Raleigh, N.C. — Tell me if you're heard this one before: "Hey, we have a deal to repeal House Bill 2."
That's what Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore announced late Tuesday, only minutes later to admit they only thought they had a deal because Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper flatly denied ever offering some of the provisions the two Republican lawmakers had outlined.
House Minority Leader Darren Jackson went so far as to call the Berger/Moore news conference a stunt that was designed to appeal to their conservative base and later lay the blame for any failed repeal on Cooper.
The purported deal called for repealing the controversial state law limiting LGBT rights, preventing cities from setting any rules on access to public bathrooms and locker rooms, allowing local nondiscrimination ordinances that align with federal law (that would exclude protections for gay and transgender people) and permitting people to sue if they feel their "rights of conscience" have been infringed.
Moore and Berger said they felt no pressure to get a deal done because of an impending deadline to repeal House Bill 2 or face losing the chance to host any NCAA champion ship events for the next five years.
Earlier in the day, Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender, called on Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to resign for allowing undocumented immigrants to become notaries public. Marshall said federal officials signed off on the move.
Meanwhile, a House committee approved a pilot project to allow school districts in 20 counties to experiment with when they start and end the school year to see if it boosts academic performance.