Cooper announces his own proposed legislation to repeal HB2
One of the biggest issues in Gov. Roy Cooper's successful campaign last fall against then-Gov. Pat McCrory was Cooper's promise to work on a repeal of House Bill 2.
The governor can't overturn state law on his own, but Cooper was adamant that if elected, he would focus intently on repealing the controversial law – which deals with everything from employment discrimination against LGBT people to minimum wage laws and bathroom access.
"I will work to repeal HB2 and restore the worker protections that were taken away by Governor McCrory," Cooper promised on his campaign website – in addition to similar comments in numerous interviews, debates and TV ads.
The issue received added attention recently when the NCAA said that unless North Carolina repealed HB2 by the end of February, it would lose out on the chance to host postseason college sports games all the way through 2022. That would likely mean tens of millions of dollars in losses for the state's tourism industry – not to mention being a symbolic blow to a state that has long hosted such events and prides itself on its strong college athletics programs, especially basketball.
Democrats in the legislature filed three separate bills proposing various ways to go about repealing HB2. Then Cooper himself entered the mix on Feb. 14, proposing a fourth strategy for repealing the law.
Cooper was flanked at his press conference by the two most powerful Democrats in the General Assembly – Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue and House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson. Jackson later filed a bill containing what Cooper had proposed.
It includes a repeal of HB2, stronger penalties for certain crimes committed in bathrooms, and a minimum 30-day public input period for any city that is thinking of creating any local nondiscrimination ordinance, for LGBT people or any other group.
It remains to be seen, however, if Cooper's idea (or any of the other repeal bills) will earn enough legislative support to pass. Republican leaders in both the House and Senate have been skeptical of each proposal.
But given all the action surrounding a potential HB2 repeal, including from Cooper himself, we rate this promise as In The Works.
The News & Observer, Feb. 14, 2017, "Democrats have proposed four HB2 repeal bills – here's how they differ"
The News & Observer, Feb. 14, 2017, video, "Cooper offers compromise HB2 repeal proposal"
The News & Observer, Feb. 6, 2017, "HB2 could soon cost NC six years of NCAA championship events, sports group says"
Roy Cooper campaign website
House Bill 107, filed by Rep. Darren Jackson, NCGA session 2017, "Common Sense Compromise to Repeal HB 2"