At dueling press conferences lawmakers, business leaders debate bill to amend HB2


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Lawmakers and advocates

North Carolinians have heard about House Bill Two for nearly a year. Now they’re hearing the message that time is running out.

On the table is House Bill 186, which would repeal HB2, while allowing referendums to overturn local nondiscrimination ordinances.

The sponsor of House Bill 186 wants to get the process moving.

“I want to get this off the table,” said Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson). “It’s sucking all the wind out of every other issue we’ve got out there, some really important ones.”

But he also said he won’t try to get it moved out of committee until he knows it has the votes needed to pass.

The NCAA will soon make a decision about where tournaments will be held for the next several years. And if HB2 is still in place, North Carolina is expected to be shut out of those bids.

Tuesday, at dueling press conferences, advocates, lawmakers and business owners took opposing positions on the bill.

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“In the last three months, we’ve seen about $140 million go outside our state,” said Will Webb of the Charlotte Sports Foundation.

Others are opposed to the bill and the referendums it would introduce, saying it would put civil rights on the ballot.

“We have this massive black eye, which is HB2, and it has caused me the inability to hire folks of the caliber that we need to hire,” said Justin Miller, a Raleigh business owner.

Lawmakers were similarly divided.

“The bill is fairly straight forward,” said Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson). “Everybody is calling for the repeal of House Bill Two. It does that.”

“A clean repeal of House Bill Two is the way to go,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick (D-Durham County).

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