Editorial: Legislators, stop telling local governments how to do their jobs

Posted April 4

Voting on proposed HB2 repeal

A CBC Editorial: Tuesday, April 4, 2017; Editorial # 8143
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

If the folks in the General Assembly want to run North Carolina’s cities, towns and local schools -- they need to resign their seats and campaign in the upcoming municipal elections around the state.

Last week House Speaker Tim Moore, whose own law firm represents Cleveland County and the Cleveland County Water Commission, boasted: “We now have control over cities trying to pass ordinances all over the state that may contradict and conflict. We don’t need a patchwork,” he said after HB142, the HB2 “compromise” was passed.

It’s plenty easy to tell local governments what they can and cannot do from a perch in Raleigh – and more than just a bit ironic. How would the speaker feel if the federal government wanted all the states to have the same laws and avoid a “patchwork?” Moore would fight it, for sure.

With HB142 -- legislators have anointed themselves North Carolina’s permanent bathroom police. And the newly passed law prevents any local community from enacting ordinances dealing with discrimination in public accommodations or private employment before 2020.

Clearly, they couldn’t be more out of step with a majority of North Carolinians – people who believe it is wrong for employers to fire people because they are LGBTQ or refuse to do business with LGBTQ persons. Amazingly, the legislature will not make such discrimination illegal.

Rather than continuing to restrict local governments, our legislators should give them greater voice and authority. Rather than discriminate against the LGBTQ minority, they should open doors of inclusivity and bring dignity to their lives.

After all, government that is closest to the people is most responsive, and no one is closer to the citizens of North Carolina than local officials.

The ballot box in 2018 is a good place to end this nonsense. It is time to put the power where it belongs.

* * *

Below is how members of the General Assembly voted on HB142 last week, and a list of how current legislators voted last year on HB 2.

House Bill 142 (March 30, 2017)

N.C. Senate

Republicans for (23): John Alexander, Tamara Barringer, Phil Berger, Danny Earl Britt, Harry Brown, David Curtis, Warren Daniel, Jim Davis, Cathy Dunn, Chuck Edwards, Rick Gunn, Brent Jackson, Joyce Krawiec, Michael Lee, Tom McInnis, Paul Newton, Louis Pate, Bill Rabon, Jeff Tarte, Jerry Tillman, Tommy Tucker, Trudy Wade, Andy Wells
Democrats for (9): Dan Blue, Angela Bryant, Ben Clark, Joel Ford, Paul Lowe, Gladys Robinson, Erica Smith-Ingram, Terry Van Duyn, Joyce Waddell

Republicans no (10): Dan Bishop, Andrew Brock, Bill Cook, Kathy Harrington, Ralph Hise, Rick Horner, Wesley Meredith, Ronald Rabin, Shirley Randleman, Norman Sanderson
Democrats no (6): Jay Chaudhuri, Don Davis, Valerie Foushee, Jeff Jackson, Floyd McKissick, Mike Woodard

Republicans absent and not voting (2); Republicans: Deanna Ballard, Chad Barefoot

N.C. House of Representatives

Republicans for (40): Jay Adams, John Bell, John Blust, John Bradford, William Brawley, Justin Burr, Mike Clampitt, Kevin Corbin, Ted Davis, Jimmy Dixon, Nelson Dollar, Andy Dulin, John Faircloth, John Fraley, Holly Grange, John Hardister, Kelly Hastings, Craig Horn, Linda Johnson, Brenden Jones, Jonathan Jordan, Danny Lambeth, David Lewis, Chris Malone, Susan Martin, Chuck McGrady, Tim Moore, Gregory Murphy, Dennis Riddell, David Rogers, Stephen Ross, Jason Saine, John Sauls, Sarah Stevens, Scott Stone, John Szoka, Sam Watford, Linda Hunt Williams, Larry Yarborough, Lee Zachary
Democrats for (30): Gayle Adcock, John Ager, Kelly Alexander, Cynthia Ball, Mary Belk, Larry Bell, Becky Carney, Carla Cunningham, Beverly Earle, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Elmer Floyd, Terry Garrison, Rosa Gill, Ken Goodman, Charles Graham, George Graham, Duane Hall, Edward Hanes, Yvonne Holley, Howard Hunter, Darren Jackson, Joe John, Marvin Lucas, Henry M. Michaux, Garland Pierce, Bobby Richardson, William Richardson, Evelyn Terry, Shelly Willingham, Michael Wray

Republicans no (33): Dean Arp, Hugh Blackwell, James Boles, Beverly Boswell, Mark Brody, Dana Bumgardner, George Cleveland, Jeff Collins, Deborah Conrad, Destin Hall, Josh Dobson, Jeffrey Elmore, Carl Ford, Kyle Hall, Cody Henson, Julia Howard, Pat Hurley, Bert Jones, Pat McElraft, Allen McNeill, Chris Millis, Larry Pittman, Larry Potts, Michelle Presnell, Mitchell Setzer, Phil Shepard, Michael Speciale, Bob Steinburg, Larry Strickland, John Torbett, Rena Turner, Harry Warren, Donna White
Democrats no (15): John Autry, Chaz Beasley, MaryAnn Black, William Brisson, Cecil Brockman, Deb Butler, Susan Fisher, Pricey Harrison, Verla Insko, Philip Lehman, Grier Martin, Graig Meyer, Amos Quick, Robert Reives, Brian Turner

