News

Technical corrections bill includes $500K to cover HB2 litigation

With a possible compromise on amending House Bill 2 in doubt, state lawmakers have approved legislation that would allocate $500,000 for litigation defending the so-called ‘bathroom bill.’

The budget technical corrections bill (HB 805) includes a  short provision that would transfer half a million dollars from the state’s Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund to the governor’s office for litigation arising from the controversial LGBT bill that became law  in March.

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Calling HB2 ‘indefensible’ Rep. Pricey Harrison noted the money would be better spent on child care subsidies, Pre-K slots, or other education needs.

The technical corrections bill along with the state budget are now before Gov. Pat McCrory.

News

NBA, Hornets reject current HB2 compromise bill

Legislative leaders hoping a compromise version of House Bill 2 might be enough to save the the 2017 NBA All-Star Game got their answer Thursday:

No.

In a joint statement on Twitter, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets made it clear that while they were continuing to talk to all sides about HB2, the legislative proposal being shopped in the final days of the short session did not go far enough to prevent LGBT discrimination.

Here’s their official statement:

It’s estimated the 2017 All-Star Weekend could have an economic impact of up to $100 million on the Queen City, according to the Charlotte Observer.

For more on the proposed HB2 ‘fix’ read today’s Fitzsimon File.

Click here to read one version of the amended version of HB2, obtained by WBTV in Charlotte on Wednesday.

News

Senate, House reach budget deal, rush to approve $22.34 billion plan (video)

The state Senate will take the first vote today on a $22.34 billion budget compromise. House and Senate leaders offered highlights of the spending plan in a Monday evening press conference, with the corresponding documents not being made available until hours later.

The budget compromise is now available here.

The budget’s money report is here.

Don’t miss the NC Budget & Tax Center’s initial take on the deal.

The spending plan will face the first of two votes in the Senate this afternoon. The state House could vote as early as Wednesday, and remains on target to pass the state budget by the end of this week.

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U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion restrictions

Abortion rights advocates are declaring a victory today after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down (in a 5-3 ruling) Texas abortion restrictions that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The Texas rules also required that clinics must meet hospital-like standards, prompting several clinics in the Lone Star State to shutter their doors.

In writing for the majority, Justice Stephen G. Breyer noted that such restrictions “provide few if any health benefits for women, pose a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes a, ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”

Read the full opinion in  Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt here.

Here’s reaction to the opinion from social media:

News

House Democrats stage sit-in, demand gun-control legislation (video)

Congressional Democrats staged a sit-in on the U.S. House floor Wednesday, demanding the chamber vote on common sense gun-control measures.

Congresswoman Alma Adams appealed to her colleagues to take action after the Orlando shooting that left 50 dead and 53 wounded. Adams drew applause as she demanded “NRA, get the hell out of the way!”

Here’s how other members of the state’s congressional delegation responded:

But several Republicans, including Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro, called the action a stunt: