House leaders update proposed HB2 legislation following WBTV report

Published: Jun. 30, 2016 at 12:00 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - Republican leadership in the North Carolina House of Representatives provided members of its caucus copies of a bill that would alter the controversial House Bill 2 for the first time Wednesday.

The new draft legislation comes one day after On Your Side Investigates obtained a copy of a bill that would significantly alter portions of the controversial legislation, passed during a one-day special session this spring, that required individuals in North Carolina to use a bathroom corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Among the changes in the draft legislation obtained by On Your Side Investigates on Tuesday were a provision that created a 'certificate of sex reassignment,' another provision that created an anti-discrimination task force and language that restored workers' rights to sue their employers in state courts for discrimination.

A new version of the proposed legislation was sent to Republican house members on Wednesday afternoon following a lengthy meeting of legislative Republicans, including party leaders in both the North Carolina House and Senate as well as Governor Pat McCrory.

Changes to the draft bill include new penalties for trespassing in bathrooms and changing facilities and a blue ribbon commission to study discrimination, among others.

Document: Click here to read the latest draft of a bill to amend HB2

Language in the latest draft of the bill would make it a Class 2 misdemeanor—one level higher than the normal penalty for trespassing—to trespass in a multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility.

The updated bill also changes the anti-discrimination task force called for in the earlier version of the bill to a blue ribbon commission. The task force contemplated in the first draft would have been comprised of members appointed by legislative leaders while the blue ribbon commission would be created by the governor.

The bill's authors also made minor tweaks to the provisions re-establishing the right to file employment law claims in state court.

Part I of the bill was changed from "restore right to sue for employment discrimination" to "restore state tort claim to wrongful discharge."

Sources within the Republican Caucus tell On Your Side Investigates that House Speaker Tim Moore has sought to distance himself from the draft legislation since details of the proposal first became public Tuesday.

But Tuesday's joint caucus meeting with all legislative Republicans included heavy discussion about the legislative proposal from both House leaders as well as McCrory, sources said.

On Tuesday, A person with knowledge of the league's plans, who asked not to be identified to discuss details of the ongoing discussion surround the 2017 All Star Game's future in Charlotte, said passage of the proposed legislation would be a big step in helping the league to make the decision to keep the game in Charlotte.

Lawmakers have yet to say publicly if or when the proposed bill will be introduced for a vote.

Related: NC House leadership drafts HB2 changes amid pressure from NBA

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