N.C. Senate Democrats filed a bill Wednesday afternoon that would repeal House Bill 2 in its entirety, enabling local governments to pass their own nondiscrimination ordinances.
But it’s likely the repeal proposal, Senate Bill 25, won’t get a hearing or a vote in the Senate.
Under the Senate’s standard procedures, the repeal bill showed up on the chamber’s published calendar on Thursday, but not for a vote; Senate leaders assigned the legislation to the Rules Committee.
From there, the bill’s fate rests with the Republican chairman of the committee, Sen. Bill Rabon of Southport. He can schedule a committee hearing and vote on the bill, but he doesn’t have to. If Rabon never holds a committee vote, the bill dies and never makes it to the Senate floor.
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Wednesday’s repeal bill filing comes as no surprise: Democrats have repeatedly said that repealing the controversial LGBT law is a top priority for this year’s legislative session. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte, Sen. Angela Bryant of Rocky Mount and Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham.
Any changes to HB2 won’t move forward without support from Senate leader Phil Berger. Berger said last week that he doesn’t think “the votes exist for an outright repeal,” which is what the Democrats are proposing.
“I don’t see a pathway in the short term for there to be an addressing of that issue – I think it’s something that’s going to take some time,” Berger told Time Warner Cable News.