Absent and not voting (2): Republican, Frank Iler and Democrat, Rodney Moore

HOUSE BILL 2 (March 23, 2016)

N.C. Senate

NOTE: Names in italic are no longer in the Senate

Republicans for (32): John Alexander; Tom Apodaca; Chad Barefoot; Tamara Barringer; Phil Berger; Stan Bingham; Andrew Brock; Harry Brown; Bill Cook; David Curtis; Warren Daniel; Jim Davis; Rick Gunn; Kathy Harrington; Fletcher Hartsell; Ralph Hise; Brent Jackson; Joyce Krawiec; Michael Lee; Tom McInnis; Wesley Meredith; Buck Newton; Louis Pate; Ronald Rabin; Bill Rabon; Shirley Randleman; Norman Sanderson; Jeff Tarte; Jerry Tillman; Tommy Tucker; Trudy Wade; Andy Wells

Democrats not voting (11): Dan Blue; Ben Clark; Don Davis; Valerie Foushee; Jeff Jackson; Paul Lowe; Floyd McKissick; Gladys Robinson; Erica Smith-Ingram; Terry Van Duyn; Mike Woodard

Republicans excused absent, not voting (2): Bob Rucho; Dan Soucek
Democrats excused absent, not voting (4): Angela Bryant; Joel Ford; Jane Smith; Joyce Waddell

N.C. House of Representatives

NOTE: Names in italic are no longer in the General Assembly: Names in bold italic have moved to the state Senate.

Republicans for (71): Jay Adams; Dean Arp; Marilyn Avila; John Bell; Dan Bishop; Hugh Blackwell; John Blust; James Boles; John Bradford; William Brawley; Mark Brody; Rayne Brown; Rob Bryan; Dana Bumgardner; Justin Burr; Rick Catlin; George Cleveland; Jeff Collins; Deborah Conrad; Leo Daughtry; Ted Davis; Jimmy Dixon; Josh Dobson; Nelson Dollar; Jeffrey Elmore; John Faircloth; Carl Ford; John Fraley; Michael Hager; Kyle Hall; John Hardister; Kelly Hastings; Craig Horn; Julia Howard; Pat Hurley; Frank Iler; Linda Johnson; Brenden Jones; Jonathan Jordan; Danny Lambeth; James Langdon; David Lewis; Chris Malone; Susan Martin; Pat McElraft; Allen McNeill; Chris Millis; Tim Moore; Gregory Murphy; Larry Pittman; Michelle Presnell; Dennis Riddell; George Robinson; Stephen Ross; Jason Saine; Jacqueline Schaffer; Mitchell Setzer; Phil Shepard; Michael Speciale; Paul Stam; Bob Steinburg; Sarah Stevens; John Szoka; John Torbett; Rena Turner; Harry Warren; Sam Watford; Roger West; Chris Whitmire; Larry Yarborough; Lee Zachary
Democrats for (11): Larry Bell; William Brisson; Elmer Floyd; Ken Goodman; Charles Graham; George Graham; Howard Hunter; Garland Pierce; William Richardson; Brad Salmon; Michael Wray

Republicans no (1): Paul Tine
Democrats no (25): John Ager; Kelly Alexander; Nathan Baskerville; Cecil Brockman; Tricia Cotham; Carla Cunningham; Jean Farmer-Butterfield; Rosa Gill; Duane Hall; Larry Hall; Susi Hamilton; Edward Hanes; Pricey Harrison; Yvonne Holley; Verla Insko; Darren Jackson; Marvin Lucas; Grier Martin; Graig Meyer; Henry M. Michaux; Rodney Moore; Robert Reives; Bobby Richardson; Brian Turner; Shelly Willingham

Republicans excused absence, not voting (3): Charles Jeter; Chuck McGrady; Gary Pendleton
Democrats excused absent, not voting (8): Gale Adcock; Becky Carney; Beverly Earle; Susan Fisher; Paul Luebke; Joe Sam Queen; Evelyn Terry; Ken Waddell


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  • Travis Perry Apr 4, 9:11 a.m.
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    Maybe local governments should stop trying to tell private businesses who to let in their bathrooms. Private businesses should be able to do as they see with their private business.

  • Matt Smithe Apr 4, 7:09 a.m.
    user avatar

    Does the same go for positions with which you disagree?

    It's funny, in that very sad kind of way, when liberals can't even recognize the own hypocrisy. Or maybe they do and they just don't care. I guess when you are not grounded by emotion instead of logic it is easy to bend to the winds of convenience.

    Will it be the next issue or the next democrat administration that will make all of the liberals extol the virtues of central governance again?