The legislature passed the budget on Thursday, June 27, and Governor Roy Cooper vetoed it the next day, for various reasons, including refusal to expand Medicaid, and shorting North Carolina in the areas of education and the economy. Budget also funnels total of $2.6 million to crisis pregnancy centers to pursue their anti-abortion agenda. They tried to deny funding to any agency, including hospitals, that provides abortion services. Happily, that part was defeated.
Stalemate on the NC state budget over Medicaid expansion and other areas of disagreement.
Next step in the Legislature – reconciling the House and Senate budgets, which have significant differences between them. In general, the Senate version is far worse because its tax cuts go deeper and it contains cuts to existing programs not contained in the House budget. Neither the House nor the Senate budget includes Medicaid expansion; however, the Senate version of the budget cuts the proposed Medicaid budget $100 million below the governor’s suggested budget for the first year. Another serious problem is the Senate’s decision to limit public investments at a time when the state’s population is growing steadily. And Democrats are being shut out of the negotiations, in both sides of government a total of two Democratic men (no women) are included in the negotiations, both of whom voted for the budget. Read more here.
Do this and be part of something bigger (From Coalition on health care in NC):
Make a sign telling your lawmaker why Health Care Can’t Wait. Snap a selfie holding your sign. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in a slideshow showcasing the actions across the state to push out on social media. Please include your location in the email.
Many organizations including NC NOW are joining the North Carolina Justice Center Health Advocacy Project in simultaneous vigils all over the state demanding expansion of Medicaid on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The importance of expanding Medicaid cannot be overstated. Without health care people die.
The toxic games around scheduling a House vote on SB359, Born Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act, continued another week. They are imposing on lawmaker’s lives. The Republican war on the media has reached North Carolina. It was revealed that the press room was moved to the corner of the basement to make a relaxing space for lawmakers right across from the press room. Meanwhile, there is no progress to report in major unresolved issues, including the budget, Medicaid expansion, and court-ordered re-drawing of legislative districts in the Triangle area.
The games around scheduling a House vote on SB359, Born Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act, continued another week. It looks like the veto override vote is being placed on the House calendar only to be withdrawn over and over again to allow for a head count to make certain that votes needed for an override are present in the chamber before holding a vote. When contacting your House member about this bill, emphasize the importance of being present and not leaving the chamber for any reason. Medicaid Expansion still stalled in the NCGA. Medicaid expansion is a priority issue for Governor Cooper and there is speculation that he might veto a budget that does not include it if no other path has been cleared. Other unresolved issues include funding for education, including salaries, and a court-ordered re-drawing of legislative districts in the Triangle area. Read more in the NC NOW Legislative Update #16.
This legislative update talks about the huge march and rally held by teachers and their supporters on May 1, and also about the House budget bill. Medicaid expansion was one of the goals of the teacher rally and something the House budget did not include. Governor Cooper may veto for this alone, as Medicaid expansion is one of his major goals as well. Read here for more.
NC NOW Legislative Update #11 – highlighting terrible anti-abortion bill being rushed through the process, and Republican version Medicaid expansion type bill with work requirements on it.
NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 3/25/19. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW.