This is the beginning of NC NOW’s 6th legislative update for the 2018 Short Session. The whole update includes summaries on constitutional amendments, further restrictions on early voting, and judicial redistricting, as well as ERA actions and bill tracking. The legislative updates are written by NC NOW VP of Legislation, Robin Davis.
As many as four proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution could be on the ballot this fall. All of the proposed amendments are designed to appeal to the Republican base in hopes that they will increase conservative voter turnout. For an overview, see: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2018/06/22/round-up-ncga-discusses-four-constitutional-amendments-hunting-and-fishing-voter-id-victims-rights-legislative-appointment-of-judges/
VOTER ID/STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
This proposed amendment to the state constitution (H1092) would require a photo ID for in-person voting on the November ballot. The language on the ballot will be general; however, the (presumed) Republican majority will write the actual bill. There is little reason to assume that any new bill will not be another unconstitutional measure aimed at voter suppression that will go far beyond voter ID alone. In short, the voters are being asked to approve a pig in a poke. It should be noted that voter ID is not required for absentee voting or early voting, which is technically a form of absentee voting. Republicans hope that this measure will appeal to their base and boost their turnout in an election in which they are expected to lose legislative seats. This bill has passed out of committee and is scheduled to be voted on in the House 06/25/2018.
CAP STATE INCOME TAX AT 5.5%/STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
The North Carolina Constitution currently places a 10% cap on the state income tax. Again, this proposed amendment to the state constitution is designed to encourage the Republican base to turn out for the 2018 elections. At a time when federal support for programs is being slashed, freezing the level of the state income tax could have terrible consequences for people who depend on these programs. This article examines the potential disastrous impact of North Carolina children: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article213254949.html . This bill (S75) passed the Senate last session and has received a favorable House committee report.
JUDICIAL VACANCY SUNSHINE AMENDMENT
This is a new bill (S814) filed 06/20/2018. It would essentially transfer the power to fill a judicial vacancy from the governor to the legislature in a convoluted way. The language is so vague that it is difficult to determine exactly what implementation could involve. For more details, see: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2018/06/22/round-up-ncga-discusses-four-constitutional-amendments-hunting-and-fishing-voter-id-victims-rights-legislative-appointment-of-judges/
See the rest of the report, including summaries of other proposed constitutional amendments, further restrictions on early voting, and judicial redistricting, as well as ERA actions and bill tracking at North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_6.25_June_2018.