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
NC NOW is working together with League of Women Voters of Wake County, the ACLU-NC and Paula Wolf on a second presentation of Advocacy 101 training. Learn or review some basic skills for the Citizen Advocate with us on Tuesday, March 28, at the NCAE building in Raleigh. The “Do Your Job” theme must reinforced at all levels of elected officials, especially Legislators (NC House and Senate), and Congress (US House and Senate). Click on the flyer below to get tickets or go directly to eventbrite.
Note: the first Advocacy 101 event we held filled up in the first 3 days it was posted (filled up in January for showing on 2/16/17)!
Governor Cooper introduced his proposed budget for FY 2017-2018 on March 1, 2017. It emphasizes increased spending on education and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses, it is more aspirational than practical, and it is unlikely that the proposals in this budget will make much progress in the General Assembly. For highlights, see: http://www.wral.com/highlights-of-gov-roy-cooper-s-proposed-statebudget/16560168/
Governor Cooper introduced his budget at Durham Technical Community College
There were dueling press conferences in the Legislative Building on the repeal of HB2. Proponents of a full repeal with no strings attached were pitted against supporters or the bipartisan HB186 that would repeal HB2 but also allow opponents of local ordinances to call for a referendum on any proposed ordinance. The Governor weighed in by observing that a compromise bill was possible if proponents of HB186 would negotiate over the referendum provision—which so far they will not do. For a fuller account, see http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135420484.html
Senator Norman Sanderson of Pamlico County has filed a draconian bill to crack down on local governments and public universities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws or violate the state’s 2015 law against sanctuary city policies. The bill (S145) would strip funding from state universities that do not comply with the law and deprive local governments of revenue from a wide variety of sources. There are disturbing indications that the Senate leadership may support this bill. A milder bill (H63) is being considered in the house that does not target universities and has a shorter list of state revenue sources that would be denied to municipalities. For more details see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135544723.html
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.
See the whole North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_5 from 5Mar17, including bill tracking.
We had an unbelievable turnout at the Moral March and HKonJ Assembly on 2/11/17, in Raleigh. According to signs and songs, people are upset with NC’s leadership, and also with chaos from the whitehouse, and unfit nominees being confirmed to 45’s administration despite valid arguments against them and many protests. One example is Betsy DeVos, and Senators Burr and Tillis ignoring their constituents. Read more in “Burr and Tillis: F for Fail!”
Marchers gathered at Memorial Auditorium, at 2 E. South Street, for speeches and singing, and marched together to the end of Fayetteville St, with the State Capitol in the background.
Hats and signs! Photo Credit: Elise Paliga
Posted in HB 2, immigration, march, protest, public education, racism, rally, reproductive rights, safety for women, women
Tagged civil rights, HB 2, immigration, march, protest, racism, rally, reproductive rights, women
The election of Trump galvanized many people in this country to take action. As a woman, mother and grandmother, I was more than appalled that my fellow citizens could elect someone so uniquely unqualified to lead one of the largest democracies in the world. I knew that I couldn’t sit back quietly. That even though I had retired from the workforce, I could not retire from speaking truth and lifting my voice for those who couldn’t. When I learned of the plans for the Women’s March on DC; I jumped on the bandwagon along with over 500,000 and possibly a million like minded people!
View in Subway – All Going To The Women’s March, One Subway of Many! Photo Credit: Lori Bunton
NC NOW works with many other groups to make events happen.
With this administration in office, many protests are occurring spontaneously, and we try to post those on the NC NOW facebook page. Luckily, some marches, rallies and other events are planned in advance with enough time for us to post on our website! Here are some happening in February and March of 2017.
Photo Credit: Kevin A. Smith