The Justice Department told North Carolina that they could lose a lot of money from their federal grants if they don’t fix or repeal their anti-LGBT law. North Carolina’s legislature didn’t take kindly to that.
Moore said that legislators are discussing next steps with their attorneys.
Senate Leader Phill Berger (R) indicated that the legislature would offer some type of response, but he was unclear on what that would entail.
“Obviously there’ll have to be some response – you’ve got the deadline – but I don’t see the legislature, as the legislature, taking any specific response,” he said Thursday morning, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The Justice Department on Wednesday sent a letter to the North Carolina government notifying the state that its new anti-LGBT law violates the Civil Rights Act. The DOJ gave the state until Monday to confirm “that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.”
Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Wednesday decried the letter as “Washington overreach.”
It’s not “overreach.” It’s enforcing the law.
The federal government doles out grant money such as Title I to states under certain conditions: that they follow standard accounting practices to keep track of the funds to ensure they’re spent in accordance with the designated program, and in compliance with applicable federal rules such as the Civil Rights Acts that have been on the books for more than fifty years. If you can’t — or won’t — follow the rules, you don’t get the money.
(To be accurate, the feds don’t give states grant funds up front. They reimburse them for expenditures when the states prove that they’ve spent their own money to implement a program in compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant. Only then do they get the money. No compliance, no money. And that means the state is on the hook for paying for what they’ve spent. Explain that to the taxpayers of North Carolina.)
You can call it bullying if you want to, but those tax dollars are collected from places other than North Carolina, and speaking as someone who both pays taxes and monitors how they’re spent, I don’t want to see my money going to a state that is more concerned about who pees where than they are about supporting their schools.