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On One-Year Anniversary Of HB 2, There's A Lot Of Talk And Little Action

Tom Bullock

One year ago House Bill 2 was born. The controversial legislation was passed in a special session of the General Assembly and signed into law later the same day.

On the one year anniversary it seemed something was in the works, that a repeal of HB 2 was, possibly, about to happen. 

Then nothing did.

Word of a possible new deal spread quickly. And on Wednesday, two things happened that made it seem possible.

First, Governor Roy Cooper told WRAL-TV that he will now back repeal efforts that include a cooling off period, a set amount of time between HB 2's repeal and just when cities and counties could pass their own expanded non-discrimination ordinances again. This was a change. In the past, Cooper had only openly supported clean repeal bills.

Then came House Speaker Tim Moore with a warning for North Carolina's representatives, Thursday's session, he said, could be a long one and the chamber may even meet for a rare Friday session.

Though Moore did not elaborate on why.

Then, came a tweet and a photo from the House minority leader, claiming to show what the deal would be. "Since the Speaker wouldn't share with his caucus," Democrat Darren Jackson wrote, "I figured I would share the bill they are discussing."  At least one Republican lawmaker denied that was the plan.

On Thursday, there was a long, closed-door meeting of the Republican House caucus, agenda unknown. More rumors swirled.

The meeting caused the house started its noon session 30 minutes late. And when they did, nothing about HB 2 was mentioned, with one exception.

There are microphones throughout the House chamber, when they're in session the mics are live. And just before the gavel came down on the day, a woman asked a man, we don’t know who, if this was the House Bill 2 deal? The audio is hard to hear but his response is "the House Bill 2 deal is not happening. We're going home and coming back Monday night."

And so, the saga continues.