News

Corporations opposing #HB2 grows to 180

A little more than a month after House Bill 2 was signed into law, 180 major corporations have gone on record opposed to the LGBT legislation hurriedly passed in a special session.

The latest to oppose the law include many well-known names in the corporate world:CorporateopponentstoHB2

  • Alcoa Inc.
  • BASF Corporation
  • KPMG LLP
  • Vanguard
  • Xerox Corporation

And if you’ve wondered whether HB2 will continue to have an impact on the musicians and other entertainments acts coming to our state this summer, this might answer that question.

The CEO for Live Nation Entertainment – the largest live entertainment company, that operates everything from concert promotions, to venue operations and sponsorship – is now on the list opposing the anti-LGBT measure.

Michael Rapino has said he is “100% supportive” of music acts that wish to cancel scheduled performances in North Carolina, or speak out against the law from the stage:

Click here for the latest rundown of businesses who have signed an open letter asking Governor McCrory and the General Assembly to repeal HB2.

News

Five things to have on your radar this week

# 1 Legislators return for short session with plenty of protests – The start of the legislative session marks the return of the Moral Monday movement.  Starting this morning participants will focus their energy on repealing House Bill 2.

hb2_oppoents5TurnOUT! NC  — a joint project of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the ACLU of North Carolina, the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE), and Equality NC (ENC) — has gathered for a petition drop at the Old State Capitol Building calling for the repeal of the discriminatory anti-LGBT law.

The TurnOUT! NC project aims to educate and empower North Carolina voters during this pivotal election year and repair the reputation of North Carolina as a welcoming place for all.

Later in the day the Moral Monday movement returns for their 3rd anniversary with events planned for 2:00 p.m. on Bicentennial mall, followed by a mass sit-in at the NC General Assembly at 4:00 p.m.

The North Carolina House and Senate are back in session tonight at 7:00 p.m. for the official start of the short 2016 session.

jacksonRep. Darren Jackson made good on his promise to make the repeal of HB2 among the first bills to be filed this session.

Read House Bill 946 – Repeal HB2/Fund Human Relations Comm – here.

Click below to hear Policy Watch’s recent radio interview with Rep. Jackson:

# 2 Budget details –  After providing his highlights on Friday, Governor Pat McCrory is expected to release full details of his budget blueprint on Wednesday ahead of House Appropriations.

Legislators will be taking a close look at how the governor pays for raises for teachers and state employees.

The appropriations committee meets at 9:00 a.m. in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building.

# 3 Transportation & Infrastructure Summit –  The NC Chamber  – which has yet to weigh in on HB2 — and other industry leaders will discuss how economic growth, safety and quality of life improvements are interconnected and dependent on investments in transportation, water and sewer, energy and broadband.

Thursday’s summit  begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center in Durham. A complete agenda can be found here.

# 4 Workers’ Memorial Day – The NC State AFL-CIO and others will hold a press conference Thursday at 10:15 AM on Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh to honor 128 workers in NC who died while working for a better life in 2014 and to call on the state Department of Labor to do more to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. 120px-Tom_Barrett_talking_with_construction_workers

The memorial service will include ringing a bell 128 times and a special acoustic performance of the song Bread & Roses.

Participants include: Rev. Peg Williams, Community UCC of Raleigh; Dr. Farrukh Hakeem, Shaw University Mosque; farm worker (TBD), FLOC; fast-food worker (TBD), Raise Up for $15; MaryBe McMillan, NC State AFL-CIO;  Farmworker Advocacy Network.

# 5 – Should he stay or should he go? – Wrapping-up the week – The North Carolina GOP’s first black chairman could learn his fate on Saturday as the Republican party’s executive harnettcommittee considers whether to remove Hasan Harnett and elect a new chairman.

Last month the NCGOP’s central committee censured Harnett for overstepping his authority.

Will they vote to elect a new chairman ahead of the state GOP convention? Stay tuned.

Commentary, News

President Obama: #HB2 is wrong and should be overturned (video)

President Barack Obama appearing at a news conference in London Friday joined the growing number of voices calling for the repeal of North Carolina’s new LGBT law.

House Bill 2 mandates transgender people use the bathroom matching the gender on their birth certificate. The measure also bars individuals from filing a discrimination claim based on race, religion, or sexual orientation in state court.

Obama told reporters such discriminatory legislation is wrong:

“I also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong and should be overturned and they’re in response to politics in part and some strong emotions that are generated by people…some of whom are good people that I just disagree with when it comes to respecting the equal rights of all people.”

Earlier this week the British government issued a travel warning to citizens coming to North Carolina about the controversial law.

Click below to hear Obama’s remarks about HB2:

Commentary, News

Labor expert: Some obvious things the General Assembly can do if it cares about workers (Part 2 )

The North Carolina AFL-CIO is releasing a three-part video series prior to the opening of the 2016 legislative session on Monday featuring veteran North Carolina labor lawyer Mike Okun. In the brief videos, Okun explore three topics of great importance to North Carolina workers and offers some simple, common sense recommendations for lawmakers as they return to Raleigh next week.

In the second installment of our 3-part video series featuring General Counsel Mike Okun discussing issues that will be important to working people when state lawmakers return to Raleigh next week, Mike gives his take on North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance system and one way the General Assembly could begin in 2016 to restore fairness for jobless workers after years of cuts.

“Unemployment benefits help workers stay out of poverty,” says Mike, “yet only 1 in 10 unemployed workers in North Carolina receives any benefits at all – the very lowest percentage in the nation.”

“The [UI] fund is now back to solvency, the temporary tax on employers is ending. Perhaps now is the time to restore some fairness to the system.”

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You can view part one of the series here.

News

Trump: North Carolina “paying a big price” for House Bill 2 (video)

GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is weighing in over the controversial new LGBT-bathroom law.

At a town hall meeting on the “Today Show” Trump dismissed the need for House Bill 2 and said North Carolina should have left it the way it was:

“There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment that they’re taking,” said Trump.

Trump responded that he would have no problem with Caitlyn Jenner using the bathroom of her choosing  at Trump Tower.

Governor Pat McCrory has said he still supports HB2, which mandates transgender people use the bathroom matching the gender on their birth certificate.

Senate President Phil Berger made it clear Wednesday despite recent economic losses for the state, repeal would not happen in the upcoming session.

Click below to hear Trump discuss HB2: