North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—29 June 2020
They’ve gone home! Both houses have passed an adjournment resolution that sets July 11 as the date of adjournment. Between now and then there will be skeleton sessions, but no further legislative action is anticipated. The date for reconvening is set for September 2.
The short session is primarily a budget session, and the major landmarks of this session are House Bill 1023, which appropriates federal COVID-19 funds for various purposes, including funds to cover additional expenses for the 2020 elections, and Senate Bill 818, a mini-budget bill covering adjustments to pay for teachers. When he signed the bill, Governor Cooper slammed its inadequacy: “I signed this bill because it funds step increases for teachers that have already been promised, but it falls outrageously short on raises we need to give teachers and all school personnel like bus drivers and cafeteria workers.” As expected, there was no action on expanding Medicaid or improving unemployment compensation.
An astonishing amount of time and energy was expended trying to thwart Governor Cooper’s power to contain the COVID-19 virus, to block measures he ordered using his emergency powers. The attacks took two approaches.
NC NOW Legislative Update—25 May 2020
The NC legislature is back in session. At the end of each long session, a resolution is passed that determines the bills that can be considered in the upcoming short session. Here is a link to an overview of the categories of bills that can be considered in this 2020 short session along with a list of crossover bills that are also eligible to be considered: https://www.ncleg.gov/documentsites/legislativepublications/Legislative%20Analysis%20Division/Eligible%20Bills/Bills%20Eligible%20for%20Consideration%20for%202020%20Session.pdf.
Under normal circumstances, the short session would focus on tweaking the budget, local bills, and bills that passed one house or the other during the long session. However, these are not normal circumstances. The legislators are so divided along partisan lines that no budget was passed during the long session. Republicans passed a budget along party lines; Governor Cooper vetoed it; and Republicans were unable to override the veto.
Posted in legislative update, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga, state budget issues, voting
Tagged legislative update, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga, state budget, voting
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.