This year’s NC NOW conference in Fayetteville occurred at a time when women’s rights and reproductive choices are under greater attack than they have been in decades. As we all attempt to adapt to an administration that has been hijacked by special interests including climate deniers, the evangelical extremists and forces hostile to women, the theme of Mobilizing Women NOW could not be more important.
Attendees got to choose what interested them the most. Some workshops focused on dangers – like threats to reproductive rights and a hostage budget that hurts women. Other workshops ways to fight back – lawsuits against gerrymandering, planning programs that pop, and working with other organizations and legislators to pass commonsense legislation. All of our workshops were on topics of current interest and presented by people who were well prepared. See the agenda, keynote and speaker biographies, workshop summaries and more at 2017 NC NOW Conference Program – Updated.
It takes something to attend a conference. Arrangements must be made, decisions regarding travel are determined, cost figured in, and, invariably special events at home are missed. One must be committed to the perceived value of the conference in advance.
On October 21, 2017, I attended the state conference for NC NOW: women seeking positive change regarding women’s issues. Many of the women had traveled several hours, some had physical challenges and walked with canes, while young women had arranged for childcare to be able to attend. There were a variety of professions represented, including teachers, lawyers, life coaches, a doctor, a medical clinic manager, and an architect to name a few. Sessions and workshops were short, with carefully prepared presenters and lively engagement from the participants.
Women Mobilizing NOW Conference Photo Credit: Melanie DuPon
I returned with insights, new information, and impressions from the other women…increased awareness regarding women’s leadership. I felt comfortable in a safe space, the inspired energy from being around a strong team from the home chapter, and inspiration from the younger members who supported each other on their journeys as supportive women.
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.
Posted in abortion, CPC, discrimination, education, lawsuits, power grab, state budget issues, Supreme Court, Uncategorized
Tagged abortion, CPC, education, poverty, Supreme Court
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Photo 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.
Posted in clinic violence, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, HB 2, public education, state budget issues, State interference (NC), voting, women
Tagged attacks on public education, Courts, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, stonewalling qualified candidate, teachers, voting, women
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.