North Carolina lawmakers reach agreement to repeal controversial bathroom bill

State Sen. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg, has joined the battle to repeal the controversial law.

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

The pair announced the deal at an impromptu news conference.

The bill would repeal HB2, but would give the state power to regulate public bathrooms, including those run by state universities and local boards of education, and would continue to prohibit new local ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination through 2020.

The new deal to repeal the law was struck late Wednesday by Republican lawmakers and the state's Democratic governor.

"Some projects that left, such as a Lionsgate television production that backed out of plans in Charlotte, weren't included because of a lack of data on their economic impact".

"We're not sure exactly where we are right now, quite frankly", Berger told reporters.

Lawmakers will need a buzzer beater if they want to wipe HB2 off the books before NCAA's deadline.

The repeal deal left progressive groups unsatisfied.

It creates a moratorium so that local government, state colleges and universities can not pass measures extending non-discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity until December 2020.

In a furious series of tweets, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said the agreement did not repeal HB2, as it still allows authorities to discriminate against LGBT citizens.

But Porter acknowledged later in an email that Cooper's office had drawn up some wording while "working in good faith on potential suggestions to change fundamentally flawed language".

Its largest city, Charlotte, lost the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star game, which was moved to another state.

An Associated Press investigation showed the state was set to lose more than $3.76 billion over the next 12 years because of the law.

Republicans have a super-majority in each chamber and can pass a full repeal bill without Democratic support.

After the bill passes Senate Rules, it must pass two votes on the Senate floor during a session scheduled for 11 a.m. and then return to the House for a final vote before being sent to Cooper.

During a special legislative session December 21, GOP legislative leaders failed to advance, as a condition of repealing HB2, a requirement for cities and counties to agree to a moratorium period on anti-discrimination ordinances. The release from Berger and Moore said this moratorium would allow "federal litigation to play out". Social conservatives prefer keeping HB2 while gay rights groups say only a complete repeal will do.

Legislative leaders and Cooper hope the version to be voted on Thursday will remove obstacles to expanding business and attracting sporting events.

  • Larry Hoffman