Category Archives: ncga interference

Legislature Refuses Gift of Medicaid Expansion Again – 5/5/20

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.

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Take Action Urging NC leadership to Expand Medicaid ASAP (2020)

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.

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New Topics, Exciting Keynote, Diverse Attendees at 2019 State Conference on 11/9/19

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

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NC Must Address Sexual Assault Law Deficiencies

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.”

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NC NOW Legislative Update #16 – How Attempted Vetoes Work– 5/20/19

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.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #13 – Proposed Budget Part 1 – 29 April 2019

On Friday, 4/26/19, the House rolled out part of its budget. It includes an appropriation of 3 million dollars to test untested rape kits—Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Cooper requested 6 million dollars. The anti-abortion Human Coalition, which funds crisis pregnancy centers, will receive 1.2 million dollars. Expect more budget information next week. For more information, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html

It is always necessary to watch the budget bills because they often contain policy measures in addition to appropriations. For example, the House Education budget, released on Friday, April 26, contains a provision designed to prevent teachers from taking time off during a school day to go to the legislature to rally in support of educational issues, including their pay. The bill would require schools not to grant teachers a personal leave day unless they verify that a substitute teacher is available. Many school districts have closed schools on May 1 because there are not enough substitutes to fill in for the teachers who have taken a personal leave day to go to Raleigh.

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Junk Science Abortion Bills Are a Threat to North Carolina Women

By Gailya Paliga and Toni Van Pelt

When Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the so-called “Born Alive” bill on April 18, 2019, he sent a clear message to the state legislature that these types of “junk science” bills on abortion will not stand in this state. We encourage the state legislature to learn from this failed effort and stop their attacks on women’s constitutional right to abortion.

The politicians and the groups behind these anti-abortion measures have always been in pursuit of a single goal. They want to ban all abortion, including in cases of rape and incest and return control of women’s bodies back to lawmakers. To do that, they need to find a case that can be taken to the Supreme Court and lead to a decision that repeals or severely limits Roe v. Wade.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #11 – Rushed Anti-Abortion Bill – 15 April 2019

NC NOW Legislative Update #11.15 April 19 includes the summary and listing of NC Senate and House bills.

A terrible abortion bill, SB359/HB602, Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, is on the fast-track to be ratified.  The underlying premise of the bill, that infants showing signs of life after an attempted abortion are either actively killed or left to die, is outrageous and false.  If such thing were to happen, the action would be covered by existing murder and infanticide laws. 

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NC NOW Legislative Update #10 – 8 April 2019 – Two Pro-women Bills Introduced

See the full NC NOW Legislative Update #10.

Another bad abortion bill was introduced this week—there seems to be no end.  This one, HB603, Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is really yet another attempt to ban all abortions after 20 weeks with few exceptions.  The excuse for banning these abortions, however, does not hold up under scientific scrutiny.  Feeling pain at all requires development of a network of neurons along with development of the area of the brain needed to process the sensory data.  While it is really impossible to determine what a fetus is experiencing, most studies show that there is not adequate physical development in a fetus to feel pain until 28-30 weeks.  For a detailed examination of the evidence pro and con, see:  https://www.factcheck.org/2015/05/does-a-fetus-feel-pain-at-20-weeks/

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Signature Ad Packet Delivery and Letter – 3/25/19

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.

Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

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