AS HB2 REPEAL CO-SPONSOR ABANDONS BILL, BACKERS, OPPONENTS TRADE JABS (WRAL-TV) -- Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, said that he had hoped to help reshape the effort to repeal HB2. However, he said, GOP House leaders have indicated they're not flexible on certain points. What initially appeared to be a compromise, in fact, isn’t. The referendum in question would allow a voter-initiated process to override local governments that decide to extend discrimination protections to LGBT people, a point that many advocates find unacceptable. While he wouldn't say which colleagues gave him those assurances, Moore said that he has since been told of comments from House Speaker Tim Moore that parts of the bill, including the referendum provision, were non-negotiable.
UNDERSTANDING TRANSGENDER ACCESS LAWS (New York Times) -- The highly charged debate over transgender rights has resulted in a tangle of contradictory laws governing access to public bathrooms and locker rooms across the country. Many states permit transgender people to choose bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity, considering it a civil rights issue. But in a handful of states and cities, legislators are moving in the opposite direction. Here are some milestones in the national debate.
COOPER ASKS COURT TO PROTECT CABINET FROM LEGISLATIVE SUBPOENAS (WRAL-TV) -- Gov. Roy Cooper has asked a court to effectively kill a legislative subpoena for Veterans and Military Affairs Sec. Larry Hall to appear at a confirmation hearing. This is part of an ongoing batter over whether lawmakers can have a say on the governor's cabinet picks. "The Senate continues to go against the wishes of the court and ignore its previous order, so we’re asking the court to step in and halt this unprecedented event," said Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley. In his court filing, Cooper asks the judges to say that Hall doesn't need to testify during a March 2 confirmation hearing and won't need to respond to the legislative summons unless the court ultimately finds the confirmation law is constitutional.
REPORT: DUKE LIED ABOUT WATER MIGRATION (Gaston Gazette) -- At Thursday’s Belmont City Council meeting, Amy Brown discussed a new report obtained by the Southern Environmental Law Center that says updated studies prepared by Duke’s own consultants and obtained from UNC Charlotte confirm that groundwater from the leaking, unlined coal ash basins at Allen is migrating off-site and reaching nearby drinking water wells. Brown says the information in the report contradicts previous assertions from Duke that the water did not flow into people’s wells. State law directed Duke perform the water flow testing beginning in 2014 and present its findings to the Department of Environmental Quality.