North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #13 – 30 April 2017
As expected, the legislature overrode Governor Cooper’s vetoes of the two bills highlighted in last week’s Legislative Update. The Governor filed suit on Wednesday over Senate Bill 68, which combines the state ethics board and board of elections and changes the composition and method of appointing members of the combined board. This is a new version of a law that the court threw out in 2016. The details are convoluted, but the heart of the matter is that both bills attempt to take away the governor’s control of boards that are under the executive branch. On Friday, a three-judge panel issued a restraining order that prevents the law from going into effect until May 10. The Governor expressed confidence that this law will also be struck down. For more details,
(Retired) Judge Doug McCullough and Governor Roy Cooper Photo Credit: Slate.com
23 April 2017
Governor Cooper vetoed two bills. House Bill 239 would reduce the number of appeals court judges from 15 to 12. It was prompted by three Republican judges nearing mandatory retirement age. If the number of seats were not reduced, the Governor would be able to make appointments to fill the vacant seats. In his veto message, Cooper noted that this move is a partisan attempt to pack the appeals court with Republican judges. The legislature is expected to override the veto, just as it overrode the veto of a bill requiring party labels on all judicial races. Clearly, our state courts at all levels are being politicized.
NC Governor Roy Cooper, Photo Credit: roycooper.com
The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 68, which altered the party affiliation of both state and local election boards.
The 2017 Pro-choice signature letter is a very powerful look at what the NCGA should be doing to help women. Read it at 2017 Pro-choice Signature Ad Letter.
This letter will be delivered in Pro-Choice signature ad packets today, 3/20/17, to our state Senators and House Representatives at 4:30pm. Come join us if you can – Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones St, Raleigh NC. We’ll deliver from 4:45-6:45 and go to dinner afterward. Call NC NOW to RSVP at 919-539-7702.
Removed from the letter, but still true is this fact. Overall North Carolina is “extremely hostile” to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, “22 States are Extremely Hostile To Abortion“, 1/3/17.
President, NC National Organization for Women
Posted in abortion, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, minimum wage, ncga interference, public education, reproductive rights, women
Tagged abortion, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, lgbt, public education, reproductive rights, women, women's rights
Last year in our pro-choice signature ad packet letter to legislators, NC NOW pointed out that HB2, Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act., has been a disaster for North Carolina. The state was already suffering the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investments in our state and potentially billions in federal support to the state’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities. Yet, the law goes way beyond bathrooms and targeting a group of citizens. It removes core worker anti-discrimination protections that state law has provided to workers since the 1970s. It also targets women, whether intentional or not. When HB2 first happened, NC NOW recognized how disastrous HB 2 is for women. But it has been disastrous for the state as well.
And it just continues to cause massive losses. The majority in the NC Legislature don’t seem to care, they keep voting to leave it in place, refusing to repeal it. Just in one weekend in March, the city of Greensboro lost out on an estimated 14.5 MILLION DOLLARS because of House Bill 2! That estimate that the NCAA would have brought in around 14.5 million dollars is from the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor Bureau.
From an anti-hb2 rally right after HB2 was passed on March 24, 2016.
The tens of thousands of people who should have gone to Greensboro for the NCAA tournament went to Greenville, South Carolina instead. According to ‘S.C. reaping HB2 Bounty‘, 3/15/17, News & Observer,
Legislative Update for the week ending March 19, 2017, by NC NOW’s lobbyist, Robin Davis
Governor Cooper has issued his first veto. He vetoed the bill that would make elections of District and Superior Court judges partisan. Cooper, who led the fight to make judicial elections nonpartisan in 1990 when he was a state senator, said that judges should be elected based on their experience and ability, not on their political party. He also noted that candidates not affiliated with a party would have a very difficult time getting on the ballot because they would be required to get signatures of 2 percent of the voters in their districts. A three-fifths vote in both houses will be required to overturn the Governor’s veto, which is the expected outcome because Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses.
Both the House and the Senate have turned their attention to their respective budgets. The budgets differ in details, but both houses are proposing plans that will benefit business and the wealthy through changes in the tax laws with the Senate plan more drastic than the plan being considered in the House. For more details and a comparison of the proposed plans, see http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article138891468.html
As protest at the legislative building increases, the General Assembly police are studying ways to increase security. This is an issue we need to keep an eye on.
Videoing protesters in NC Legislative Building during protests of ‘Special Sessions’ in December. 12/15/16. Photo Credit: Susan Eder
Fayetteville NOW honors Dr. Naveed Aziz at this year’s Susan B. Anthony birthday celebration and fundraiser. Dr. Aziz is a physician in Spring Lake, NC. She spoke about the Affordable Care Act at Fayetteville NOW’s reproductive rights forum on Jan 25, 2017.
This is Fayetteville NOW’s 12th Susan B. Anthony event!
Join us on February 23, 2017, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Tickets are $30 per person. Sponsorship is available for $100 and includes two tickets. The event will be held at the VFW Post 6018, on Chance St., in Fayetteville.
Paid reservations must be received by February 19th, 2017.
The NC Legislature went back in session on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017, after initiating the legislative long session 2 weeks earlier. The NC NOW Legislative Update #2 talks about lawsuits in process, what the NC Legislature did during its first half week back in session, and what we may expect.
On lawsuits: “Since our Republican-dominated General Assembly has been passing law after law that is being or has been challenged in court, in addition to keeping up with new legislation introduced this session, I believe it is equally important to track the status of the various challenges to laws that have already been passed.”
Elementary School Art Classroom 2008 Photo Credit Gailya Paliga
On the Legislature’s first half-week: “The most significant issue addressed this week in the legislature is a measure to undo unintended consequences of a bill passed last session. This new law reduced class size in early grades without appropriating any funds to hire more teachers—forcing local school districts either to come up with the extra money or to discontinue programs in physical education and the arts in order to hire more classroom teachers. “
See more on those topics and what to expect in NC NOW Legislative Update #2 -28 Jan 17
Shocking power grab from the Republicans already in charge of both sides of the NC General Assembly, being carried out during a fourth special session they called with no emergencies to address. They are using this fourth session to further their own agendas, in this case for a massive partisan power grab of the Governor-elect’s powers and interference with historic privileges associated with that position. This session is in many ways like the one that brought us HB 2, the bathroom law, which also took away state law remedies to discrimination and interfered with existing local ordinances. Read about what is happening and three actions you can take.
Small part of citizens with signs in Senate Gallery on Dec 13, 2016. Photo credit: Gailya Paliga
We can’t afford another HB 2 disaster. Few people realize the other damage it continues to do, including the harm HB 2 does to women. Take action NOW to tell YOUR REPS to keep the special session focused on disaster relief. Oppose the partisan power grab (especially of NC Supreme Court) and any other interference in our state. Join Moral Monday at Legislature on 12/13/16 and maybe other days as well. This session may last a few days.
These actions with details were sent via mailchimp email to members of NC NOW and others on our email list. To get on the list, fill in volunteer info on the NC NOW website.
Moral Monday at the NC Legislative Building from Feb 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Vicki Boyer
Two things to do NOW, the first can be done from anywhere –