The week ending 15 April 2017 has been another busy week at the NCGA, as captured in North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_11.v3.16Apr17.
A bill introduced in the legislature again made North Carolina the object of national derision. House Bill 780, Uphold Historical Marriage, declared that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is null and void in North Carolina and that the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage should be enforced. After a national outcry, Speaker Moore publicly announced that this bill will never be heard in committee, that it is dead. But damage had already been done. See http://www.wral.com/gay-marriage-ban-filed-in-nc-house-/16639157/, 4/11/17.
Then neo-Confederate Rep. Larry Pittman (also a sponsor or HB780) attracted national attention by stating that Abraham Lincoln was the same kind of tyrant as Hitler.
The 2017 Pro-choice signature letter is a very powerful look at what the NCGA should be doing to help women. Read it at 2017 Pro-choice Signature Ad Letter.
This letter will be delivered in Pro-Choice signature ad packets today, 3/20/17, to our state Senators and House Representatives at 4:30pm. Come join us if you can – Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones St, Raleigh NC. We’ll deliver from 4:45-6:45 and go to dinner afterward. Call NC NOW to RSVP at 919-539-7702.
Removed from the letter, but still true is this fact. Overall North Carolina is “extremely hostile” to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, “22 States are Extremely Hostile To Abortion“, 1/3/17.
President, NC National Organization for Women
Posted in abortion, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, minimum wage, ncga interference, public education, reproductive rights, women
Tagged abortion, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, lgbt, public education, reproductive rights, women, women's rights
Last year in our pro-choice signature ad packet letter to legislators, NC NOW pointed out that HB2, Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act., has been a disaster for North Carolina. The state was already suffering the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investments in our state and potentially billions in federal support to the state’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities. Yet, the law goes way beyond bathrooms and targeting a group of citizens. It removes core worker anti-discrimination protections that state law has provided to workers since the 1970s. It also targets women, whether intentional or not. When HB2 first happened, NC NOW recognized how disastrous HB 2 is for women. But it has been disastrous for the state as well.
And it just continues to cause massive losses. The majority in the NC Legislature don’t seem to care, they keep voting to leave it in place, refusing to repeal it. Just in one weekend in March, the city of Greensboro lost out on an estimated 14.5 MILLION DOLLARS because of House Bill 2! That estimate that the NCAA would have brought in around 14.5 million dollars is from the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor Bureau.
From an anti-hb2 rally right after HB2 was passed on March 24, 2016.
The tens of thousands of people who should have gone to Greensboro for the NCAA tournament went to Greenville, South Carolina instead. According to ‘S.C. reaping HB2 Bounty‘, 3/15/17, News & Observer,
In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis alleges that people who go to his town hall meetings shout and call names, so he doesn’t go. In fact, he has not been to a town hall meeting this year (the $25 a head Durham Chamber of Commerce meeting on March 6 does not count, nor does the March 7th phone call he offered with only an hours’ notice on social media). It is natural he does not know what to expect.
Senator Tillis, we have been to two town hall meetings held in your honor, and you’ve got it all wrong.
First, the people there are not scary or menacing. They look like, well, people. You don’t have to take our word for it though, there are lots of pictures online.
Speakers lined up at this town hall meeting to share their concerns and fears. Respectful pictures of Senators Tillis and Burr at front of room. Photo Credit: Sarah Sydney
Posted in ACA, Courts, discrimination, education, hate crimes, HB 2, jobs, lgbt, minimum wage, Obamacare, public education, racism, Supreme Court
Tagged education, HB 2, immigration, Jobs, Obamacare, racism, reproductive rights
NC NOW legislative update #6 includes damage from the Trump administration’s new interpretation of Title IX, lawsuit updates, and bill tracking.
In light of the Trump administration’s new interpretation that Title IX does not allow transgender people to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Virginia case concerning this issue. The case was sent back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of the Trump administration’s new rule. This non-decision will have the effect of making transgender bathroom rights a state-by-state issue. The issues can still be challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds, but losing Title IX is a serious blow to framing a successful lawsuit. The constitutionality of the new interpretation of Title IX could be challenged, but no suit on these grounds has been filed. This refusal of the Supreme Court to rule in this case will impact both the North Carolina lawsuits and the effort to repeal HB2. For more details, see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article136866748.html
Posted in abortion, Courts, HB 2, immigration, lawsuits, Medicaid, minimum wage, reproductive rights, Title IX
Tagged abortion, Courts, hb2, immigration, lgbt, medicaid expansion, Title IX
Governor Cooper introduced his proposed budget for FY 2017-2018 on March 1, 2017. It emphasizes increased spending on education and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses, it is more aspirational than practical, and it is unlikely that the proposals in this budget will make much progress in the General Assembly. For highlights, see: http://www.wral.com/highlights-of-gov-roy-cooper-s-proposed-statebudget/16560168/
Governor Cooper introduced his budget at Durham Technical Community College
There were dueling press conferences in the Legislative Building on the repeal of HB2. Proponents of a full repeal with no strings attached were pitted against supporters or the bipartisan HB186 that would repeal HB2 but also allow opponents of local ordinances to call for a referendum on any proposed ordinance. The Governor weighed in by observing that a compromise bill was possible if proponents of HB186 would negotiate over the referendum provision—which so far they will not do. For a fuller account, see http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135420484.html
Senator Norman Sanderson of Pamlico County has filed a draconian bill to crack down on local governments and public universities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws or violate the state’s 2015 law against sanctuary city policies. The bill (S145) would strip funding from state universities that do not comply with the law and deprive local governments of revenue from a wide variety of sources. There are disturbing indications that the Senate leadership may support this bill. A milder bill (H63) is being considered in the house that does not target universities and has a shorter list of state revenue sources that would be denied to municipalities. For more details see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135544723.html
Since our Republican-dominated General Assembly has been passing law after law that is being or has been challenged in court, in addition to keeping up with new legislation introduced this session, I believe it is equally important to track the status of the various challenges to laws that have already been passed.
See the whole North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_5 from 5Mar17, including bill tracking.
NC NOW Legislative Update #3 was provided by political consultant and lobbyist Paula Wolf. These are bills of interest to women, besides education bills which are tracked by dedicated organizations.
Of special note – Dare County Republican Beverly Boswell sponsored two anti-abortion bills, including a ‘Life at Conception’ bill, House Bill 163 . See more at http://abc11.com/1767430/.
There are 5 bills dealing with repeal of HB 2 right now.
We had an unbelievable turnout at the Moral March and HKonJ Assembly on 2/11/17, in Raleigh. According to signs and songs, people are upset with NC’s leadership, and also with chaos from the whitehouse, and unfit nominees being confirmed to 45’s administration despite valid arguments against them and many protests. One example is Betsy DeVos, and Senators Burr and Tillis ignoring their constituents. Read more in “Burr and Tillis: F for Fail!”
Marchers gathered at Memorial Auditorium, at 2 E. South Street, for speeches and singing, and marched together to the end of Fayetteville St, with the State Capitol in the background.
Hats and signs! Photo Credit: Elise Paliga
Posted in HB 2, immigration, march, protest, public education, racism, rally, reproductive rights, safety for women, women
Tagged civil rights, HB 2, immigration, march, protest, racism, rally, reproductive rights, women
The NC Legislature went back in session on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017, after initiating the legislative long session 2 weeks earlier. The NC NOW Legislative Update #2 talks about lawsuits in process, what the NC Legislature did during its first half week back in session, and what we may expect.
On lawsuits: “Since our Republican-dominated General Assembly has been passing law after law that is being or has been challenged in court, in addition to keeping up with new legislation introduced this session, I believe it is equally important to track the status of the various challenges to laws that have already been passed.”
Elementary School Art Classroom 2008 Photo Credit Gailya Paliga
On the Legislature’s first half-week: “The most significant issue addressed this week in the legislature is a measure to undo unintended consequences of a bill passed last session. This new law reduced class size in early grades without appropriating any funds to hire more teachers—forcing local school districts either to come up with the extra money or to discontinue programs in physical education and the arts in order to hire more classroom teachers. “
See more on those topics and what to expect in NC NOW Legislative Update #2 -28 Jan 17