Option to go directly to the NC_NOW_Legislative_Update_#23.15jul19.v2, with summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist. Summary follows.
No vote yet whether to override the governor’s veto of the budget. Republicans are scrambling, trying to find enough votes to override (i.e., offering pork), but are meeting Democratic resistance. One account summarized the situation: “All day, Democratic lawmakers were in and out of House Speaker Tim Moore’s (R-King’s Mountain) corner office, only to be confronted by their fellow party members in the hallways afterward. At times, some lawmakers looked distressed, fingers were pressed into chests, exchanges, became heated. One lawmaker looked ready to cry.” See: https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2019/07/10/lawmakers-strong-arm-over-budget-medicaid-expansion-but-come-up-empty-handed/.
Various sources are raising alarms about state taxpayer money supporting religious anti-abortion centers known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). There are so many problems with the state budget (like refusal to expand Medicaid), that more money for CPCs is not getting sufficient attention. Unfortunately, the NC legislature has been funneling money to CPCs for years. In 2019, they have quadrupled the amount every fiscal year going to “Human Coalition,” a Texas based anti-abortion organization that runs a crisis pregnancy center in Raleigh. Public funding of CPCs has been covered this year by the News and Observer, Charlotte Observer, Rewire.com, NC NOW’s Legislative Updates, and NC Policy Watch. The problem of CPCs receiving state funding recently got the attention of UNC Law Professor Gene Nichol, who weighed in on the problem in “Funding NC crisis pregnancy centers is government sponsored religion,” 7/1/19, which ran in the Charlotte Observer and News and Observer.
Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley Distinguished professor of law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He teaches courses in constitutional law and federal courts. Photography by Steve Exum of Exumphoto on September 5, 2012.
Go directly to the NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #22 (1 Jul 19), with summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist. Summary follows.
The legislature passed the budget on Thursday, June 27, and the governor vetoed it the next day. Governor Cooper stated that he did not veto the budget solely because it does not contain Medicaid expansion. He believes it also fails in the areas of education and the economy. He will offer a counter-proposal. For more information, see: https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-vetoes-gop-budget-fails-public-education-health-care-and-economy. If an agreement between the governor and the legislative leaders cannot be reached before the end of the fiscal year, there will not be a government shut-down; everything will continue to be funded at its present level.
The budget also quadrupled support for Human Coalition, a Texas-based anti-abortion organization that runs a crisis pregnancy center in Raleigh whose main focus is to convince women to carry their pregnancies to term. The Raleigh News and Observer has done in-depth reporting on Human Coalition and other crisis pregnancy organizations that receive state funding: see https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231719523.html
Go right to the NC NOW Legislative Update #21 at NC NOW Legislative Update #21.24Jun19.
Budget negotiations continue on two fronts, but there are no concrete results to report yet. In the legislature, the committee tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the budget into one compromise document continues its work. The goal is for a new budget to be presented and passed before the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. Every indication is that this goal is likely to be met.
The biggest hurdle, however, is for the legislature to produce a budget that the Governor will sign. Here there is a stalemate. On Friday, June 21 Governor Cooper met face-to-face with House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger and Democratic leaders for nearly an hour. After the meeting, each party (the Governor’s office and the Republican leaders) issued press statements accusing the other of refusing to compromise. Continue reading
See NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #20 (17 Jun 19), with summary and bill listings. Summary follows.
Last week the House and Senate leaders appointed budget conference committee members to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the budget. Budget chairs from both the House and Senate will serve as chairs. For committee members, see: https://www.ncleg.gov/Legislation/Bills/Conferees/2019/H966. No Senate Democrats were appointed to the committee, and only two House Democrats were appointed: Rep. Charles Graham, D-Robeson, and Rep. Elmer Floyd, D-Cumberland–the only Democrats who voted for the House budget.
Posted in budget, CPC, education, legislative update, Medicaid, medicaid expansion
Tagged budget, CPC, education, legislative update, medicaid, medicaid expansion
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #19—June 10, 2019
See NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #19 (10 Jun 19), with summary and bill listings. Summary follows.
