Some NC politicians seek to find common ground in House Bill 2

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two months after House Bill 2 passed, some prominent former politicians say they want to bring a resolution to the fight over it.

Former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker (D) and former state representative and state budget director Art Pope (R) are co-chairs of a working group. Former Gov. Jim Martin (R) is an honorary co-chair.

They’re trying to get 12 to 16 people together to meet and make a series of recommendations.

They see an impasse between state legislators and Charlotte city leaders.

John Hood, who is president of the John William Pope foundation, is also working to organize the group.

“The notion is not necessarily to get everybody to agree on everything. That seems impossible. But instead to identify areas where there might be some accommodation,” he said. “It’s possible that one of the impediments to working out some kind of mutual de-escalation between the City of Charlotte and the state legislature is that there’s a lack of trust

On Monday, Charlotte City Council appeared poised to vote to rescind the nondiscrimination ordinance it passed earlier this year that compelled state legislators to pass House Bill 2. However, that vote was scrapped.

After that decision was made, House Speaker Tim Moore (R) said Charlotte needed to act in order for state legislators to consider changes to HB2.

“For any conversations to happen, Charlotte needs to take a look at what it did and needs to be the first to make any movement before there’s any conversation,” he said.

Hood said the working group could include members of the legislature and leaders in Charlotte as well as representatives of variety of groups with a stake in what happens with HB2.

He said the group could begin meeting next month. It may not be until the fall that the group makes recommendations on what to do. The group will be funded privately, Hood said.

“I think most people who are watching this debate in North Carolina and around the country see that there is some validity to what all the various sides are saying,” said Hood.

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