NC NOW Legislative Update #16 – targetting the poor (food stamps, education programs)

NC NOW Legislative Update #16 of 2017 is available. This legislative update includes the latest on the Senate budget, like proposed slashes to food stamps program, and how the House is going to try address some of the outrages of it. 

“Last week the Senate passed its budget in a rushed process that allowed for
only limited debate and less than 72 hours of public availability before passage.”

“This week the process of sorting out what the budget contains beyond
appropriations and cuts continues. In addition to budgetary items, the budget
also includes new policies. Including policies in a budget bill is a way to bypass
the normal legislative process and pass controversial matters with little or no
public notice or debate. N. C. Policy Watch has identified twelve significant
policy changes buried in the Senate budget.” See
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/05/17/12-significant-policy-changesburied-nc-senate-budget/, 5/17/17.

“One of the most disturbing provisions of the Senate budget is a policy change concerning eligibility for SNAP, the program that used to be called food stamps, that would effectively cut off 133,000 people from receiving nutritional assistance. The move was not motivated by saving the state money because the program is paid for entirely with federal funds and costs the state nothing.” See http://www.wral.com/senate-budget-would-cut-off-food-aid-to-133-000/16703663/, 5/15/17.

And there is more, because thank goodness that “[t]he House is working on its version of the budget which is expected to correct some of the outrages in the Senate version. “

Plus, see the updates and the bill tracking that are included in all of this session’s legislative updates. 

See NC NOW Legislative Update #16.

Pro-rape New Hampshire Representative was exposed

A New Hampshire Representative was exposed as the founder of a men’s rights misogyny and pro-rape group. “Bonnie Bacarisse of The Daily Beast made a recent discovery that Republican Rep. Robert Fisher (R-NH) is in fact the founder of the “Red Pill,” a men’s rights misogyny group based on the online forums Reddit and 4chan.”

Fisher, 31 years old, is the son of a preacher. Daily Beast found him out, tracking many user names back to him. Bacarisse published the article on 4/25/17. 

“[Fisher] blasted women for theirsub-par intelligence.” He said that women’s personalities are “lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day to day life.” And Fisheonce commented, “It is literally the [female] body that makes enduring these things worth it.” “

                Women protesting outside of hearing, Photo Credit: Inside Sources

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Input on Medicaid Reform Due by May 25, 2017

Do you know NC is proposing big changes to ‘reform’ Medicaid, and now is the time to give input on it? “The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is seeking additional public input from April 25 to 11:59 p.m. on May 25, 2017, on the Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs transformation (also known as “Medicaid reform”), according to NCTracks notice here.”

From Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2015

DHHS also held four public input sessions around the state during May. Dates are listed in same NCTracks notice.  It says “Pre-registration is not necessary; please review speaker guidelines”. The last of those is Tuesday, May 16.

As always, NC Policy Watch is a great source of information on this issue. Learn more about so called “Medicaid Reform” changes at

See more on giving input at https://www.nctracks.nc.gov/content/public/providers/provider-communications/2017-announcements/Medicaid-Request-for-Public-Input.html.

Upcoming Events for Charlotte NOW members – May to June 2017

1. May 22 at 6:30 pm: Come hear Margaret Flowers, MD and founder of HOPE (Health Over Profit for Everyone) speak about “national improved Medicare for all” for every person regardless of age or income. HOPE advocates tactics ranging from traditional lobbying to civil resistance. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/262411800898116/

2. Jun 7, 2017 – Charlotte NOW Meeting. Topic is Gender Inequality.

The June 7 meeting will continue our discussion of Gender Inequality with a look at some research and data from other areas. In May, Charlotte NOW looked at inequality for women in the media via the Miss Representation documentary. There will be a general business meeting with updates and a call to action. The last 30 minutes will be a social time to get acquainted. Please plan to join us!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1131793233633404/

NC NOW Legislative Update #15 – Retaliation in the Senate

For the week ending 14 May 2017

The Senate passed its $22.9 billion budget after 3am on Friday morning. The 800 page document (SB257, Appropriations Act of 2017) was presented during a press conference on Tuesday, May 9, and posted online late Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the proposed budget cleared a series of committees and the required two votes in the Senate began on Thursday and wrapped up early Friday morning. The two votes cannot be held on the same day; therefore, the Senate went into recess after the first vote and reconvened after midnight for the final vote. Amendments offered by Democratic Senators were all voted down, and the budget passed 32-15 in a party line vote.

Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate, defending HB2, 4/20/16. Photo Credit News and Observer

But in the process, the Republican leadership made a move of unparalleled pettiness and vindictiveness that hits a new political low. Frustrated by the delay created by the budget amendments offered by Democrats, the Republican leadership retaliated by slashing a million dollars in education funds from two poverty-stricken Democratic districts.  See: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article150397682.html, 5/13/17.

