It’s over—for now. The legislature adjourned on October 31 after the longest session in 18 years. It will reconvene on November 13 to consider legislation addressing court-ordered redistricting of our congressional districts and other narrowly defined matters. The 2020 short session will begin on January 14, 2020. Considering how many major issues remain unresolved, including the budget and Medicaid expansion, the short session may not be so short.
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—September 3, 2019
Jump to the full summary and listing of bills NC NOW is tracking at NC NOW Legislative Update #27 (3Sep19).
There has been movement on both the budget and Medicaid transformation. To get around the impasse over the vetoed budget, the legislature has passed a slew of stand-alone budget bills addressing specific areas. Most significantly, bills giving pay raises to various state employees were passed and signed by Governor Cooper because both the vetoed budget and the Governor’s proposed compromise budget agree on these pay raises. However, the two budgets do not agree on pay raises for teachers. The bill dealing with teacher pay raises was sent back to committee because Democrats had prepared ten amendments. Republicans did not want recorded votes against these proposed amendments. This summary by Rep. Marcia Morey of Durham nicely sums up the situation:
Posted in budget, legislative update, Medicaid, medicaid expansion, NC budget, state budget issues, teachers
Tagged budget, medicaid, medicaid expansion, NC budget, nc budget issues
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—August 26, 2019
Jump to the full summary and listing of bills NC NOW is tracking at NC NOW Legislative Update #26 (26Aug19).
Billboards Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment Unveiled in Press Conference
Senator Terry Van Duyn, Marena Groll, Gailya Paliga, Lori Bunton in in back with ERA sign, Senator Floyd McKissick, Jane Terwilliger, Rep. Julie von Haefen, Rep. Susan Fisher. Photo Credit: Senator Floyd McKissick
North Carolina NOW, in partnership with AAUW and the ERA-NC Alliance, held a press conference at the legislature on August 22 to launch our statewide campaign to raise awareness of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Four billboards calling for the ratification of the ERA have been installed statewide.
Summary includes a summary via gifs of the budget standoff and its negative consequences. Definitely worth a look! And what Democratic legislators are doing in response to the tragic shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. Be sure to read what one of the survivors of the shooting at UNCC said. You can go directly to the full legislative update, NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #25 (12Aug19), which includes the week’s summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist.
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. Speaker Moore warns the stalemate could continue until October. This link contains a serious explanation of the budget standoff and its negative consequences along with some amusing gifs: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/08/07/the-n-c-budget-stalemate-explained-in-gifs/
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