The veto override vote on House Bill 453, scheduled for July 21, did not happen. The governor rightly vetoed this bill that bans Down Syndrome abortions. The bill was removed from the House calendar and sent back to the House Rules Committee, where bills go either to die or to await scheduling on the calendar. In this case, it is all but certain that a veto override vote will be re-scheduled, but there is no way to know when. Governor Cooper summed up reasons for opposing the bill in his veto statement: “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
ACTION: Contact your state House members and urge them to vote to uphold the governor’s veto of House Bill 453. If the veto is not upheld by the House, there will also be a vote in the Senate; therefore, be prepared to contact your state senator with the same message. Take action at https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/2021/07/13/action-urge-your-nc-representatives-to-uphold-veto-of-hb453-7-2021/
Senate Bill 729 has been introduced which would effectively ban any affirmative action based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, public contracting, and education. The bill is sponsored by Senate Majority leader Phil Berger.
Affirmative action programs began after it became evident that simple non-discrimination policies were not sufficient to reverse the toxic results of decades of discrimination in education and employment. Over time, affirmative action has become one of the most effective tools to combat institutional racism. This list from the Ballotpedia article on affirmative action programs in North Carolina sums up the reasons to support affirmative action in education and employment:
- Diversity is valuable for any workplace or college campus.
- Minority enrollment in college would fall dramatically without affirmative action.
- Affirmative action provides the extra push to disadvantaged students that is needed to succeed.
- By providing minorities with new opportunities, affirmative action may introduce them to other interests they would not have discovered otherwise.
- Affirmative action is necessary to break stereotypes.
- Affirmative action compensates for past injustices.
It is reasonable to question the motives behind this proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution, which has emerged in the midst of a heated battle over Critical Race Theory. It is also pertinent to point out that it is being pushed by a state Senate leader whose gerrymandered redistricting map was found by a court to discriminate against Black voters with “surgical precision.” This is a bad bill introduced with bad motives. For more information on affirmative action that you really want see: https://ballotpedia.org/Affirmative_action_in_North_Carolina
Read the whole legislative update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update – 26 July 2021