Governor Cooper: 'Urgent' need to repeal HB2

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Governor Roy Cooper

Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday there is an urgency to repeal House Bill 2.

He took questions from journalists after appearing at the Council of State meeting and began with a statement about the need to repeal the controversial law, which requires transgender citizens use public restrooms corresponding with their birth certificates, not their gender identities.

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"In order for us to put this behind us completely, the General Assembly needs to act," he said.

Governor Cooper held up a copy of The News & Observer newspaper, showing North Carolina is in jeopardy of losing NCAA championship events for the next 6 years, if HB2 stays on the books.

"I believe that if there was ever a time for bipartisanship it is now, a chance to remove the stain off of our state, a chance to remove discrimination, and a chance to bring these hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs back to our state," Governor Cooper said.

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He said he's asking companies and events to still come to North Carolina. But he says some need legislative action before they do that.

Scott Dupree, executive director of the Raleigh Sports Alliance, told The Charlotte Observer cities, colleges, and universities have submitted 133 bids to host events through 2022. He said that represents more than $250 million in economic impact. He said the state could have until mid-March to make a decision.

Governor Cooper is asking Republican leaders put a repeal of House Bill 2 on the floor for a vote.

"There are enough votes," he said. "There are enough Republicans even though they don't represent a majority of their caucuses. When you combine their votes with the Democrats on the floor then you get complete repeal."

READ MORE: Roy Williams on HB2: "It's harmful to us and it's not right"

But supporters of the law say House Bill 2 protects privacy and safety. And a repeal failed in December when lawmakers couldn't reach an agreement.

Still, the Governor said he'll keep working to repeal the controversial law.

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