North Carolina state Senate leader Phil Berger says his fellow Republican legislators have struck a deal with governor Roy Cooper to repeal House Bill 2 hours before an NCAA deadline that would have eliminated all scheduled NCAA championship events in that state until the year 2022.
HB2—an anti-LGBT bill that restricted the rights of transgender people—eliminated local governments’ abilities to raise the minimum wage, banned cities from passing their own ordinances to ban discrimination, and most famously required transgender people to use the labeled bathroom matching that on their birth certificates. Some of the state’s most prominent sports figures spoke out against the bill, while the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte and the NCAA moved the ACC championship game to Orlando.
The NCAA initially gave North Carolina until the end of February to knock down the bill, but later changed that to this Thursday, per the Charlotte Observer. It seems as if the NCAA’s pressure was enough to get the state’s GOP-led legislature to get a last-minute deal done.
Although the original bill looks like it’s dead, Democrats offered significant concessions and several discriminatory regulations appear to still be in place.
For one, cities are prohibited from adopting new anti-discrimination policies for three years, a key facet of HB2. A deal initially offered in December that would have only extended the prohibition for six months was turned down by Cooper. The extension of the ban on anti-discrimination ordinances is leading the Human Rights Campaign president to harshly criticize the deal:
“The rumored HB2 ‘deal’ does nothing more than double-down on discrimination and would ensure North Carolina remains the worst state in the nation for LGBTQ people,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “The consequences of this hateful law will only continue without full repeal of HB2. Sellouts cave under pressure. Leaders fight for what’s right.”
Governor Cooper even described the compromise as “not a perfect deal,” while disgraced former governor Pat McCrory voiced support for it. Even if HB2 is technically dead, it looks like some of its worst regulations will live on.
You can find the full bill below.