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NC Lawmakers File Bipartisan Bill To Repeal HB2

Image of bathroom sign
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State lawmakers have introduced a measure to repeal House Bill 2, but it's unclear if it has the support it needs to move forward.

State lawmakers are making another attempt to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial state law passed last year that requires people to use the public bathrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

 

A bipartisan group of North Carolina House members filed a bill to repeal the law Wednesday afternoon. Republican Chuck McGrady is leading the effort.

 

  “I think I can get a majority of Republicans and a majority of Democrats on this bill, if Governor Cooper will help me get those Democratic votes,” McGrady said Wednesday evening.

 

The proposed measure would give the state authority over all multi-stall bathrooms. It would also mandate that cities wanting to pass non-discrimination ordinances give the legislature a 30-day warning. That would be followed a 90-day enactment window during which time opponents could gather signatures, stopping any local measure and sending it before the voters as a referendum in the next election.

 

That doesn’t sit well with Democratic House Leader Darren Jackson.

 

“The referendum is just a non-starter for me,” Jackson said. “I can’t speak for my caucus, but I never think it’s a good idea to put the rights of minority on the ballot. I just think that’s counter to what our constitution is about, and what our democracy is, and I think it’s a bad idea.”

 

In a statement Wednesday night, Governor Roy Cooper said he, too, has concerns.

 

"We must repeal House Bill 2 and I remain committed to getting that done,” Cooper said. “But I am concerned that this legislation as written fails the basic test of restoring our reputation, removing discrimination, and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina. I will keep working with the legislature."

 

It’s not immediately clear if the proposal has enough votes to advance through the House, and the Senate has not signed off on the bill. Legislators tried, and failed, to repeal House Bill 2 during a special session in December.

Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
Elizabeth “Liz” Baier is an editor for WUNC. She has two decades of experience than span print, audio, and digital reporting and editing.
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