We sued the McCrory administration in October for public records we’ve requested that have gone ignored and unanswered. A few days ago, the administration started sending us part of the requests related to that lawsuit, including the governor’s emails about HB 2. One of those emails shows that Governor McCrory was still being advised on what he signed two days after the fact by a key legislator involved in the bill.
On March 23, McCrory signed HB 2, which had been rammed through earlier that day. In the early hours of March 25, state representative and HB 2 sponsor Dan Bishop sent an email to McCrory starting with, “Q: Why could the General Assembly not simply reverse the ‘bathroom provision’ of the Charlotte ordinance?
“The City Council, in amending an existing ordinance to mandate cross-sex bathroom access in local businesses, not only acted beyond their delegated authority, they also created direct conflicts with at least two state statutes, the Building Code and the indecent exposure statute, both of which already preclude unisex use and operation of such facilities,” Bishop wrote. “Had we attempted to write a bill just to forbid cities from passing ordinances allowing use of opposite-sex facilities, we would have created a third statutory conflict, but no clear resolution.”
In the email, Bishop also admitted that a “prohibition on wage regulation”—i.e., preventing municipalities from raising the local minimum wage, as other U.S. cities like Seattle have done—was driven by a desire to please business.
“Indeed, the one remaining section of the bill, preempting cities’ regulation of their contractors’
business practices, was essential to prevent the City from imposing mandates on businesses located outside city limits,” Bishop continued. “The prohibition on wage regulation is the only item that was not strictly necessary, but it also was well warranted and will be welcomed by businesses.” In a follow-up, Bishop said that the prohibition on wage regulation was a “clarification of existing law only.”
McCrory then forwarded the email to deputy campaign manager Billy Constangy with the note, “I need hard copy of this delivered to house. Pat.”
Bishop, a Charlotte Republican who was first elected to the House in 2014, was elected to an open seat in the state Senate earlier this month.
You can read the email in full below.