Happy Friday everyone! It’s supposed to be warm and sunny this weekend so get out there and enjoy those parks, greenways and patios, and maybe even a special event or two.
1. As long as HB 2 is still a (terrible) thing in North Carolina, we will continue to report daily on jobs lost, artists cancelling shows, solidarity sandwiches and beers and dumb things conservative lawmakers say to try to convince themselves they are not responsible for the state’s economic implosion/make themselves feel better.
In the latter category, Wake County Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam is under the impression that most states have similar laws to HB 2, so he’s finding it hard to understand the backlash.
“If they’re not going to go here, there are 31 other states and 10,000 other cities that have the same type of policies that we just passed,” Stam said, as The News & Observer quoted him on Monday.
Oh Skippy. The N&O’s Politifact Truth-O-Meter (TM) gives Stam’s assertion a generous half-true rating because—while no other state in the nation has adopted the bathroom provisions of HB 2, and only Mississippi prohibits people from filing discrimination lawsuits in state courts—29 other states, and more than 10,000 cities, also don’t have protections for gay and transgender people.
Call me crazy, but passively discriminating against LGBT people by not having specific protections for them on the books is a little different from actively discriminating against them by calling an emergency legislative session to pass a bill preventing transgender people from using the correct bathroom.
And if Stam isn’t convinced that HB 2 is bad for business yet, this should help him along his way:
About 170 entrepreneurs – representing small firms that employ a total of 2,461 people – have signed a petition calling for the repeal of House Bill 2.
The petition, started by several companies based in the Triangle, focuses on the economic impacts of the new LGBT law. It says that “out-of-state investors are delaying and even canceling investments in North Carolina companies.”
“North Carolina continues to be on the top lists of best locations for start-ups to grow, but now with the passage of this bill, the opportunity for investment, talent recruitment and general business growth is put at risk,” the petition continues.
The petition includes the owners of a variety of start-up businesses, including HQ Raleigh, Brooks Bell, WedPics, Drum for Change, Turtle Island Pottery and Smashing Boxes.
2. In other news, expect legislation regulating police worn body cameras during the short session, which opens a week from Monday. And look for our legislative preview next week!
A legislative committee on Thursday approved a draft bill that would not require law enforcement agencies to use the cameras, but would leave it up to each department in consultation with city or county officials.
“Technology is moving rapidly,” said Rep. John Faircloth, a Republican from High Point who is a former police chief, who added that many agencies already use the equipment. “We are making policy recommendations with some rules, leaving day-to-day decisions to local or state law enforcement.”
Videos from police cameras have played a prominent role in recent years in several high-profile officer-involved shootings across the country.
The legislature included $2.5 million in its budget for the current fiscal year to offer body camera grants of up to $100,000 each to law enforcement agencies.
Footage from body or dashboard cameras would not be considered public records, but the bill would establish a procedure for them to be released. The determination of what is released would be left to the chief law enforcement officer in an agency.
Anyone who requests a copy of a body cam video could appeal to a superior court in the region if they are denied a copy or do not receive a response within 48 hours. A police chief or sheriff would have to give one of a set of reasons, outlined in the bill, for a denial. Those reasons include a compelling public interest, whether disclosure would reveal highly sensitive personal information, or whether it would create a serious threat to the administration of justice.
3. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated for the first time in a month in Brooklyn last night. Such topics they touched on included gun control, criminal justice reform, energy and the environment and Israel.
Such topics they attacked each other for included paid speeches, taking money and tax returns. Things got a little heated, with Bernie questioning Hillary’s judgment on the Iraq war, trade and Super PACs.
According to feminists I follow on Twitter—and people who don’t take too kindly to the South being straight dissed on the national stage— Hillary won the debate.
On to New York!! Have a great weekend everyone!