North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #13 – 26 April 2021
See whole report, with summary and listing of bills being tracked, at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #13, 26 Apr 21
Never a dull moment at the legislature. This week a dispute between House Speaker Moore and a senior Republican legislator went public and culminated in Representative Julia Howard being removed as a senior finance committee chair. Great news on one of the many anti-Transgender person bills filed.
Posted in legislative update, lgbt, ncga interference, retaliation, voter suppression, voting
Tagged legislative update, lgbtq, ncga interference, retaliation, voter suppression, voting
NC NOW members delivered the NC NOW pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The packets included a letter from NC NOW on bills related to abortion access that we support and oppose, and this year we delivered two copies of the ad in each packet. Due to the pandemic and safety concerns, we did not deliver in 2020. See NC NOW’s letter below and see more about the ads below. The eight members delivering the signature ad packets represented Fayetteville NOW, Chapel Hill NOW, Raleigh NOW, and Durham NOW. There were two other groups of people who got the signature ads ready to go the previous weeks.
Pro-Choice Signature Ad Delivery in 2021 with 7 of 8 people shown. Photo Credit: Maureen Wertheim
Posted in Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga interference, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Sexual Assault
Tagged NC budget, ncga, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Sexual Assault
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #8 – 22 March 2021
See whole report, with summary and listing of bills being tracked, at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #8, 22 Mar 21
The inevitable has finally happened. North Carolina Republican legislators have jumped on board the voter suppression train. Senate Bill 326, misleadingly titled the Election Integrity Act, is a measure that would restrict voting by absentee ballot in a variety of ways. In short, it is a voter suppression bill. Significantly, the restrictions do not apply to military or overseas voters.
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #5 – 1 March 2021
A Human Life Amendment to the North Carolina State Constitution (HB158) has been introduced. Some versions of this amendment stipulate that human life begins with implantation, that is, when a fertilized egg implants on the lining of the uterus. But this amendment is much more drastic. It provides that human life begins at fertilization, before a fertilized egg reaches the uterus. In short, this amendment would define human life as beginning before pregnancy. The intent of Human Life Amendments is to effectively outlaw all abortions.
NC had excellent progressive candidates at every level in 2020. People wonder why so many lost. There were many factors, including the many conservatives who went about campaigning door to door, completely ignoring the pandemic, and the many very crowded Trump rallies around our state that were strongly suspected of spreading Covid-19, but did energize his base to vote. The NC NOW board was shocked to hear about some dirty election tricks that were pulled on some candidates that had been endorsed by the NC NOW PAC this year. By early September, a 527 organization with national ties and deep pockets facilitated sending of mailers that tanked some progressive candidates in North Carolina. For two of the endorsed candidates in the Triad area, the mailers looked like they came from the candidates. They paid for recycled lies against another candidate the NC NOW PAC endorsed.
One of the candidates in the Triad area was Terri LeGrand, who ran to represent Senate District 31. The district was reconfigured in 2019 to go through all of Davie County and part of Forsyth County, see maps here. This race’s outcome was expected to greatly impact, if not determine, which party would control the NC Senate.
The pandemic is exposing people and institutions who were barely getting by and now will fail with insufficient assistance. Rural hospitals were already struggling in NC. Now, another NC hospital is filing for bankruptcy, this one in Senator Berger’s district. According to UNC’s Sheps Center, seven have closed since 2010, and another failing Rockingham County hospital got a 5 year reprieve in 2018. NC already faces an opioid epidemic, having lost 2000 people to opioid overdose in 2017 alone. In addition, NC had 11,848 coronavirus cases and 430 deaths reported by NCDHHS on Monday, 5/4/20. Now, coronavirus is forcing hospital revenues down while increasing costs to get ready to care for critically ill covid-19 patients. Hospital failures can devastate local economies. Yet, the NC legislature continues to refuse the gift of Medicaid Expansion which would alleviate health and economic problems in every county if implemented fully.
Posted in Access to facilities, coronavirus, health care, jobs, Medicaid, medicaid expansion, ncga, ncga interference, safety net
Tagged Access to facilities, coronavirus, health care, Jobs, medicaid, medicaid expansion, ncga, ncga interference, safety net
Rural hospitals are cutting services and even worse, closing. Billions of dollars meant to support health care in NC have been sent to other states, to those states smart enough to take advantage of great deal to expand Medicaid. Stop hurting NC’s people and economy, Senator Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore. Expand Medicaid NOW! The Coronavirus is exposing how close to the edge many people live with no savings and no health care and so many jobs lost or suspended during the pandemic. More people will die because local hospitals have closed, hospitals that expanding Medicaid would have supported.
NC NOW is sharing Health Action NC’s letter to the NCGA leadership and Governor Cooper to close the coverage gap in NC by expanding Medicaid. 158 orgs, business owners and associations signed on in a matter of days. You can sign a petition urging NC Legislature to Expand Medicaid as an Emergency Response to coronavirus COVID-19.
The 2019 State Conference in Charlotte on 11/9/19 included new topics, an exciting keynote, diverse attendees and many first timers. We had members and attendees from 18 to 80 and Rep. Deb Butler’s speech was a highlight for all! Our conference theme was “The Time For Justice Is NOW.” NOW covers all issues affecting women, but we delved into a few new areas for NC NOW – how climate change hurts women and gender equity. NC NOW officers were elected, an annual task. We also hosted a panel on threats to reproductive access, an update on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), six workshops and more. We were honored to include a tribute to long time feminist activist and NC NOW board member Jan Allen.
Conference view from the back. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
Posted in abortion, Access to facilities, advocacy, climate change, conference, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, gender equity, gender wage gap, immigration, lobby, Misogyny, NC budget, ncga interference, reproductive justice, reproductive rights
Tagged abortion, advocacy, climate change, ERA, history, immigration, lobby, reproductive justice, reproductive rights
My daughter goes to an NC university and I worry about her. I even signed her up for a self defense class before her freshman year. I knew the statistics of sexual assault on campuses are extremely high. However, I was shocked to read that “A third of female undergraduate UNC students reported sexual assault, survey found,” 10/15/19, Charlotte Observer. State laws must be improved to prosecute these crimes, and universities must do more. An Equal Rights Amendment would help long term.
Event with Feminists For All at UNC-CH, 9/27/19 Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
The 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities reported that “nine percent of respondents said they were given a spiked drink or drugs without their knowledge before the assault.”
Posted in 19th amendment, campus safety, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, ncga interference, Rape, rape kits, Sexual Assault, Title IX, violence against women
Tagged campus safety, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, ncga interference, Rape, Sexual Assault, violence against women
Go directly to NC NOW Legislative Update #16 (20 May 19) which includes summary and bills being tracked.
The games around scheduling a House vote on SB359, Born Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act, continued another week. The Governor vetoed the bill on April 18, and the Senate voted to override the veto on April 30. One Democrat, Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County, voted with the Republicans to override the veto. His vote has created a tremendous backlash, and several progressive groups have vowed to recruit a candidate to challenge him in his primary in 2020. For more information, see: http://www.reflector.com/News/2019/05/15/Progressives-target-Davis-for-challenge.html
Republicans do not have a veto-proof majority in the House—the Republicans have 65 seats and Democrats have 55. To override a veto requires a 2/3 majority (72 votes if all members are present and voting) or 2/3 of those present and voting. In order to override a veto, Republicans must either win some votes from Democratic members or call for a vote when some Democrats are absent. The fierce backlash against Democratic Sen. Don Davis for his vote with Republicans to override the Governor’s veto in the Senate may be making it difficult for Republicans to field the necessary Democratic votes. A veto override vote was scheduled for 05/02/2019, then rescheduled for 05/03/2019. The vote was then scheduled for 05/06/2019, 05/07/2019, 05/15/2019, and 05/16/ 2019. Now the vote is on the calendar for 05/20/2019.