Raleigh, N.C. — Lawmakers return to Raleigh on Monday for their 2016 legislative session, but there's no escaping the fallout from their one-day special session last month.
House Bill 2 continues to dominate state, national and even international headlines. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized the measure, which excludes the LGBT community from discrimination protections, during a press conference in London, and Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz sparred over a provision that requires people to use public bathrooms that match their birth gender.
On Monday, supporters and opponents of the law will stage rallies and sit-ins even before the House and the Senate gavel in for the session.
In advance of the session, Gov. Pat McCrory outlined his proposed $22.3 billion state budget, which includes raises for teachers but not for state workers or retirees. Full details won't come out until next Wednesday.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said he expects lawmakers to focus on budget adjustments, including teacher pay raises, as well as tax and regulatory reform. He said there are no plans to take up any bills that would repeal all or part of House Bill 2 – but that doesn't mean lawmakers will be able to avoid the issue.