VICTORY! After many, many delays, the House voted to uphold Governor Cooper’s veto of SB359, Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Republicans needed 72 votes to override the veto and fell five votes short. It was mainly a party-line vote with only two Democrats, Rep. Charles Graham (D-Robeson) and Rep. Garland Pierce (D-Scotland), voting with the Republicans.
Photo Credit: Marci Curtis
The House gallery was packed. This photo shows NC NOW President Gailya Paliga and Karen Ziegler with supporters of the Governor’s veto filling the second row and lining the wall.
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—June 3, 2019
It’s going to be a long, hot summer. The Senate has passed its budget and virtually excluded Democrats from any participation in the process. Before discussing what the Senate budget contains, it will be helpful to review the entire budget process. The process begins with three budgets: (1) the budget that Governor Cooper proposed; (2) the budget passed by the House; (3) the budget passed by the Senate. The final product will be a single budget that House, Senate, and Governor accept.
The first step in the process is to work out the differences between the House and Senate budgets. This is done by a conference committee containing members of both houses who will work together to draft a budget to send to the Governor for his signature. When the governor receives this budget he will either sign it or veto it. If he vetoes it, a new round of negotiations will take place between representatives of the governor and the legislature to arrive at a budget acceptable to all parties and which the governor will sign.
The toxic games around scheduling a House vote on SB359, Born Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act, continued another week. The bill is presently on the House calendar for May 29 after being scheduled and rescheduled over and over again for weeks. Democratic House members are making heroic efforts to be present whenever the bill is scheduled for a vote, sometimes at great personal sacrifice. One representative has been leaving her husband’s hospital bedside to be present to vote, and Rep. Sydney Batch, a breast cancer patient who is recovering from a mastectomy, has always been present to vote: “I was hoping to take three weeks off to recover, but unfortunately I did not have that ability,” Batch told TPM about the GOP’s latest effort. “When I realized that Monday, [Republicans were] planning to hold the vote it was worth physical sacrifice and pain to come in to vote. It was extremely important for me to vote.” For more information, see: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/north-carolina-republicans-abortion-restrictions
Go directly to NC NOW Legislative Update #15 (13 May 19) which includes summary and bills being tracked.
UPDATE: The vote to override the Governor’s veto of the Born-Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act has been placed on the House Calendar for May 15. This date may or may not hold since several House votes have been scheduled only to be re-scheduled.
The House seems to be playing a game with SB359/HB602: Born-Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto on 04/30/2019. The bill was placed on the House calendar for both 05/02/2019 and 05/03/2019—then withdrawn both times. The bill is presently on the House Calendar for 05/06/2019. A vote to override requires a two-thirds vote of members present and voting. It looks like the veto override vote is being placed on the House calendar only to be withdrawn over and over again to stymie concerned citizens who may want to be in the gallery for the vote and to allow for a head count to make certain that votes needed for an override are present in the chamber before holding a vote.
Posted in abortion, budget, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, NC budget, Redistricting
Tagged abortion, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, NC budget, ncga, Redistricting
On Friday, 4/26/19, the House rolled out part of its budget. It includes an appropriation of 3 million dollars to test untested rape kits—Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Cooper requested 6 million dollars. The anti-abortion Human Coalition, which funds crisis pregnancy centers, will receive 1.2 million dollars. Expect more budget information next week. For more information, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html
It is always necessary to watch the budget bills because they often contain policy measures in addition to appropriations. For example, the House Education budget, released on Friday, April 26, contains a provision designed to prevent teachers from taking time off during a school day to go to the legislature to rally in support of educational issues, including their pay. The bill would require schools not to grant teachers a personal leave day unless they verify that a substitute teacher is available. Many school districts have closed schools on May 1 because there are not enough substitutes to fill in for the teachers who have taken a personal leave day to go to Raleigh.
Posted in abortion, budget, education, ncga interference, rape kits
Tagged abortion, budget, ncga int, ncga interference, r, Rape, rape kits