Lawmakers hope for 'surgical strike' on HB2 special session

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Special session to start Wednesday morning
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A special session Wednesday will focus on repeal of HB2.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Ready to move forward, but still tossing blame for the past.

That's the common theme right now among North Carolina lawmakers as they get ready to return to the state legislature for yet another special session, this time to reconsider HB2.

"I think to use the good term this will be a surgical strike," Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt County) told ABC11 when talking about the session, which begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. "We'll go in, cut it out, and be done with it."

Read more about HB2

To repeal HB2, also known as the "bathroom bill," a significant number of Republicans must vote with the Democrats.

Among 120 members of the NC House of Representatives, only 46 are Democrats. To secure a majority, at least 15 GOP representatives will have to vote to repeal HB2 - assuming all Democrats show up for the session and vote that way as well.

In the Senate, Republicans outnumber Democrats by a 2-1 margin (34-16). To repeal the controversial law, at least 10 GOP senators must vote to repeal.

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"It's been an exceedingly divisive issue," Rep. Murphy added. "An issue that never needed to come up to begin with, and it's caused a wedge in a state that has so much more going for it than its detractors now would say."

Lawmakers first dug into their divide last spring after the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance allowing people to use bathrooms based on the gender of their conscience. North Carolina Republicans stormed back to Raleigh soon after to pass House Bill 2, mandating people use bathrooms based on the gender of their birth certificate.

The deal to repeal bow laws now may divide the sides even more because Republicans think Democrats used the issue to defeat Governor Pat McCrory in last month's gubernatorial election.

Rep. Duane Hall (D-Wake County) conceded to ABC11 that there was "political posturing" on both sides because of HB2, but it's important now to build on the fact that Democrats and Republicans are coming together for the betterment of the state's future.

"Jobs and business development," Rep. Hall told ABC11. "That's one area of agreement on HB2 is how much we lost. That's a great starting point for next year."

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