Bismarck, ND – Tourism leaders across the state warned the North Dakota legislature that if HB 1298 passes, North Dakota could find itself desperate for economic growth. The travel, tourism and hospitality economy was rocked in 2020 – but instead of bolstering legislation that helps your small business, your coworkers, and your communities recover, the NDGOP is fixated on passing laws that harm transgender North Dakotans.
As tourism leaders point out, the brief rebound we have seen in the hospitality and tourism industry is from the inclusion of youth sports. If this law were to pass, groups like the NCAA could opt to move events from our state, leading to severe economic losses. After a year of sacrifice from our small businesses, our restaurants, our hospitality industry and our athletes, why is the NDGOP unwilling to pass laws that tangibly improve the lives of North Dakotans and stop peddling hatred?
Democratic-NPL Executive Director Michael Taylor responded to the legislation:
“The NDGOP has put North Dakotans through this shameful display time and time again. The legislature is infected by a radical group of elected officials that are both uninterested and unable to look at the actual problems North Dakotans face, and work to solve them. The premise of a representative government is actually pretty simple, but when bills like HB 1298 get passed, the NDGOP creates new ways of failing the people they’re supposed to represent.”
“Make no mistake, tourism officials warn that after a year of losing $1.2 billion dollars in revenue, bills like this will only worsen the effects on our small businesses, our favorite local restaurants, our hotels, our LGBTQ+ community, as well as our athletes who just want to play the sports they love. It’s a testament to the ineptitude of the NDGOP when our legislature is filled with rabid ideologues fixated on wasting your tax dollars on pointless and unconstitutional bills, a governor who is more concerned with buying political seats than protecting people, and a US Senator in Kevin Cramer who tells you how to live your life while he takes $174,000 a year in taxpayer money to the bank. If the consequences of their lunacy weren’t so devastating, you’d almost have to laugh at it.”