HB2 ‘bathroom-bill’ repeal clears Senate, Democrats will vote ‘holding their noses’

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HB2, the so-called 'bathroom bill,' has caused several organizations - including the NCAA - to pull their business out of North Carolina. Now lawmakers in Raleigh are scrambling to repeal it.
HB2, the so-called ‘bathroom bill,’ has caused several organizations – including the NCAA – to pull their business out of North Carolina. Now lawmakers in Raleigh are scrambling to repeal it.

UPDATE: House Bill 142 passed in the Senate, 32-16, with senators from both houses voting against it. It is currently in the House. A motion to postpone the vote was defeated, the House plans to vote this afternoon.

RALEIGH — A deal to repeal HB2 was announced at a terse press conference Wednesday night and on Thursday the General Assembly was reportedly scrambling to file a bill before an NCAA-set deadline that would pull college tournaments out of the state, according to Representative Deb Butler.

“Republicans waited until the 11th hour, to the last second to do this,” Butler said in reference to the reported 48-hour deadline given by the NCAA.

The deadline was reported by Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance in a statement earlier this week.

“A lot of Democrats will likely vote for this while holding their noses, because it’s not a clean repeal, which is what we had been hoping for.” — Deb Butler.

According to Butler, Democrats held a joint caucus of House and Senate members and agreed to move forward with a repeal, though not without reservations.

“It’s been extremely…how can I say this? hotly debated. Unfortunately, this horrific piece of legislation (HB2) is on our books. It’s the Republicans’ responsibility, but now they’re asking Democrats to fix it,” Butler said.

Senate Leader Phil Berger's tweet from Wednesday night.
Senate Leader Phil Berger’s tweet from Wednesday night.

Butler said Democrats expect to see an already-existing bill come from committee to the floor by noon. Indeed, it was House Bill 142, which Senate Leader Phil Berger posted on Twitter late Wednesday night as having been agreed on by Governor Roy Cooper and House leaderships.

Representative Deb Butler (D), of Wilmington.
Representative Deb Butler (D), of Wilmington.

Butler said Democrats were prepared to vote for a repeal “with heavy hearts.”

“A lot of Democrats will likely vote for this while holding their noses, because it’s not a clean repeal, which is what we had been hoping for,” Butler said.

Port City Daily reached out to Republican representatives Ted Davis, as well as Senator Michael Lee; neither of them offered comment. Representative Holy Grange reached out shortly after getting out of session (read her comments, as well as Representative Deb Butler’s).