RALEIGH – Democrats filed House Bill 946 Monday just hours before the General Assembly convenes for short session.
“I’d like us to make this short session about H.B. 946. Repealing the damaging, hurtful legislation that was passed by the majority of this General Assembly back in March,” said Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover), a primary sponsor of the legislation.
H.B. 946 repeals H.B. 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, but does not create new protections for LGBT community. It is made eligible for consideration according short session rules due to an appropriations provision allocating more than half a million dollars to fund the Human Relations Commission.
“We must act immediately to repeal this harmful legislation, right now,” said Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake).
“It is a simple bill, it’s half a page long. It is a full repeal of H.B. 2,” added Jackson, explaining that H.B 946 “would set us back to the status quo as it existed before H.B. 2.”
The press conference also served as an opportunity to introduce the General Assembly’s newest member, Rep. Chris Sgro (D-Greensboro). Sgro was appointed to finish the term of the late Rep. Ralph Johnson. Sgro is also the executive director of Equality NC, a party to the lawsuit against the State over H.B. 2.
Co-sponsoring lawmakers stated that they are not aware of a single Republican that has expressed a willingness to get behind H.B. 946.
At a press conference last week, Senate leader Phil Berger stated there was no interest by the majority on repealing H.B. 2. Instead the majority will focus on budget adjustments and further tax reform, Berger said.
“I view the state constitution, and the statute, as a floor and not a ceiling,” Jackson, a lawyer, said when asked if he thinks it constitutional to allow local jurisdictions to supersede state law in instances such as Charlotte City Council’s bathroom ordinance.
The primary sponsors of H.B. 946 are Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake), Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-Brunswick/New Hanover), Rep. Grier Martin (D-Wake), and Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Orange).