NC lawmakers send another bill to Cooper’s desk trying to reopen gyms

NC lawmakers send another bill to Cooper?s desk trying to reopen gyms

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers are trying once again to get gyms to reopen in the state, WLOS reported.

Gyms were supposed to open last Friday as part of Phase Three, but Gov. Roy Cooper pushed the date back with coronavirus cases trending higher.

Most gyms in North Carolina have been closed for more than 90 days and some owners who spoke with Channel 9 said they may not be able to reopen at all.

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If the bill sitting on Cooper’s desk is passed, it would allow fitness centers to reopen at 40 percent capacity.

Employees must pass a health screening. All equipment must be cleaned frequently and people in group classes must be at least 6 feet apart.

Cooper vetoed a similar bill earlier in June. The House could not override that veto last week.

One lawmaker said this bill is different than the rest.

“All of those bills had included language that would have stripped Governor Cooper of his emergency powers. And so one important piece of this bill is that it leaves these powers intact so that in the future, if there is an issue, whether it’s related to fitness facilities or otherwise, he has the ability still to restrict access or to close them down,” Rep. Brian Turner said.

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Gyms would have been a part of the state’s Phase Three reopening plan, but Cooper pushed that back until at least July 17.

Gyms in South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and many others in the nation are back open.

Cooper has 10 days to sign or veto the bill. If he does nothing, the bill will go into effect without his signature.