Senators Ask Charlotte to Pay for "Bathroom Bill" Special Session – WFMYNews2.com
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — Several North Carolina senators are calling for Charlotte to pay the bill for the special session where lawmakers overturned the city’s controversial non-discrimination ordinance.
State senator Tom Apodaca from Henderson told the web outlet Blue Ridge Now that he is asking his staff to see how the General Assembly can pass along the $42,000 bill to the Queen City.
On Friday, Senator Jeff Tarte, who represents Mecklenburg County, said he supports the idea.
“What the Charlotte City Council passed, they had no authority to do, and that’s why we stepped in,” Tarte told WBTV. “Being called back into special session really didn’t need to occur. The Charlotte City Council could have easily enabled that to be avoided.
Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance passed in February by a 7-4 vote from the Charlotte City Council. It broadly defined how businesses should treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers. The debate, as in other cities recently, focused on bathrooms.
After its passage, several high ranking North Carolina Republicans, including Governor McCrory, voiced concerns about people having the ability to choose public restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.
NC Governor Pat McCrory signed NC House Bill 2, repealing parts of the ordinance, into law Wednesday night. Lawmakers passed the bill in a special session and the Governor signed it all within one day.
RELATED: McCrory signs bill to undo Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance
Tarte believes that could have been avoided had the Charlotte council set a later effective date for the ordinance.
“[The Charlotte City Council] established an effective date for the ordinance to be April 1,” Tarte said. “If they would have set that date 30 or 60 days after we went back into session, the special session could have been completely avoided.”
Tarte admits leaders in Raleigh “don’t have the authority to bill” Charlotte a line item, but he said there are other ways to make sure the city pays.
“We do have the ability to take it out of appropriations and other state funds they’ll receive,” Tarte said, “And I think that’s what we’ll try to to do.”
He said Senate leadership is reportedly looking into the idea.
“I haven’t had conversations, but reportedly Senate leadership is looking and investigating the ability to levy this charge against the city, which it should do,” Tarte said.
Since the signing of House Bill 2, multiple companies and sports organizations, including IBM, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have spoken out about NC’s decision.
WBTV reached out to members of the Charlotte City Council about the call for the city to pay the bill, but as of Friday night had not received a response.
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