Politics & Government

Joel Ford hopes this bill can do what others haven’t – repeal HB2

HB2: A timeline for North Carolina’s controversial law

North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.
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North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.

After several futile legislative attempts, a Charlotte Democrat is making another try to repeal House Bill 2.

Sen. Joel Ford Tuesday introduced a bill to repeal the 2016 law, seen by many as anti-LGBT.

SB332 would repeal HB2 and establish a “cooling-off” period before cities could adopt ordinances involving access to bathrooms, shower rooms or locker rooms. The period would last until 30 days after the current legislative session adjourns.

“It’s real simple,” Ford told the Observer. “I’m just trying to get something done.”

The bill comes as another measure is stalled in the House and as similar efforts have failed. The state faces what is believed to be an imminent deadline from the NCAA, which is deciding where to hold championship events through 2022. The NCAA, like the NBA and ACC, already has pulled games from the state because of HB2.

Ford’s bill is essentially the same as a proposal made in December by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, an Eden Republican. That failed when 16 Senate Republicans joined Ford and other Democrats in defeating it.

Democrat Roy Cooper, then the governor-elect, encouraged Democrats to oppose Berger’s bill.

Neither the governor’s office or Berger’s office was immediately available for comment.

Asked about the December bill last week, Cooper said it violated a deal he had with GOP leaders. The deal called for repeal in exchange for Charlotte rescinding the anti-discrimination ordinance that prompted HB2. The council first rescinded part of the ordinance and later came back and removed it all.

“Now considering everything that happened, a cooling-off period or moratorium would definitely be on the table for me, if we have a definite period of time, as a way out of this,” Cooper said last week. “So there are multiple compromises that could work and that I believe could garner the votes to get House Bill 2 repealed if the leadership would just allow the votes.”

Ford is running for mayor of Charlotte.

NC Gov. Roy Cooper said he will continue to work to get House Bill 2 off the books. As North Carolina marks the first anniversary of House Bill 2 this week, an ongoing political stalemate is making a prolonged economic backlash – and future annive

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