Despite reports indicating that North Carolina could lose nearly $4 billion in revenue by 2028 over its anti-LGBT bathroom bill (HB2), lawmakers couldn’t manage to repeal the bill. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and the GOP-led legislature are now pointing fingers at one another for the failure of the new bill (HB186). On Tuesday, Republican leaders Rep. Tim Moore and Sen. Phil Berger held a news conference to alert the masses that they agreed with Cooper on a proposal to replace HB2. Not only would HB186 have repealed HB2, but local governments would have the ability to pass non-discriminatory ordinances that “are consistent with federal employment and accommodation non-discrimination law.”
However, a sticking point for Republicans was to include a provision similar to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Moore and Berger said they were on the verge of going ahead with the agreement, but they say Cooper pulled the plug at the last minute. Cooper spokesperson Ford Porter disputed this accusation and said a compromise is ongoing:
“It’s frustrating that Republican leaders are more interested in political stunts than negotiating a compromise to repeal HB2. While Governor Cooper continues to work for a compromise, there are still issues to be worked out, and Republican leaders’ insistence on including an Indiana-style RFRA provision remains a deal-breaker. Any compromise must work to end discrimination, repair our reputation, and bring back jobs and sports, and a [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] RFRA is proven to do just the opposite.”
CNN reports that Cooper is looking for a full repeal of HB2, and the inclusion of an RFRA-like ordinance is the breaking point. Tuesday’s events are another blow for state lawmakers, for the law created a firestorm. As a result, businesses, performers, and even the NCAA has pulled out of the state.