NC NOW Legislative Update #6, 11 Mar 19 includes the ERA bills filed on 3/5/19 while women and allies filled the Legislative Building with hours of activities. It also talks about Governor Cooper’s budget and what we may expect this session.
March 5 was an exciting day at the General Assembly. Bills for North Carolina to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) were introduced in both the House (HB271) and the Senate (SB184). The ERA-NC Alliance (North Carolina NOW is an lead member organization) organized events that brought over 150 ERA advocates to the General Assembly to advocate for the ERA, hear speeches, participate in a press conference, and lobby legislators to sign on as sponsors the bills. So far all Democratic members of the House and Senate are sponsors. The halls were filled with women wearing green and white and waving ERA YES rounds. Thirty-eight states are needed to ratify the ERA, and 37 have already done so. Let’s make North Carolina number 38!
Outside a mobile billboard proclaiming, “Make Mama happy. Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment” on one side and “Nothing Protects Families like the ERA” on the other circled the building. Participants distributed literature to legislators, then showed their support for the ERA by filling the House and Senate galleries where they were publicly recognized. We need to keep up the momentum. Contact your legislators to thank them if they are bill sponsors and to urge them to sign on if they are not.
Governor Cooper has presented his budget. This year he will have more leverage than before the 2018 election because the opposition party no longer has a veto-proof majority in either house and will have to work with the governor. The governor’s wish list includes pay raises for teachers and state workers, expansion of Medicaid, and a four billion dollar bond to build new school, community college, and university buildings along with funds to upgrade water and sewer lines. For a more detailed account of the governor’s proposed budget, see https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article227179714.html.
This promises to be a very contentious legislative session with lines sharply drawn along party lines for a number of issues. Compromise will be necessary. The only question is whether will it happen quietly behind closed doors or will it be loud and ugly.
See the whole legislative update at NC NOW Legislative Update #6, 11 Mar 19