Wednesday Wrap: HB2 upstages confirmation theater

Posted February 22

— Legislative drama focused on a Senate committee room in the morning and the House clerk's office in the afternoon on Wednesday.

Some powerful House Republicans put their stamp on the latest effort to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial law limiting LGBT rights. Lead sponsor Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, said the proposal would take local governments out of the business of regulating bathroom access.

The bill would still leave the LGBT community out of a state nondiscrimination law, but it would allow cities and counties to adopt their own nondiscrimination ordinances after giving opponents a chance to gather enough support to put any proposed ordinance to a local vote. It also would stiffen penalties for some crimes in public bathrooms.

Gov. Roy Cooper said he doesn't think the bill goes far enough, but he plans to work with lawmakers as the measure evolves.

Earlier in the day, senators held their second performance in recent weeks of "Waiting for Godot," again holding an aborted confirmation hearing for Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Hall, who didn't show up.

Cooper's administration contends that the confirmation process is unconstitutional and is waiting for a three-judge panel to sort out its legality next month. Sen. Wesley Meredith, R-Cumberland, said his committee will give Hall one more chance to show up on Thursday or will face "consequences."


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