Monthly Archives: July 2015

Budget, ALEC, Bad Vouchers Ruling, Redistricting – 24th Legislative Update

NC NOW’s Legislative Update #24 Summary – July 25, 2015

Here is a summary of NC NOW’s legislative update with a few other points, which was emailed to members last Sunday, 7/26/15.

Senate adds all Republicans to Budget Conference Committee
The Senate has appointed its budget conference committee members—the 32 Republican Senators who voted for the Senate budget (only Sen. Bob Rucho was excluded). There are already 82 House members on the conference committee making a grand total of 114 members.  Clearly, a core group of leaders will be meeting separately to write the actual budget.  The Senate has ended committee meetings in order to concentrate on the budget.
 
ALEC Wields More Influence in NC Than Almost Any Other State
But the budget was on the back burner this week since Speaker Moore, Sen. Bob Rucho, and eight other Republican House members left Raleigh for San Diego to attend the annual conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Follow this link to see their names and the ALEC proposals that have been introduced in North Carolina: http://www.wral.com/lawmakers-leave-budget-behind-head-to-california-conference/14789185/  

ALEC - legislator per corp

Now that our state Supreme Court has given a green light to school vouchers, the obvious next step is to follow ALEC’s plan to extend  vouchers to middle-class students (see http://www.alternet.org/education/right-wing-alec-now-says-school-vouchers-are-kids-suburbia-not-poor).  ALEC wields more influence in North Carolina than almost any other state.

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NC NOW Newsletter – August 2015

The August NC NOW newsletter is hot off the presses and available at https://northcarolinanow.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ncnraleigh-now-newsletter-august-2015-v2.pdf

Weird mid-summer realities are being exposed because the NCGA is still in session—over 3 weeks past when the budget was due on Jun 30th.  Many of our conservative lawmakers are in San Diego with ALEC this week (Jul 22-24) and 8,592 of our Teacher Assistants could become unemployed over the next two years if they don’t fix the budget, more on page 4.  And remember, one of the first punitive pieces of legislation done in 2013 (House Bill 4) SLASHED unemployment amounts and how long people can receive it (from up to 26 weeks to around 12-16 weeks).  If the TAs are eligible for unemployment. 


Pink Slip Truth Tour – Fayetteville NC Stop

Photo Credit: Frank B. Maness 

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8,592 Teacher Assistants in Limbo as NCGA vacationed and argues

Under the proposed senate budget for 2015-2016, 8,592 teacher assistants in the state would lose their jobs within the next two years, which would make it the largest job lay-off in North Carolina history.  NC’s budget is supposed to be decided by Jun 30, 2015, before the next fiscal year begins on July 1.

However, the NCGA took a recess from working out the budget in early July, and may not vote until after school starts on Aug. 25. This means that teacher assistants (TAs) could start the school year with their jobs and then become unemployed once the budget is decided, if the cuts are passed as proposed.

On Jun 30, Melinda Zarate, state secretary of the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants interpreted the action for us at a press conference at the Legislative Building. “The message the politicians are sending is, ‘Y’all have a happy fourth of July! We’re going to the beach! Maybe we’ll fire you when we get back!’” More in article “TAs Fight Another Year to Save Their Jobs” at http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2015/07/01/
teacher-assistants-fight-another-year-to-save-their-jobs/

MelindaWksNCATAinRaleighPressConf.lgem
Raleigh Press Conference, Photo Credit: Aim Higher NC

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28 year old Sandra Bland died in police custody – this has to stop!

Sandra Bland died in police custody, and we know about her outrageous arrest —thanks mostly to the internet. Sandra Bland was a 28 year old Chicago-area woman who was found hanged in a jail cell in Texas three days after she was arrested during a traffic stop. Made me think of the McKinney Texas police officer attacking and subduing a 15-year-old African American girl who had been attending a neighborhood pool party that we covered in our last newsletter. We know about both cases thanks to the internet, and the fact that they were captured on video. Unfortunately, video didn’t save Sandra Bland. We can hope the visibility and people’s outrage will force changes in the US.

sandrabland2.heavy_com.lgem                                            Sandra Bland    Photo credit: Heavy.com

Bland was stopped for changing lanes without using her turn signal on July 10, 2015. She was arrested after Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, Brian Encinia, escalated the encounter, obvious from the videos which have been released.  

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Thrilled that Congresswoman Alma Adams to keynote NC NOW state conference!

Big News! Congresswoman Alma Adams is the keynote speaker for the 2015 NC NOW State Conference, theme “Focusing Women’s Power NOW!”  Save the date – Oct 10, 2015, and join us in Winston-Salem, NC.

Conference registration form and more available at https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/conferences

Call the Governor to Expand Medicaid – we need his plan!

Thursday, July 16, 2015 is the “Where’s the Plan? Day of Action for Medicaid Expansion.”  Hope that you were able to attend one of the 6 press conference on expanding Medicaid that were around the state of NC.  Now, the best thing you can do is: Call or email Governor McCrory and tell him it’s time to expand Medicaid in NC.  Be sure to send or leave a message, with your name and city.

The NC Medicaid Expansion coalition made it very easy to call –  dial 1-888-523-8974 and they’ll give you a brief suggestion of what to say and then connect you. That way your call is counted.

MedicaidRallyFelicia.KaitlynBarlowPhoto Credit: Kaitlyn Barlow

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Online threats and harassment of women are out of control

Online threats and harassment of women are out of control.  Countless articles have been written over the past few years on this issue.  But most people may not realize how terrible it is.  Serious threats of rape and other violence, murder, job loss for publicizing issues online are realities for women.  These are violent and gender-specific assaults.  

Soraly Chemaly wrote about what happened to one female developer in as a result of a tweet she sent out at a tech conference in “Online Threats Against Women Aren’t Trivial and Don’t Happen in a Vacuum.”

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