Commentary

Speaker Moore admits the alleged deal on HB2 was a sham

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore

Two weeks ago Raleigh was buzzing about an alleged deal to repeal HB2, the anti-LGBTQ law that has demonized a group of people and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs.

The N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association announced it was brokering an agreement under which the Charlotte City Council would repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance and then Gov. McCrory would call the General Assembly into special session to repeal HB2 and hopefully stop more economic losses in the state.

Legislative leaders were reportedly on board. That was the announcement anyway.

LGBTQ activists were understandably skeptical of the promise and in the end so was Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the majority of the city council. They decided not to repeal the common sense ordinance that protected LGBTQ people in Charlotte from discrimination in employment and public accommodations, including allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity—which more than 200 cities already allow.

The city council’s wise decision to refuse to take back its vote prompted a torrent of criticism from Republicans who said Roberts and the other Democrats on the council had torpedoed a deal to repeal HB2 and were putting political considerations ahead of what is best for the state.

Well now it turns out the deal was a sham. House Speaker Tim Moore was asked about the deal this week on Capital Tonight on Time Warner Cable News (the discussion begins around 3:40 into the interview) and here was his response. Read more

Uncategorized

The startlingly bad record of the General Assembly on Civil Liberties

The ACLU of North Carolina released its legislative report card on civil liberties today and it is not a pretty picture. Here is how ACLU-NC Policy Counsel Susanna Birdsong put it.

Simply put, the General Assembly has had an abysmal record on civil liberties in recent years. These recent bills, many of which became law, represent unprecedented attacks on civil liberties that have collectively restricted personal freedom, bodily autonomy, and equality under the law for countless North Carolinians.

The report card includes a list of some of the worst bills passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, starting with one that continues to demonize a group of people and damage the state economy.

Remove legal protections for and encourage discrimination against LGBTQ people, particularly transgender men and transgender women (HB2)

Triple the mandatory waiting period for a woman who has decided to have an abortion to 72 hours, the longest waiting period in the country (HB465)

Give law enforcement broad authority to keep body and dash camera footage from the public (HB972)

Fuel anti-immigrant sentiments and make it harder for immigrants to identify themselves to government officials (HB318)

Remove transparency and oversight from the administration of the death penalty in an effort to jump-start executions (HB774)

You can find out how your legislator voted on civil liberties legislation by checking out the full ACLU-NC report card here.

Commentary

U.S. Supreme Court rejects McCrory’s plea to reinstate much of voter suppression law

It looks like the November election will proceed without most of the 2013 voter suppression law in place. The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by Gov. Pat McCrory to stay the recent decision by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that threw out much of the law.

The Associated Press has a good first take on the ruling.

It’s another victory for voting rights and means we will have a fairer election this fall, as scary as that apparently is for one political party in the state.

Commentary

McCrory signs flawed budget that includes massive new spending on unaccountable voucher scheme

To no one’s surprise Gov. Pat McCrory today signed the flawed budget passed by the General Assembly a few weeks ago. McCrory signed the bill at a public elementary school in Monroe to highlight the salary increases for teachers in the spending plan.

But the budget also includes a massive increase in funding for the school voucher scheme that directs taxpayer money away from public schools like the one McCrory visited today to almost completely unaccountable private schools and religious academies, many of which openly discriminate against LGBT students and teach bizarre theories as science including the claim that humans and dinosaurs co-existed on earth.

As NC Policy Watch’s Billy Ball reported last month, the budget spends $34.8 million more dollars on the voucher scheme this year and increases the funding every year until it reaches $134.8 million in 2026-2027.

That’s an awful lot of of public money for unaccountable private schools to teach students things that aren’t true.

Commentary

A perfect summary of HB2

The editorials about the failure of the General Assembly to repeal HB2 continue to roll in from across the state and outside it.

The Virginian Pilot weighed in today with a piece with an apt title, “NC GOP Lawmakers flee from responsibility.”  The whole editorial is worth your time but this sentence says it all about the decision to leave the bulk of HB2 in place in North Carolina.

HB2 will subject a minority of Carolinians to prejudice, ridicule and perhaps violence on the basis of who they are. It will not make more Tar Heels safer. It will put more in harm’s way.