HB2 repeal bill passes House; goes to governor’s desk


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina House voted Thursday to approve House Bill 142, the proposed legislation to repeal the controversial House Bill 2, by a 70-48 vote around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

HB142 now goes to the desk of Gov. Roy Cooper for his signature.

Earlier, HB142 passed out of the Senate rules committee around 10 a.m. and moved on to the Senate floor for debate.

The House debated the bill where several members expressed their desire to delay the vote on HB142 until Tuesday. Members of the House soundly voted down that motion 85-34.

North Carolina legislators said at a late Wednesday night news conference that they have reached an agreement with Gov. Roy Cooper to repeal HB2.

Throughout the day on Wednesday there were ongoing negotiations about repealing the law as a deadline loomed Thursday at noon from the NCAA about future playoff games in the state.

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House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger said at the news conference that a new bill would be introduced on Thursday morning.

Late Wednesday night, Cooper released a statement saying there was a deal, but that the compromise was not “perfect.”

“I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow,” Cooper’s statement said. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.”

HB142 has received sharp criticism Thursday from groups like the ACLU and Equality NC.

The ACLU said the only compromise it is looking for is a full repeal and HB142 does not accomplish that goal.

The ACLU sent a message to the NCAA about HB142 on Twitter that read: “Hey, @NCAA: North Carolina “compromise” bill doesn’t repeal HB2. We’re not ok with compromising human rights, and you shouldn’t be either.”

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Moore and Berger said that they could not answer any questions during the news conference. The pair released a joint statement later and an early copy of the bill that will be discussed in the Senate Rules Committee.

“Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy,” said Berger and Moore.

WBTV reported earlier Wednesday Cooper and Republican leadership in the North Carolina House of Representatives reached a tentative agreement to repeal HB2 late Wednesday afternoon.

The GOP-controlled legislature and Cooper have been trying to find a way to repeal HB2 before the NCAA decides to leave the state out of hosting championship events through 2022.

The NCAA had mentioned a deadline of noon on Thursday.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said Tuesday evening that they had agreed to a plan from Cooper’s office that would repeal HB2 but include other provisions.

Berger said Cooper backed out of that plan.

The House Democratic leader said later there had been no formal offer and called the Republican leaders’ news conference a stunt because the GOP lacks the votes to pass a bill.

North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin released a statement Thursday morning regarding the compromise that read:

After more than a year of damage by House Bill 2 to our state’s citizens, economy and reputation, this dark chapter in North Carolina’s history appears to be finally coming to a close.

I applaud Governor Cooper’s relentless efforts to find a compromise, even in the face of unprecedented obstruction by the General Assembly. While this is not a perfect deal, it will remove discriminatory legislation from the books and will give our state an opportunity to finally rebuild.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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