North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #22 – 28 Jun 2021

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #22 – 28 Jun 2021

The budget process is finally moving forward. The Senate has passed its budget and will send it to the House. The House will then pass its budget. Finally, a conference committee will be appointed that will iron out the differences and send the result to the governor, who will either sign it or veto it. For a detailed description of the process, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article252331483.html

Governor Cooper has already denounced the Senate budget in a tweet: “The Senate budget mortgages the future health and education of our people to the corporations and wealthiest among us ($13B tax cut). Just awful. A measly 1.5% raise for teachers next year after no raise last year? Thank goodness the budget process has a long way to go.” Teacher salaries will be a major point of contention between the Governor and the Republicans. The Senate budget offers a 3 percent raise for teachers over two years, while the governor’s budget provides 10 percent. Medicaid expansion, a sticking point two years ago, is off the table for the budget this year.

The Senate is all but inviting a veto by Governor Cooper by including non-budget-related provisions in their budget bill that limit the governor’s powers during a state of emergency. This is backlash over the Governor’s handling of the pandemic crisis. For more details, see: https://www.cbs17.com/news/north-carolina-news/proposed-nc-senate-budget-includes-provision-limiting-governors-power-during-state-of-emergency/ These provisions may not be included in the House or conference version of the budget.

The other major point of disagreement between the governor and the Senate Republicans is taxes and spending. The budget the governor proposed is $1.7 billion higher than the Senate Republican budget. While the governor did not propose to raise taxes, the Republicans want to cut corporate taxes by $1.7 billion. For more details concerning the differences between the Senate budget and the governor’s budget, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article252306268.html

State Senator Sarah Crawford tweeted about a sexist remark made to her while the budget was being debated: “Today the NC Senate debated a budget of missed opportunities. I offered an amendment to invest in our direct support professionals. Was told by a R member if I smiled more he might have voted for my amendment. We haven’t moved past this? “ Evidently not.

Governor Cooper has vetoed HB 453 that bans Down Syndrome abortions. In his veto statement, the Governor stated: “This bill gives the government control over what happens and what is said in the exam room between a woman and her doctor at a time she faces one of the most difficult decisions of her life. This bill is unconstitutional and it damages the doctor-patient relationship with an unprecedented government intrusion.” For more details, see: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/cooper-vetoes-nc-bill-banning-syndrome-abortions-78493102

See whole report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #22 – 28 Jun 2021

Shortlink: https://wp.me/p22b2e-3oR

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