House Dem leader on HB2 repeal: 'No referendum and there is a deal'

Posted February 27

Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake

— House Minority Leader Darren Jackson took to Twitter Monday to chastise Republican leaders over their handling of House Bill 2 repeal efforts and offer a deal to end the nearly year-long saga.

In particular, he focused on a local referendum measure that's part of the bill as drafted as particularly objectionable.

Noting that House Republicans were scheduled to hold a caucus meeting Monday afternoon, Jackson, D-Wake, wrote to the rank and file: "Tell them no referendum and there is a deal. We can fix this tomorrow."

Republicans control legislative super-majorities in both the House and the Senate. But GOP leaders have long said they would need help from Democrats to roll back House Bill 2, the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights and the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals, which was passed last March 2016.

Late last week and over the weekend, Republican and Democratic policymakers traded jabs over a potential repeal bill. In a social media post Sunday, Gov. Roy Cooper accused Republicans of undermining repeal efforts, which prompted a counter-accusation from House Speaker Tim Moore Monday about the proposed repeals bill, House Bill 186.

"It seems Gov. Cooper is repeatedly trying to kill House Bill 186 because it addresses the concerns on both sides and actually has a chance to pass with broad support from the ACC, the business community and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, unlike his proposals," Moore, R-Cleveland, said in a news release.

Cooper and other Democrats who object to House Bill 186 have pointed to a provision that would allow make any effort by city councils to enact protections for LGBT individuals subject to a protest petition. That would allow opponents to gather signatures and force a referendum on the measure, which would determine whether the local ordinance stays on the books.

"We cannot have a popular vote on basic human rights like the right to not be fired or the right to take a taxi or rent a hotel room," Jackson wrote on social media Monday.

However, if Republicans took out the referendum provision, Jackson said that he would be able to shake on a deal to repeal and replace House Bill 2.


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