Dear Fellow Citizens,
I hope every one of you are well! While the North Carolina General Assembly began its 2017 session in January, this week is the first opportunity where I believe my account of activity in Raleigh will hold your attention and surpass any level of boredom. Until this point, the proceedings in the legislature have been mostly mundane, but below I explain one piece of legislation that should grab your attention.
House Bill 328 – Athletic Associations Accountability Act
In September, the National Collegiate Athletic Association joined in the corporate bully tactics of the far-left by removing seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina, due to alleged “civil rights violations” surrounding House Bill 2. Citing no specifics and no facts, the NCAA fueled the propaganda machine that twisted the truth of the legislation into a political weapon, which aimed to undermine the stellar economic record of the Republican Majority in the North Carolina legislature, in order to help defeat the Governor.
When Politifact confirmed that North Carolina has had the fastest growing economy in the nation since 2013, political opponents of tax and regulatory policies of the Republican majority desperately needed to change the narrative. The Left’s vehicle of distortion has been House Bill 2, and the NCAA wholeheartedly joined in the effort to impose economic sanctions on the state. Not only did the NCAA politically mobilize the month before the November general election, but the organization continued to warn that unless House Bill 2 is repealed, that it will continue its boycott of North Carolina.
What is unreported by the media is that when the NCAA moved championships out of North Carolina, they moved them to states will almost identical laws. This despite the fact that the NCAA had the freedom under North Carolina law to impose any non-discrimination policy – any locker room/shower/bathroom policy – that they desired, if they truly wanted to advance their “values” for “gender neutrality.” But they decided not to do so, and instead lobbied for restroom/locker room mandates to be forced upon every other North Carolina business or place of work.
I have been perplexed by the NCAA’s hypocrisy, saying they want grown men to have access to women’s showers and locker rooms at all private businesses across the state, but refusing to impose the policy upon themselves (because House Bill 2 allows a private business to do so). They run an entire athletic association with men’s leagues separate from women’s leagues. So according to the NCAA, it is wrong to keep biological men out of the women’s locker rooms, so they can claim that they have achieved a goal of “gender neutrality,” but it is okay to separate men from women biologically on the basketball court. Such hypocrisy is beyond belief.
The NCAA is not the only athletic organization that has engaged in political lobbying and corporate bullying. The Atlantic Coast Conference also decided in September to move some conference sports events from North Carolina due to House Bill 2, and continues to pressure the legislature to repeal the legislation. To make matters worse, the state’s taxpayer-funded member institutions – UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University – send their chancellors as voting members on the decision-making ACC Council of Presidents. These chancellors – Carol Folt at UNC and Randy Woodson at NC State – who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars at these publicly funded universities, will not disclose whether they voted for the ACC to impose economic sanctions on their own state. They think they can keep it a secret from you, the North Carolina taxpayers who help pay their salaries.
With this said, for all of you who are tired of being bullied by the Left and who have lost their patience with those who knowingly and willfully replace the truth with a lie for their own political advancement, then I offer you House Bill 328. It has been my pleasure to work with Representative Mark Brody of Union County on this legislation, and to stand with him to fight back. The bill draws attention to the fact that the NCAA and the ACC are acting outside of their legally recognized, nonprofit-exempt core mission as athletic organizations, by devoting significant time and resources to lobby lawmakers to repeal House Bill 2. Because of the NCAA’s and ACC’s blatantly political meddling that is outside the scope of their mission, the legislation introduced by Rep. Brody and myself calls for our legislative leaders to ask the IRS to investigate whether these athletic associations have violated their tax-exempt status.
In addition to addressing the past and current bullying efforts by the NCAA and the ACC, House Bill 328 also demands transparency by all state-funded constituent institutions such as UNC and NC State, so that North Carolina’s own representatives to these athletic associations cannot secretly harm the state without being accountable to the public. Sunlight and transparency is a must when our tax dollars are involved. House Bill 328 advances this principle.
As always, it is my desire to keep you informed regarding the actions of your state government. There is much more to come. Until next time…
Representative Chris Millis
609 Legislative Office Building
Raleigh, NC 27603