIS STORY