Go directly to NC NOW Legislative Update #16 (20 May 19) which includes summary and bills being tracked.
The games around scheduling a House vote on SB359, Born Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act, continued another week. The Governor vetoed the bill on April 18, and the Senate voted to override the veto on April 30. One Democrat, Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County, voted with the Republicans to override the veto. His vote has created a tremendous backlash, and several progressive groups have vowed to recruit a candidate to challenge him in his primary in 2020. For more information, see: http://www.reflector.com/News/2019/05/15/Progressives-target-Davis-for-challenge.html
Republicans do not have a veto-proof majority in the House—the Republicans have 65 seats and Democrats have 55. To override a veto requires a 2/3 majority (72 votes if all members are present and voting) or 2/3 of those present and voting. In order to override a veto, Republicans must either win some votes from Democratic members or call for a vote when some Democrats are absent. The fierce backlash against Democratic Sen. Don Davis for his vote with Republicans to override the Governor’s veto in the Senate may be making it difficult for Republicans to field the necessary Democratic votes. A veto override vote was scheduled for 05/02/2019, then rescheduled for 05/03/2019. The vote was then scheduled for 05/06/2019, 05/07/2019, 05/15/2019, and 05/16/ 2019. Now the vote is on the calendar for 05/20/2019.
It looks like the veto override vote is being placed on the House calendar only to be withdrawn over and over again to allow for a head count to make certain that votes needed for an override are present in the chamber before holding a vote. When contacting your House member about this bill, emphasize the importance of being present and not leaving the chamber for any reason.
It was a quiet week in the legislature for public business, but a lot of closed-door discussions of contentious issues, including the budget, were going on. The Appropriations bill (budget) has passed the House and presently is in the Senate Rules committee. No official action has yet been taken by the Senate.
The Governor’s budget included funds for Medicaid expansion, but the House budget does not. Republican leaders are opposed to funding Medicaid expansion through the budget; however, there has been no movement on any of the stand-alone bills for Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion is a priority issue for Governor Cooper and there is speculation that he might veto a budget that does not include it if no other path has been cleared.
Other unresolved issues include funding for education, including salaries, and a court-ordered re-drawing of legislative districts in the Triangle area. For more information, see: https://carolinapublicpress.org/28926/court-ordered-redrawing-underway-for-wake-county-legislative-districts/
See the whole summary and the list of bills NC NOW is tracking at NC NOW Legislative Update #16 (20 May 19).