Old North State Report - March 24, 2017
Several legislative attempts have been made to repeal or modify House Bill 2 (“Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act“) since its passage one year ago. The state now faces an imminent deadline from the NCAA, which is deciding where to hold sporting events through 2022. The NCAA, like the NBA and ACC, already has pulled games from the state because of House Bill 2.
Even this week, House Republicans were talking behind closed doors about their latest proposal at some sort of compromise. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has stated that any repeal would require a compromise with the bill's opponents and that any bill would likely have to clear the House before the Senate is willing to consider it.
There was open discussion in the House of an unusual Friday session to debate a potential compromise but House Speaker Tim Moore said the GOP caucus was still considering its options. Among the ideas bandied about include repealing most of House Bill 2 but leaving intact the section dealing with access to bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities; the addition of a “conscience protection” provision; and tying state and local non-discrimination standards to federal definitions. Here is one draft:
Governor Roy Cooper appeared to soften his position this week on accepting a moratorium on local non-discrimination ordinances. Senate Bill 332 (“Repeal HB 2”) was introduced by Senator Joel Ford (who is also a Democratic candidate for Mayor of Charlotte). It essentially reflects the December compromise of a “cooling off period” which was offered by Senate Republicans but rejected by Governor Cooper and the Senate Democrats at the time:
In other news….
Governor Cooper’s first veto (House Bill 100 —“Restore Partisan Elections to Superior and District Court”) was over-ridden by the legislature this week (the Senate voted 32-15 and the House voted 74-44):
Health care is always an important topic in the legislature. Much of the early action has centered on “scope of practice” bills which pit optometrists against ophthalmologists and nurses against doctors. Now the Senate is re-starting their efforts from recent years to alter or chip away at the state’s certificate of need laws for providers. The legislation introduced this week includes:
Senate Bill 324 (“Repeal Certificate of Need Laws”) by Senators Ralph Hise and Trudy Wade:
Senate Bill 330 (“Exempt Hospice Inpatient Facilities from CON”) by Senator Harry Brown:
Senate Bill 349 (“Exempt Certain Ocular Surgeries from CON Laws”) by Senator Tommy Tucker:
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.