State Politics

No NC House support for Cooper’s HB2 compromise, Speaker Tim Moore says

House Speaker Moore opposes Cooper HB2 compromise

House Speaker Tim Moore explains why he won't support Gov. Roy Cooper's proposed compromise to repeal House Bill 2.
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House Speaker Tim Moore explains why he won't support Gov. Roy Cooper's proposed compromise to repeal House Bill 2.

House Speaker Tim Moore said Wednesday that Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed compromise to repeal House Bill 2 doesn’t have support in his chamber.

Moore joined Senate leader Phil Berger in opposing the plan, which would repeal the controversial LGBT law while also toughening penalties for crimes committed in bathrooms. It would also require local governments to give the legislature 30 days’ notice before approving any new nondiscrimination ordinances.

“I don’t think that proposal is something that would see passage in the House,” Moore told The News & Observer Wednesday afternoon. “It’s really not anything new from what we’ve seen before.

“The thing we’ve made clear from day one is that we need to maintain the privacy and the protection of individuals when it comes to showers, changing rooms and locker rooms. We’re going to safeguard that.”

Berger made a similar critique of Cooper’s HB2 plan on Tuesday, saying that “the idea of trotting out something like this and calling it a compromise seems to be to be just a perpetuation of the current status.”

House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson filed Cooper’s proposal as House Bill 107 on Tuesday, and Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue filed identical legislation as Senate Bill 93 on Wednesday.

Cooper called on legislators to tone down the “rhetoric” about bathroom safety on Wednesday, noting that his plan “will actually provide some teeth, criminal penalties” for people who commit crimes in bathrooms.

“I hope that (Berger) will keep an open mind,” Cooper told reporters on Wednesday. “I think if they put it out there, it will pass.”

Cooper said he expects the House would act first on any HB2 plan because the Senate took the first step in a failed December special session to repeal the law. “We’ve been concentrating more on members of the House.”

Moore indicated that HB2 is not a dead issue in the House. “There are a number of members in this chamber, on both sides of the aisle, having discussions,” he said.

Republicans remain concerned that repealing HB2 could lead to local governments passing nondiscrimination ordinances similar to one in Charlotte that prompted the law. Among other provisions, that ordinance would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

“If that’s still something that Charlotte tries to do, or any city, that would be a problem,” Moore said.

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter

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