December surprises: Two special sessions down, one to go

Content shared from Carolina Public Press. Reporter Kirk Ross

The potential repeal of HB2 is the latest in a string of end-of-year moves by the North Carolina General Assembly, as the state transitions rapidly into divided government for the first time in four years.

Activists protest legislation that strips the governor of many appointment powers during the second of three December 2016 special sessions. Kirk Ross / Carolina Public Press.

Gov. Pat McCrory issued a proclamation Monday afternoon calling the legislature into session Wednesday at 10 a.m. after a surprise move by the Charlotte City Council to repeal a portion of human rights ordinance that extended protection on the basis of gender identity.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told the council Monday morning that governor-elect Roy Cooper had assured her that the legislature would offer a full repeal of HB2, which also rolled back employment discrimination protections, if Charlotte moved ahead in striking the rules it adopted in last February.

Cooper announced shortly after the council’s actions that he had received assurances from House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, that they would offer a full repeal.

McCrory also quickly announced he would call a legislative session as promised now that Charlotte had made good on its end of the bargain.

But McCrory and later Moore and Berger both denounced Roberts and Cooper, reiterating a stance taken during the bitter governor’s race between Cooper and McCrory that HB2, passed by the legislature in March, was a ploy used by Democrats to win the governor’s race.

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