Saturday, February 4, 2023

New Hanover County to vote on resolution in support of moving up sunset date for H.B. 142

The bill is currently set to expire in December of next year.

WILMINGTON — When House Bill 2, informally known as the ‘bathroom bill,’ was repealed by state legislators and replaced with House Bill 142 it set a sunset date of Dec. 1, 2020, when HB 142 would cease to be law. But newly elected New Hanover County Commissioner Julia Olson-Boseman wants county leaders to show their support for moving up that date to this year.

House Bill 2, which was passed in 2016, mandated that individuals use the bathrooms that matched their biological sex, thus making it illegal for transgendered people to use the bathroom of their recognized gender.

Related: Cooper signs HB2 ‘bathroom bill’ repeal after quick passage through House and Senate

House Bill 142 effectively repealed the ‘bathroom bill,’ but it also barred local government from enacting their own anti-discrimination laws until 2020.

According to the County Commissioner’s agenda the request from Olson-Boseman, “Would affirm the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners’ support for efforts to move up the sunset provision of House Bill 142 that prohibit local governments from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances.”

But the request is not just about the rights of the LGBTQ community cited in the resolution, it also cites the economic struggles the state has faced post H.B. 2. It wasn’t just the film industry that was damaged by the passing of the bill, the NCAA, NBA, and multiple entertainers took events outside of the state. 

The language of the proposed resolution states, “The North Carolina Film Industry is a vital and clean economic engine for the state and New Hanover County providing good-paying jobs and support for the county and state economy; and whereas, the film industry is challenged by the effects of House Bill 142 that regulates private employment practices or regulates public accommodations and limits local governments from implementing ordinances that prohibit discrimination …”

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners recently saw a shift in power as Democrats took the majority of seats on the board. Commissioner Woody White was not reelected to serve as Chairman of the Board, instead, Jonathan Barfield was elected to serve in that role.

The board will vote on the item at its upcoming Feb. 4 meeting.


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