California has banned state-funded travel to four states that have recently enacted laws that Attorney General Xavier Becerra claims are discriminatory against people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Those states are Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky. There are four other states — North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee — that had been included in the ban provided for in a bill passed by California lawmakers last year.
"Each of those states in the recent weeks have enacted legislation that may deprive some of the individuals of those states and individuals who visit those states of their constitutional rights," Becerra said, announcing the ban, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The California bill, AB 1887, was signed into law after North Carolina passed the "bathroom bill" barring people from using bathrooms in government buildings that do not correspond to their biological sex. "California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people," the law states.
North Carolina's HB 2 garnered much criticism and controversy, with many high profile entities including the NCAA boycotting the state.
"There are consequences to discrimination," Becerra added. "Restricting state-sponsored travel is a consequence." However, he did not say if public university sports travel is included in the ban.
John Wittman, press secretary of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, responded to the expansion of the ban by California, saying that the state "may be able to stop their state employees, but they can't stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas."
A spokesman for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin also responded.
"It is fascinating that the very same West Coast liberals who rail against the President's executive order, that protects our nation from foreign terrorists, have now contrived their own travel ban aimed at punishing states who don't fall in lockstep with their far-left political ideology," Bevin's press secretary Woody Maglinger said, according to the Times.
Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also signed an executive order last year imposing a ban on non-essential state-funded travel to North Carolina in response to that state's HB 2 law.