A miracle has happened. After months of squabbling, the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans have reached an agreement on setting the amount of the state budget for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. The numbers are: $25.72 for FY 2021 and $26.7 billion for FY 2022.
But agreeing on how much to spend is just the beginning. The real struggle will be over what to fund and at what level, what not to fund, and whether or not to include the governor in the negotiations. Once the Senate and House pass their respective budgets, the differences will be resolved by a conference committee consisting of representatives from each house. That will be the final budget that goes to the governor, who will either sign it or veto it.
Two years ago Governor Cooper vetoed the budget and the Republicans were not able to garner enough votes to override his veto. The sticking point was the legislature’s failure to approve expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and failure to adequately fund education including pay raises for teachers. This year the governor has stated that he does not agree with proposed tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals. Time will tell if the disagreements can be resolved this year. For more information, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article251954873.html
ACTION ALERT: House Bill 453, Human Life Act Non-Discrimination/No Eugenics has passed and sent to the governor for his signature. This bill is especially insidious because it hijacks the language of the civil rights movement to deprive women of their civil rights.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your Governor Cooper by phone or email and ask him to veto House Bill 453 because it violates a woman’s constitutionally protected reproductive rights and invades her right to privacy in making these decisions. For more information and a script, see: https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/action-urge-governor-to-veto-anti-abortion-bill-hb453/
Senate Bill 35, which seeks to raise the marriage age in North Carolina (under certain circumstances it can be as young as 14) has stalled in the House. The original bill underwent extensive revisions in the Senate. It began as a bill to raise the marriage age to 18 with no exceptions. It was then amended to require no more than a 4-year age difference for marriage under the age of 18. The Senate finally passed a compromise version that raised the marriage age to 16 and set a maximum age difference of 4 years to marry under age 18. In the House it will have to pass two committees before being referred to the House Rules Committee where it may or may not ever be sent to the floor for a vote by the full House.
See whole report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #20 – 14 Jun 2021