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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee restricts state employee travel to North Carolina again

UPDATED: Thu., April 13, 2017, 9:28 p.m.

OLYMPIA – Washington state employees won’t be taking many work-related trips to North Carolina for the foreseeable future. Gov. Jay Inslee reinstated the travel ban to that state after its Legislature passed a new law regarding the use of public facilities by transgender people.

Inslee initially banned non-emergency travel by state employees to North Carolina last year, when the state passed laws requiring people to use restrooms and some other public facilities based on biology, not on the gender with which they identify.

That law, was repealed earlier this year, and the original ban lapsed, a statement from Inslee’s office said. But in its place the Legislature has passed a new law pre-empting nondiscriminatory ordinances by local governments and stating sexual orientation and identity are not protected classes.

“Washingtonians traveling to North Carolina on work-related matters may still experience discrimination,” Inslee said in a memo to the heads of departments and agencies he appoints. He suggested other statewide elected officials, boards and state colleges and universities take similar steps.

A spokeswoman for Inslee said they didn’t have a good estimate on how many trips were canceled under the original ban.

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