Questions about Charlotte vote put HB2 deal in jeopardy ahead of special session

RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) — A deal to repeal House Bill 2 may be in jeopardy after some state lawmakers say the Charlotte City Council didn’t go far enough in a vote to repeal its non-discrimination ordinance Monday.

The Charlotte City Council voted Monday to repeal part of its non-discrimination ordinance. Specifically, council members voted to strike the part of its ordinance dealing just with access to bathrooms.

At the time of the vote, council members said they were voting to repeal the entire ordinance as part of a deal brokered between legislative Republicans and Democrat Governor-elect Roy Cooper.

RELATED: Full coverage of House Bill 2

Members of the public had no way of knowing what the council was actually voting on at Monday’s meeting because the vote was not announced ahead of time and copies of the proposal were not made available to reporters—or anyone else—present for the vote.

The council’s partial repeal has now become a major sticking point for some Republican lawmakers who feel the city did not uphold its end of the deal, a legislative source with knowledge of the ongoing discussions told On Your Side Investigates Tuesday night.

A spokeswoman for the city defended the council’s actions in an emailed statement Tuesday night.

“HB2 preempted the City of Charlotte’s authority and invalidated the city’s public accommodation ordinance including the controversial bathroom provision,” Sandy D’Elosua said. “Yesterday, at the request of the general assembly, the city council removed its invalidated public accommodations ordinance from its city code.”

The Republican House Caucus was set to meet early Tuesday evening to discuss the vote to repeal HB2 scheduled to be taken up in a special session of the legislature Wednesday.

It is unclear how many Republican lawmakers in either the House or Senate support repealing the controversial law.

North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse issued an “urgent late night HB2 statement” around 1 a.m. Wednesday upon learning that only part of Charlotte’s ordinance was repealed:

On learning the news that Roy Cooper and Charlotte City Council lied to the public about a full repeal of the Charlotte Ordinance, the NCGOP issued the following late night Statement:

Roy Cooper and Charlotte City Council Democrats lied directly to the people

Of North Carolina, the Legislature and Gov. McCrory about repealing the Charlotte City Council ordinance that caused HB2. They and they alone created this problem and have now seriously harmed HB2 repeal efforts. Roy Cooper, who on Monday claimed all the credit for Charlottes action, now must answer the question of what did he know and when did he know it. He must answer the question of why he lied to everyone, and why he provided the lying Charlotte democrats cover to do so as well.

Governor McCrory called a special session for repeal, based on good faith when Roy Cooper and Charlotte democrats announced to the world a full repeal of the Charlotte ordinance.

However they lied.

The HB2 blood is now stain soaked on their hands and theirs alone. What a dishonest, disgraceful shame by Roy Cooper and Charlotte Democrats.

The press was also forced into reporting a lie, based on the false statement of the Rory Cooper Charlotte City Council Democrats, which was extremely unfair to them.”

Lawmakers will convene in a special session Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. Wednesday’s special session marks the legislature’s fifth such session this year. It was called by Governor Pat McCrory in response to the Charlotte City Council’s vote on Monday.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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