Category Archives: state budget issues

NC NOW Legislative Update #18 – Let the Budget Negotiations Begin!

The NC House finished its budget so now is time for budget negotiations between House and Senate. Update on SCOTUS ruling on NC’s gerrymandering case and another case. See NC NOW Legislative Update #18, 6/4/17 for a more on budget negotiations and the Supreme Court ruling with regard to two cases in NC.

Here are some excerpts from the summary.

“The House passed its budget just after midnight on Thursday. The House and Senate have already agreed on setting the budget for 2017 fiscal year at $22.9 billion, which will simplify the final negotiations.” See how that works in the summary.

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NC NOW Newsletter – May/June 2017

The NC NOW Newsletter May/Jun 2017 is available online and in print. 

What you will find inside our newsletter.

  • Some of the NC Senate’s despicable actions, page 1.
  • What chapters around the state have been doing (page 2)
  • Why Science is a women’s issue in ‘Women in Science’ on page 3
  • The Feminist 5K event, scheduled for June 17, is on page 3. Note that NC NOW members get a special discount.
  • About a pro-rape Representative from New Hampshire on page 4
  • More problems with Trumpcare on page 4
  • Robin Davis’ insightful summaries of ERA activities (what Nevada did, strategies) and about what really happened with HB2 in April on page 5. These are from Legislative Update #9. NC NOW has 16 Legislative Updates to date (May 20, 2017). Legislative Update #16 talks about the Senate Budget.

Upcoming events for May and June 2017 are posted on the website.

Events and actions are also emailed to members and volunteers. Be sure to sign up if you haven’t already. Enjoy the newsletter!

NC NOW Legislative Update #15 – Retaliation in the Senate

For the week ending 14 May 2017

The Senate passed its $22.9 billion budget after 3am on Friday morning. The 800 page document (SB257, Appropriations Act of 2017) was presented during a press conference on Tuesday, May 9, and posted online late Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the proposed budget cleared a series of committees and the required two votes in the Senate began on Thursday and wrapped up early Friday morning. The two votes cannot be held on the same day; therefore, the Senate went into recess after the first vote and reconvened after midnight for the final vote. Amendments offered by Democratic Senators were all voted down, and the budget passed 32-15 in a party line vote.

Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate, defending HB2, 4/20/16. Photo Credit News and Observer

But in the process, the Republican leadership made a move of unparalleled pettiness and vindictiveness that hits a new political low. Frustrated by the delay created by the budget amendments offered by Democrats, the Republican leadership retaliated by slashing a million dollars in education funds from two poverty-stricken Democratic districts.  See: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article150397682.html, 5/13/17.

Read more about the Senate’s budget, which includes a billion-dollar tax cut package, and next steps for the budget, at NC NOW Legislative Update #15. You’ll also find updates on ERA, Lawsuits, and our bill tracking.

NC NOW Legislative Update #14, State Budget and Constitutional Amendments

The legislative update begins as follows. Find the whole update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #14.

After frantically passing more than 200 bills last week to meet the crossover deadline, the legislature did very little this week to move bills along. We are still sorting out what occurred last week and looking forward to what to expect in the coming weeks.


The budget is where the action is. Senate leadership says the Senate is on track to pass its version of the budget next week. A $581 million budget surplus is projected for the fiscal year ending June 30, which gives legislators some flexibility to expand spending and/or cut taxes. The goal is to pass a two-year budget before the beginning of the next fiscal year on July 1—a goal that often is not attained. The House will pass its version of the budget, and then a conference committee will be appointed to iron out differences between the House and Senate budgets before a final vote. The governor also drew up a budget, but the legislature probably won’t pay too much attention to it. See: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2017-05-05/n-carolina-revenue-surplus-ticks-up-slightly-after-april-15, 5/5/17.

On April 25 the Senate passed a bill (SB676) that exempts bills that ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution and bills to amend the North Carolina Con-stitution from the April 27 crossover deadline—which means that any of these bills passed by the House after April 27 may be taken up by the Senate.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #11 – more derision and secret budget deals

The week ending 15 April 2017 has been another busy week at the NCGA, as captured in North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_11.v3.16Apr17.

