The money North Carolina saves to contend with the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, flooding and even terrorist attacks is now $500,000 short, because the state’s Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund has turned into Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s rainy day fund for defending House Bill 2.
And it must be noted this comes near the peak of hurricane season, which meteorologists expect will be busy this year.
The News & Observer reports the anti-LGBT governor quietly let a bill become law on Monday. The measure shifted that money — dedicated to the state’s disaster relief fund — to the legal defense of the state’s discriminatory new law that restricts North Carolina cities from enacting discrimination protections and requires transgender individuals to use public bathrooms matching their gender identification on their birth certificates.
Calling it a “technical correction,” the governor’s spokesperson kept a straight face while answering questions from reporters, who wanted to know why McCrory didn’t sign the bill.
“The governor would have preferred that the money come from the Attorney General’s budget since that’s who is refusing to do his job,” said Josh Ellis.
Attorney General Roy Cooper has said he would not defend the constitutionality of the bill. Republican leaders have criticized him for taking that position, but it’s perhaps also because Cooper is mounting his own campaign to be elected governor, as a Democrat.
“Even legislative Republicans recognize that the consequences of HB2 have been a disaster,” said Cooper’s campaign spokesman, Ford Porter. “Unfortunately, Gov. McCrory is more interested in finding new and creative ways to point fingers than in fixing problems.”