Category Archives: budget

NC NOW Legislative Update #24 – 7/29/19

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You can go directly to the full legislative update, NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #24 (29Jul19), which includes the week’s summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist. Summary includes the state budget impasse and a lawmaker has resigned his seat after pleading guilty to cyberstalking his estranged wife.

Still no vote on whether to override the governor’s veto of the budget and no progress to report on a stand-alone bill to expand Medicaid. The Winston-Salem Journal reported, “As has been the pattern for 11 consecutive sessions, neither the veto override vote nor the bipartisan Medicaid expansion legislation House Bill 655 was addressed.” “The next opportunity will come Monday night [7/29/19], which would represent Day 32 of the stalemate.” See: https://www.journalnow.com/news/state/n-c-house-pushes-possible-votes-on-state-budget-veto/article_00c86259-3fb7-5758-9ed5-9aff47c9c693.html

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Over $2.6 Million of 2019 State Budget to CPCs

The state budget that passed the NC General Assembly in 2019 funnels at least $2.64 million to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to pursue their anti-abortion agenda. More money is being sent to some of these organizations even though even though the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has serious problems with them.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Protest
Photo Credit: Whole Woman’s Health Blog, 2017

 The breakdown of millions of dollars to anti-abortion organizations is as follows:

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NC NOW Legislative Update #23 – 7/15/19

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/.

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Law Professor Asserts Taxpayer Money Going to CPCs Violates First Amendment (2019)

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.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #22 – 7/1/19

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

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NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – 6/24/19

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

NC NOW Legislative Update #20 – Updates on State Budget – 6/17/19

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.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #19 – The Veto Is Sustained! – 10 Jun 2019

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.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #18 – Senate Budget and Budget Process – 3 Jun 2019

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.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #17 – Rep. War on Media in NC – 27 May 2019

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

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