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Van Duyn, Ager discuss HB2 and more at Asheville Town Hall event

State senator Terry Van Duyn and representative John Ager, both Democrats, took on some questions dealing with hot-button issues, like House Bill 2. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Two local lawmakers engaged with mountain constituents at a Town Hall gathering that was at times contentious.

State senator Terry Van Duyn and representative John Ager, both Democrats, took on some questions dealing with hot-button issues, like House Bill 2 and what's next.

Those who attended say there's still concern over the so-called Bathroom Bill, and HB 142, the bill passed at the end of March touted as a compromise for HB2.

The concern News 13 heard was that the bill didn't go far enough, and was simply to please the NCAA and other businesses.

On Saturday, people asked our senator and representative why they let this happen.

Senator Van Duyn explained a Republican supermajority in the legislature, and she did the best she could, even calling HB 142 incremental progress.

But people in the LGBT community said a "no" vote would have been better.

"Sometimes a no vote is not meaningless. It means you stand for what you believe in, even though you know it's still gonna happen," said Marcus Davis of Tranzmission. "That's what we needed in that moment, and we just didn't get it."

"I believe in my heart that this was the repeal of HB2. Now does it get us where we need to be, no. Absolutely not, but I will keep working to get a General Assembly that will take us where we need to go," Van Duyn said.

Meantime, the topic was barely discussed at Republican State Representative Chuck McGrady's town hall Friday.

"It was an issue that, in my view, got to be much bigger issue than it needed to be. We were doing fine with bathrooms before we waded into this thing," said Rep. McGrady.

While some democrats hope to continue the conversation about bathrooms, Rep. McGrady says it's time to move on.

“I think we're going to need a long cooling off period before we get back into that set of issues,”” said McGrady.

Other topics discussed included healthcare, Medicaid, medical marijuana, and education


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