Read more about the Senate’s budget, which includes a billion-dollar tax cut package, and next steps for the budget, at NC NOW Legislative Update #15. You’ll also find updates on ERA, Lawsuits, and our bill tracking.

Protest for Special Prosecutor NOW! (5/12/17)

Justice requires a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in our election and potential illegal actions by current administration. Senators Burr and Tillis are in downtown Raleigh at the Sheraton Raleigh on Fayetteville at a ‘conservative’ event.

PROTESTS ARE HAPPENING NOW! Friday, May 12, 2017. Go join them if you can. As per upcoming events post – protests were planned (permit covers) from 11:30am to 9pm. Press Conference at 4pm – BE THERE AT 3:30PM.

BurrTillisSpecialProsecutorProtest.websmall.gailyapaliga

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Upcoming events for May and June 2017

Here are some of the upcoming events around NC. 5/18/17 – Added the Health Care Moral Tuesday event on 5/23/17 and the Independent Judiciary Town Hall meeting on 5/25/17.

1) Tell Burr & Tillis: Special Counsel NOW!

There are many opportunities to reach Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis about the need for Congress to find Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference into the U.S. Presidential election. 

a) In May, people are protesting in front of Senator Thom Tillis’ office in Raleigh every Tuesday at 11:30am. Bring signs – and NOW signs are welcome! Go to 310 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh NC. You’ll see people. 

b) Senators Burr and Tillis are featured at an event in Raleigh on May 12, 2017 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. Some people are going to protest there all day, basically.

Protest permit was issued for 11:30am to 9pm on Fayetteville St, by the hotel. The press conference will be at 4pm – so go at 3:30pm if you can.

Burr/Tillis Town Hall – their presence in posters only – on 3/5/17. Photo Credit: Sarah Sydney

Protesters demand that NC senators support a call to

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Action: Stop AHCA/Trumpcare NOW! Here is how..

Did you write NC (US) Senators Burr and Tillis about stopping the AHCA (Trumpcare) bill yet? The AHCA bill that the Republicans forced through the US House on May 4, 2017  is devastating

“This bill will put women directly in harm’s way by making health care inaccessible to people with pre-existing conditions–including those who have survived domestic violence, experienced postpartum depression, or undergone a cesarean section. ” As NOW.org wrote in their suggested email action at http://now.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AHCAEmailYourSenators.pdf.

Congress’ own Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million people would lose health insurance from the plan. This estimate is from the March 2017 version of the bill that was not put up for a vote (due to expected failure), and the current plan (May 2017) is only worse. Read more about the harm this plan would do at https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/americanhealthcareact.pdf.

Make America Sick Again Sign

A more readable description of the damage this bill does is at Vox.com, “These are all the people the Republican health care bill will hurt,” 5/4/17, at

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NC NOW Legislative Update #14, State Budget and Constitutional Amendments

The legislative update begins as follows. Find the whole update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #14.

After frantically passing more than 200 bills last week to meet the crossover deadline, the legislature did very little this week to move bills along. We are still sorting out what occurred last week and looking forward to what to expect in the coming weeks.


The budget is where the action is. Senate leadership says the Senate is on track to pass its version of the budget next week. A $581 million budget surplus is projected for the fiscal year ending June 30, which gives legislators some flexibility to expand spending and/or cut taxes. The goal is to pass a two-year budget before the beginning of the next fiscal year on July 1—a goal that often is not attained. The House will pass its version of the budget, and then a conference committee will be appointed to iron out differences between the House and Senate budgets before a final vote. The governor also drew up a budget, but the legislature probably won’t pay too much attention to it. See: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2017-05-05/n-carolina-revenue-surplus-ticks-up-slightly-after-april-15, 5/5/17.

On April 25 the Senate passed a bill (SB676) that exempts bills that ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution and bills to amend the North Carolina Con-stitution from the April 27 crossover deadline—which means that any of these bills passed by the House after April 27 may be taken up by the Senate.

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Feminist 5K Run and Walk – Jun 17, 2017

The current wave of progressive activism is a continuation of the long fight for equal dignity for all, and an affirmation that if you show up to participate in something larger than yourself, you belong – and that our visibility matters.

If you’ve ever been to a 5k, fun run, or any road race, you have seen support and inclusion in action. Even when you are at the back of the pack (speaking from experience here), everyone wants you to succeed and they cheer you on. If you show up to participate, you belong.

The Feminist 5k in Raleigh on June 17, 2017 is an opportunity to run or walk with sisters and brothers in the cause, and to increase the visibility of feminism in our culture. You can sign up at www.feminist5k.org. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center of Wake County. There is a $5 discount for NC NOW members. Use the Promotion Code “NC NOW.” Kids 12 and under are free.

Come run/walk/roll with us.

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