NC Budget Summary from NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – 25Jun17.
A budget has passed and has gone to the Governor, who has ten days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. Governor Cooper is expected to veto the budget since he has been strongly critical of it: http://www.wral.com/cooper-calls-budget-deal-irresponsible-/16774013/, 6/20/17. But if the budget is vetoed, expect an override since Republicans hold veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate.
The budget intensifies the attack on women’s reproductive rights by appropriating $2.6 million to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) over a two-year period. So-called crisis pregnancy centers are religious “ministries” that attempt to persuade women wanting abortions not to have them, often using scare tactics and false information such as claiming that having an abortion will leave a woman sterile or put her at risk for cancer. This appropriation represents an increase of one million dollars per year. See: https://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/06/20/ncga-budget-gives-26-million-to-crisis-pregnancy-centers, 6/20/17.
This budget continues the disturbing practice of including policy that has never voted on in the budget. For example, a bill to discontinue health care benefits for retired state workers and teachers was heard in committee, but never voted on. After seeming to die in committee, the provision to discontinue health care benefits for retired state workers in the future resurfaced in the budget: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article157928844.html, 6/23/17. Under this budget provision, state employees (and teachers) hired after January 2021 will no longer receive health insurance benefits when they retire.
This article in the Raleigh News and Observer gives a good overview of the budget: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article157032254.html, 6/19/17. The Republican policy of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy along with cuts to programs that benefit low income citizens continues in this budget. In a scathing editorial, WRAL sets forth how this budget is very short-sighted and lacks leadership on many fronts: http://www.wral.com/editorial-new-n-c-budget-poor-management-failed-responsibilities-missed-opportunities/16779660/, 6/23/17.
Read the whole updates, including our ERA updates, lawsuit updates and bill tracking at NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – 25Jun17.