North Carolina General Assembly Set To Stop Charlotte Nondiscrimination Ordinances and Local Minimum Wage Increases


  • NC General Assembly has the votes to enact legislation striking local town and city ordinances;
  • Legislators called back to Raleigh at a cost of $45,000 a day.

Tomorrow, the North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene in a specially called session.  They are set to enact legislation that will strike down Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance that was passed in February by a 7-4 vote.

According to sources close to the NCGA, the body will also strike local municipalities from enacting a local living wage increase.  Led by the Republican Party, a compromise has been struck with some of the top industries in North Carolina who opposed the NCGA stopping local nondiscrimination clauses.

NC cities considering a local living wage increase include Raleigh and Greensboro. 

Most political gurus who cover the NC General Assembly say they have the votes to pass the measure and strike down local ordinances.

Evangelical groups and conservatives opposed Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance in February.  It was the second time the Charlotte City Council had addressed the issue, with two different City Councils. 

The first time it came up was last year, and it failed when members of the council struck down the bathroom clause allowing transgender to use the restroom of their expressed gender identity.  The CLT City Council revived the issue in February when new City Council members were elected.  All parts of the nondiscrimination ordinance passed, including the transgender bathroom provision.

The bathroom provision of the ordinance came under fire when conservative groups and evangelicals learned that an associate with the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce had a criminal record stemming from an incident that happened in South Carolina some twenty years ago.


Claire Fallon, an At-Large member of the Charlotte City Council, voted against the ordinance in February, even though she had voted for it the first time it came up last year. 

Her reasons for the changed vote included the wording of the ordinance and the lack of public support among her constituents. 


Why it matters?

Analysis: The Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly have been waiting for years to plow the field of local cities trying to increase their minimum wage.  Raleigh already has an ordinance that would have gone into effect at the end of the year.  Greensboro is also considering a living wage increase and was set to take the measure up soon.

The NCGA can stop living wage increases, reign in local towns and cities who are more progressive than some other areas of the state and blame it all on Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, including the transgender restroom part of the measure.


About George Fisher

George is a freelance writer, an author and a Democratic political consultant. He has worked as Deputy Communications Director for a Senatorial campaign and Campaign Manager for several NC House races and one congressional race. He previously worked as a news producer for a local television station.
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