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.
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
It’s been almost two months since the Women’s March drew a half million protesters to Washington, an estimated 30,000 people to a sister rally in downtown Raleigh, and people to 12 more marches around NC that same day. The question on everyone’s mind – including the News & Observer is – “What next?”
Photo Credit: Carly Jones
At the James B Hunt Library at NC State University, four of the organizers of the Women’s March on Raleigh were asked to sit on a panel to answer questions from the N & O, as well as ABC11 and an audience of about 100+ people. Panelists were
Posted in discrimination, economic justice, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, minimum wage, Misogyny, pro-choice, public education, reproductive rights, Uncategorized, women
Tagged education, Equal Rights Amendment, immigration, medicaid expansion, reproductive rights
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.
North Carolina has an important role to play in adding the ERA to our US Constitution and our responsibility is to demand its passage!
Senate Bill 85 and House Bill 102, “NC Adopt Equal Rights Amendment,” are stuck in their Rules Committees. They must be heard AND passed along for a full vote in the House and Senate. Call today!
House Rules Committee Chair, David Lewis – 919-715-3015 – insist that he give HB102: NC Adopt Equal Rights Amendment a hearing and vote to approve the bill. (Click on the link to see the title, history, text, sponsors and co-sponsors of the bill.)
Senate Rules Committee Chair, Bill Rabon – 919-733-5963 – insist that he give SB85: NC Adopt Equal Rights Amendment a hearing and vote to approve the bill.
ERA Bill Sponsors pictured with women’s group leads – Pat Sledge (BPW-NC), Gailya Paliga (NC NOW), Audrey Muck (ERA-NC Alliance/NOW), Sen. Floyd McKissick (SB85 Sponsor), Virginia Adamson (BPW-NC), Rep. Carla Cunningham (HB102 Sponsor), Joyce Mitchell (DWNC). Photo Credit: Sen. McKissick
Nevada has ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)! The re-introduction of the ERA for ratification in various state legislatures (including North Carolina) is part of the “three-state strategy” for ratification (although now [after Nevada] it has become a two-state strategy).
This has brought new interest to ratifying ERA across the nation. North Carolina already had introduced bills to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment both Houses of the North Carolina legislature, and NC NOW is working to spur action on these bills.
The ERA NC Alliance, which includes NC NOW, held a Women’s Mobilization Monday on Monday, March 27, to advocate for ratification of the ERA. Events included a press conference at 3:00 pm in the General Assembly Press Room and supporters assembling in the House gallery at 6:30 pm where they were recognized. There must have been 70 women present at 7pm. There was lots of press at the Press Conference at 3pm.
NC NOW subset of Women Mobilization Monday
Photo Credit: Roberta Waddle
Just last week, on March 22, 2017, the state of Nevada ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), 45 years to the day after it was passed by Congress and sent to states! This is big exciting news for women who want a permanent guarantee of basic human rights for women locked in the US Constitution.
That’s the good news. Let’s turn our attention to the stalemate that is the passage of the ERA in North Carolina. North Carolina, where only about 25% of legislators are women. (13/50 in Senate, 29 of 120 in House, per http://www.ncleg.net/library/Documents/WomenintheGA.pdf )
I’m proud to say that the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of working for the ERA nationally and in North Carolina. Most of the women I know who joined NC NOW in the 1970s or early 1980s did so to pass the ERA. And many are still working for equality and fairness for women and others. Still. You could say we have a thing or two in common with Senator Elizabeth Warren – we persist.
In fact, there are two events at the NC General Assembly as part of Women’s Mobilization Monday on March 27, 2017 – a press conference at 3pm and another event at 6:30pm. We’d like to get more people there for 6:30pm, but come to either one or both!
Photo Credit: NC4ERA.Org
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
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
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) will finally ensure that women are given equal protection in the United States Constitution. Here is how you can help move the bills along in North Carolina. Read about how the ERA will help women at ERACoalition.org.
URGENT- The time is now for you to help pass the Equal Rights Amendment. This is our last chance in NC until 2019! Send two emails, one to the House Rules Committee, the other to the Senate Rules Committee. Just copy, paste, send…. thanks! Provided by NC4ERA, a project of NC NOW.
At Press Conference when ERA bills were introduced into Senate and House for 2017 session on 2/14/17 Photo Credit: Sen. