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
NC_NOW_Legislative_Update_#12.22Apr19.v2 includes the summary and listing of NC Senate and House bills. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action.
Veto of Junk Science Anti-Abortion Bill, Some Good Bills, and a Fair Ruling
The good news is that Governor Cooper has vetoed SB359, The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill swept through the legislature last week at dizzying speed, and the Governor vetoed it almost as soon as it hit his desk.
“Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients,” the Democratic governor said in his veto message. “This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”
Posted in #BelieveWomen, #MeToo, abortion, At NCGA, legislative update, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, safety for women, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, teachers
Tagged #BelieveWomen, #MeToo, abortion, legislative update, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, safety for women, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment
NC NOW Legislative Update #6, 11 Mar 19 includes the ERA bills filed on 3/5/19 while women and allies filled the Legislative Building with hours of activities. It also talks about Governor Cooper’s budget and what we may expect this session.
March 5 was an exciting day at the General Assembly. Bills for North Carolina to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) were introduced in both the House (HB271) and the Senate (SB184). The ERA-NC Alliance (North Carolina NOW is an lead member organization) organized events that brought over 150 ERA advocates to the General Assembly to advocate for the ERA, hear speeches, participate in a press conference, and lobby legislators to sign on as sponsors the bills. So far all Democratic members of the House and Senate are sponsors. The halls were filled with women wearing green and white and waving ERA YES rounds. Thirty-eight states are needed to ratify the ERA, and 37 have already done so. Let’s make North Carolina number 38!
One of the groups of women and allies at NCGA on 3/5/19, Photo Credit: Aylett Colston
NC NOW’s 5th Legislative Update, dated March 4, 2019, is available at NC NOW Legislative Update #5. The summary includes a bad sex education bill that was filed in the House, a good bill which contains the recommendations of the Commission on Human Trafficking, and a bill addressing paid parental leave for state employees.
A bad sex education bill has been filed. The bill, HB196, Parental Consent for Sex Education, would require parents to sign off for a student to take a class in reproductive health and safety education: The definition is sweeping and includes “a program that pertains to or is intended to impart information or promote discussion or understanding in regard to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, or the avoidance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, or a reproductive health and safety education program.” If a parent inadvertently omits to submit a permission form, students could not receive this kind of information in school. Existing law allows opting out of these courses.
The war on women’s reproductive rights continues with the introduction of two new anti-abortion bills. See the whole summary and NC bills NC NOW is tracking in NC NOW 2019 Legislative Update #3.18 February 2019.
The first is SB51/HB54, frighteningly called Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment. This bill attacks late term abortion by banning a commonly used procedure called “dilation and extraction” or “D&E.” Another bill (HB28, introduced last week) attempts to block late term abortions by banning all abortion after 13 weeks. The sad truth is that almost all late term abortions end wanted pregnancies that have gone tragically, heartbreakingly wrong. This bill (SB51/HB54) does not take into account that the procedure it bans is also used to terminate pregnancies after the fetus has died and makes no exception for these cases. The procedure is rare (0.2% of terminated pregnancies). For more information, see: “No, Late-Term Abortions Don’t ‘Rip’ Babies Out Of Wombs — And They Exist For A Reason, 10/20/16, Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2016/10/20/no-late-term-abortions-dont-rip-babies-out-of-wombs-but-they-are-needed/#395c7bd65cf8.
NC NOW’s Legislative Update for the first week of the 2019 long session includes ERA Advocacy Day, link to new legislators from both parties, talk of medicaid expansion, update on rape kit processing, and revival of ‘floaters’ as ways for Republicans to control committees.
The General Assembly reconvened on Wednesday, January 30 to begin this year’s session. Members were sworn in on January 9, and this link lists the newly elected members of both parties: https://www.ncallianceforhealth.org/2019-nc-general-assembly-session-convenes/
ERA Advocates at the NC General Assembly on 1/30/19. Photo Credit: Mike Oniffrey