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.
Did you write NC (US) Senators Burr and Tillis about stopping the AHCA (Trumpcare) bill yet? The AHCA bill that the Republicans forced through the US House on May 4, 2017 is devastating.
“This bill will put women directly in harm’s way by making health care inaccessible to people with pre-existing conditions–including those who have survived domestic violence, experienced postpartum depression, or undergone a cesarean section. ” As NOW.org wrote in their suggested email action at http://now.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AHCAEmailYourSenators.pdf.
Congress’ own Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million people would lose health insurance from the plan. This estimate is from the March 2017 version of the bill that was not put up for a vote (due to expected failure), and the current plan (May 2017) is only worse. Read more about the harm this plan would do at https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/americanhealthcareact.pdf.
A more readable description of the damage this bill does is at Vox.com, “These are all the people the Republican health care bill will hurt,” 5/4/17, at
Posted in ACA, children, families, health care, Medicaid, Obamacare, seniors, tax giveaways, Trumpcare, women
Tagged health care, medicaid expansion, Obamacare, reproductive rights, tax giveaways, Trumpcare, women
Fayetteville NOW sponsored a silent, non-violent protest on April 15th, 2017 at the Market House in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina. The protest went from noon to 1:00 p.m. They did so to express their disappointment in this President’s continuous refusal to disclose his personal tax returns and to air other concerns with this administration.
People were invited to express their own objections to this administration (whether it’s the tax issue, election hacking and/or this administration’s Russian associations, health care issues, Supreme Court nominee, his environmental (EPA) positions, etc.).”
Photo Credit: Pam Wade
Now that women (and men) have found their voices, we need to use them to influence the future of the United States at the hands of the new administration. We need to let everyone know that it wasn’t an isolated event! We need to keep pressure on Congress and the US Senate.
Women’s March On Raleigh, 1/21/17. Photo Credit: Ashley P.
House and Senate Republicans are going on a joint “retreat” this Wednesday (1/25/17) to Friday (1./27/17) “to sort our their priorities ” and they need to hear from you a.s.a.p. Send them off to their party’s discussions reeling from the calls to their DC and state offices.
Are you worried about health care and need to keep Obamacare in place? Read So What Would Happen If We Repealed Obamacare, The Hill, 1/4/17, to give you some ideas why it matters.
“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.”
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.
Sep. 12 – NC NOW Legislative Update #30
Why legislators want to insert policy changes into the budget
A budget agreement has been reached! But we won’t know the details until Monday (15 September). House and Senate negotiators reached an impasse, and Senator Berger and Speaker Moore worked together behind closed doors to reach the final deal. House rules require that the budget be publicly available for 72 hours before a vote. The plan is to allow budget committee members and party caucuses to review the budget over the weekend, release it to the public some time on Monday, and hold a vote by the end of next week to meet the third extension deadline of September 18. More in “NC legislators reach budget deal but aren’t releasing details” at http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article34967892.html
Whatever has been negotiated is the final deal—the budget can only be voted up or down by the members and cannot be amended on the floor (now you understand why legislators want to insert policy changes into the budget). It is highly unlikely that any Republican members will vote against the budget.