Excerpt From: Carolina Journal. Written By: Barry Smith.
Campbell University law Professor Greg Wallace says a simple repeal of House Bill 2 being pushed by Gov. Roy Cooper would put the state back in a “gray area” regarding municipal authority over nondiscrimination ordinances.
“I’m not sure either side really wants this dispute to come down to that issue.”
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Cooper and other Democratic leaders advocated a straight-up repeal of H.B. 2 but, failing that, earlier this month they offered a compromise. That compromise seems to be at odds with the position Democrats held on the controversial state legislation several weeks ago. And it doesn’t address an unsettled question about H.B 2 and the Charlotte anti-discrimination ordinance that inspired it: How much power do cities have to enact local ordinances that are tougher than state laws?
The recent plan by the governor and fellow Democrats would increase criminal penalties for people who commit assaults in bathrooms and changing areas. In addition, it would require local governments to provide 30 days notice to the public and the General Assembly if they planned to adopt an anti-discrimination ordinance that transcends state law.
Cooper and Democrats considered a somewhat similar arrangement proposed by Republicans in December a non-starter. During a special session, Senate Republicans floated a proposal that would have prevented local governments from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances until 30 days after the General Assembly adjourned its long session in 2017.