Lawmaker who introduced HB2 repeal bill questions bill's future - | WBTV Charlotte

Lawmaker who introduced HB2 repeal bill questions bill's future

Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson)
RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

The North Carolina lawmaker who introduced a bill to repeal the controversial House Bill 2 has called into question the bill's future after the bill was moved to a House committee.

Republican Representative Chuck McGrady introduced House Bill 186 last week with bipartisan support, two Republicans and two Democrats.

The bill seeks to fully repeal HB2 and update the state's non-discrimination laws to match federal protections. State colleges and universities, along with some other organizations, would have the option to expand their non-discrimination policies beyond those spelled out in the bill.

Shortly after the bill was introduced, 15 additional lawmakers signed on as sponsors of the bill; three Democrats and twelve Republicans.

Saturday, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) released a statement indicating its support of the proposed bill. The ACC’s support comes on the heels of favorable statements from a trio of industry groups, including the NC Chamber of Commerce, and a statement by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: ACC Commissioner: 'Encouraged' to see bipartisan effort behind push to repeal HB2

Since then, two of the additional Democrats - District 12's George Graham and District 99's Rodney Moore - have withdrawn support for the bill.

Moore, who is from Mecklenburg County, said he could no longer support the bill because Republican lawmakers were unwilling to compromise on certain parts of the bill.

Sunday, Cooper issued a new video and on-line statement slamming Republicans over what he said was their inability to negotiate; the same line used by Moore in withdrawing his support for the bill Friday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, rather than truly working together, Republican leaders introduced this ‘bipartisan compromise’ by promising Democrats that the referendum provision could be removed and then going back on that promise,” Cooper wrote in a Medium post.

McGrady pushed back against the Democrats’ assertion he and his colleagues were unwilling to negotiate.

"The Governor’s recent Tweets, including a video, are outrageous,” McGrady said in a statement posted on his Twitter. “His senior staff told me a week ago that his political advisers strongly urged him not to compromise at all because the political issue would help Democrats in the 2018 election.”

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Cooper, Republicans trade barbs on HB2 repeal bill

Monday night, House Bill 186 passed it's first reading and was referred to the Committee On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

McGrady tweeted some doubt about the move.

"To die or to move, that is the question," he tweeted Monday night.

When pressed further, McGrady said "without [Gov. Cooper] allowing Democratic Members to support the bill, I'm not going to move the bill---what is the point?"

McGrady said for the bill to pass, he needs more than 30 Democratic votes and more than 30 Republican votes. He said Cooper stopping the Democratic votes leaves "no path forward" for the bill.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Bipartisan bill to repeal HB2 filed in General Assembly

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) one of the primary sponsors of HB186, is also a Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House. He said a referral to the Rules Committee is not necessarily a bad sign.

“In my opinion, it was sent to Rules to be held there, so that further vetting and discussion can take place before a decision to move forward will be made,” Rep. Davis said Monday night. 

Davis said he’s proud of what he calls a true compromise bill.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bipartisan bill to repeal HB2 sent to House committee

“The Governor has put out several things he calls a compromise—they aren’t a compromise, they aren’t a valid proposal because they don’t do anything,” Rep. Davis said. “This bill has different aspects that really tries to address everything people have concerns about”

Rep. John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg) and other House Republicans will host a press conference at the legislature on Tuesday to highlight the support for HB186.

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