A group of House Democrats filed a repeal bill Monday morning that would eliminate House Bill 2 in its entirety.
Rep. Darren Jackson of Knightdale is the primary sponsor of House Bill 946. Jackson and his co-sponsors said they do not have any Republican support for their bill and haven’t talked with the chamber’s leaders about getting it a committee hearing this session.
“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Jackson said. “It is time for the governor and the General Assembly to make it clear that we are focused on creating jobs.”
Jackson said he expects other legislators will file bills addressing House Bill 2 in other ways -- including Gov. Pat McCrory’s call to repeal a section that makes it harder to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit. But he and his co-sponsors said that only a full repeal will address the economic damage of the LGBT law.
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Rep. Susi Hamilton, a Wilmington Democrat, said the short session that begins Monday night will try to address other legislation, but the focus will remain on House Bill 2.
“I’m not really sure that any of those things are going to matter in the short term,” she said. “We can spin our wheels, but as long as the fundamental issue is present, I don't see us making any progress in the short term.”
Other co-sponsors include Rep. Grier Martin of Raleigh, Rep. Graig Meyer of Hillsborough, Rep. Ed Hanes of Winston-Salem, Rep. Rosa Gill of Raleigh, Rep. Yvonne Holley of Raleigh and Rep. Chris Sgro of Greensboro. One of the 11 Democrats who voted for House Bill 2, Rep. Billy Richardson of Fayetteville, plans to join the repeal bill. He has said his vote for HB2 was a mistake.
Jackson’s bill also includes a noncontroversial budget appropriation for the Human Relations Commission in order to meet the short session’s eligibility rules, which require bills to be budget-related.
House Speaker Tim Moore issued a statement about Jackson’s bill Monday afternoon. “Rep. Jackson’s bill will be assigned to committee and will be treated the same as any other bill that is filed,” he said. “Our caucus will discuss and plan this bill’s best route through the House’s legislative process.”