A bill introduced in the legislature again made North Carolina the object of national derision.  House Bill 780, Uphold Historical Marriage, declared that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is null and void in North Carolina and that the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage should be enforced.  After a national outcry, Speaker Moore publicly announced that this bill will never be heard in committee, that it is dead.  But damage had already been done. See http://www.wral.com/gay-marriage-ban-filed-in-nc-house-/16639157/, 4/11/17.

Then neo-Confederate Rep. Larry Pittman (also a sponsor or HB780) attracted national attention by stating that Abraham Lincoln was the same kind of tyrant as Hitler. 

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Legislative Update #8 – budget, HB 2, TABOR, insensitive clod

Update on reconciling NC’s House and Senate Budgets, HB 2, and status of 2 proposed changes to NC’s Constitution – more concealed weapon carry rather than less in NC, and drastic tax cuts and capping the state income taxes (TABOR).

Read more at North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_8.18_June_2016

NC NOW May to July newsletter available online!

There is a lot going on with the fallout from the law known as HB 2 continuing to batter NC, the second primary that was Jun 7, the NCGA trying to change so much during the short session, protests at the legislature, continued stonewalling of African American women for federal positions (by Senator Richard Burr), teachers in the streets! Read about some of it in the NC NOW newsletter May-June 2016.

img_3013-receptionwithcindytpats-judylotas.emmedPhoto credit: Judy Lotas

The newsletter mentions to tragic mass shooting that happened at a gay nightclub at 2am on June 12, 2016, in Orlando, FL. A gunman “carried out the worst mass shooting in United States history, leaving 50 people dead and 53 wounded.” It does not include the Charleston 9 hate crime shooting that was the following week (after the newsletter was published). On Jun 18, 2016, nine people were murdered at a historic African-American Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where they were doing bible study. The victims included the female pastor and a Democratic Senator, also female. These two hate crimes happened within a week of each other, both in the Southeastern US.

Also read about how you can get involved. Note that chapter meetings are listed on front page of the newsletter.

Special treat: the Wisdom from the Internet on page 5.

Give teacher raises with one hand, but with the other hand..

The Senate and House Budgets both give teachers modest pay raises, but continue to ignore most other school staff. Instead of hiring back the over 3000 TAs they forced schools to drop in 2013, they are proposing ways to ‘help’ after a problem has been manifested with “literacy coaches.” More at “Proposed House education budget cuts $27 million for reducing first-grade class sizes, reallocates most to literacy coaches.”  At the same time, the NCGA plans to take even more money from public education.

ncgaareworstbullies

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Teachers: Public school system in crisis. STOP. Send money! STOP.

Educators and advocates in red are getting the word out in multiple ways about the state of public education in  NC. 

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People really care about public schools! Photo credit: Yevonne Brannon

The 2 day teacher trek

More than 50 teachers, parents and advocates marched 23 miles from Durham to the Capitol to bring attention to the needs of their students June 14 and 15, 2016. The 2 day teacher trek was previewed by CBS News affiliate WCNC on 5/28/16 in “Teachers plan 20 mile march to Raleigh for better school conditions.” Millbrook Elementary School teacher Kristen Beller said “[W]e know the reason our schools are not performing as high as they’re expected to is they’ve been stripped of resources.” What does she mean? Books! Pencils! Paper! Teacher Assistants! Support staff! Teachers have to buy  some of these basics themselves. On the other hand, Beller said the classroom has become a safe haven for some of the lower income students. “We need more resources just to keep these children clean and fed.”

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Teachers and Public Education further hurt by NC budget proposals

“Instead of funding desperately needed 2 percent raises for state employees and a cost-of-living increase for retirees, the NC Senate budget continues diverting $582 million to a rainy day fund, which is too much money considering we are starving our public schools.”

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Also, the NC Senate budget diverts more money for the voucher program and allows the funding to increase by $10 million each year through 2027. This means by 2027 the program would be receiving $145 million (adding $120 million to what they have already allocated to private schools via vouchers).  More at “NC Senate Budget Would Dramatically Increase School Vouchers,” (WFAE, 6/1/16).

This shows where the NC Senate’s values are when it comes to public education.

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