Lawmakers set aside $500,000 for HB2 litigation

Budget writers say Gov. Pat McCrory asked for money to help defend the state against legal action over House Bill 2.

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House Bill 2 (HB2)
Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — This year's budget technical corrections bill sets aside $500,000 to defend North Carolina against lawsuits over the controversial House Bill 2.

The Senate has already passed the $22.34 billion budget, and House members are poised to give their approval Thursday and Friday. However, every year, lawmakers write a "technical corrections" bill to clean up typos, fix bad legal references and pay for small, last-minute items that didn't make it into the main budget.

Those budget technical corrections were tacked onto an unrelated bill, House Bill 805, Thursday morning in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Among the dozens of provisions, it transfers $500,000 from the state's Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund to Gov. Pat McCrory's office in order to handle litigation over House Bill 2.

"The governor asked for it," Senate Budget Chairman Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said.

Lawmakers, he said, didn't know exactly how much the state might have to spend defending the controversial law.

Lawmakers have spent time behind closed doors this week debating potential changes to the law but say they have not arrived at a plan to modify the measure that deals with LGBT rights and the use of bathrooms by transgender people.

The budget technical corrections bill next goes to the Senate floor and then must be approved by the House before going to McCrory for his signature.


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