North Carolina NOW Legislative Update – 16 August 2021

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update – 16 August 2021

Senate Bill 35 has passed the House and has been placed on the Senate calendar for final approval on August 16. This bill raises the marriage age to 16 under all circumstances, including pregnancy, requires parental consent for marriage at age 16 or 17, and further requires that there must be no more than a 4-year age difference between the parties to allow marriage under age 18.  The bill is expected to pass. Currently, children as young as 14 can marry in this state, a situation that has made North Carolina a go-to state for child marriages.  Last year, for example, two-thirds of marriage license applications in Buncombe County, a county that includes Asheville, were from out-of staters seeking to marry underage partners.  We are finally ready to close the book on that ugly chapter.  For more information, see:  https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-north-carolina-bills-6a16aab6b0847a3600e29fd243e9c578

The House has passed its budget.  The budget passed with the unanimous support of Republican House members and nine Democratic members making a veto-proof majority.  However a Democratic vote to pass the House budget does not necessarily mean a Democratic vote to uphold a veto of the final version.  The next step in the process is to appoint a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions, a process that should include the governor.

The House and Senate budgets agree in principle, but disagree on size of pay raises for teachers and state employees and on how quickly tax cuts for individuals and corporations should be implemented.  For a summary of major differences between the House and Senate budgets, see:  https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article253388863.html 

So far there has been no media coverage of the millions of dollars of taxpayer money that both Senate and House budgets are allocating for crisis pregnancy centers. The amount of money allocated for these fake clinics keeps going up. For the 2021/2022 budget, the Senate proposed $4 million to CPCs, and the House proposed $9 million! Absolutely no taxpayer money should go to them. Professor Gene Nichol wrote “Funding NC crisis pregnancy centers is government sponsored religion” in 2019, see https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article232068072.html. Members should write LTEs and their representatives.

There are bigger differences between the governor and the Republicans.  The governor strongly supports expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and  higher pay raises for teachers and other educational personnel.  The governor also disagrees with certain policy measures included in the budget including one provision that would restrict his emergency powers.

In addition to appropriating funds, the budget also contains major policy changes.  Prominent among them are measures to restrict the power of the Attorney General to flle certain lawsuits and to restrict the governor’s emergency powers.  Rep, Marcia Morey summarized her objections to the policy provisions of the budget:

This was our final House budget vote. While some spending provisions were good, the policy provisions were unacceptable. We should not vote to limit the Governor’s and Attorney General’s powers. We should not force teachers to post all lesson plans. We should not establish “student threat assessment teams.” Too much bad policy and hundreds of millions of dollars in pork spending, my vote to oppose this budget was a no brainer. Let’s hope the Conference Committee with the Governor’s input will improve this. NC deserves better.

–Rep. Marcia Morey

Only time will tell whether there will be a compromise acceptable to the governor and if there is not whether or not a gubernatorial veto will be upheld.

Read the whole legislative update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update – 16 August 2021

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

One thought on “North Carolina NOW Legislative Update – 16 August 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: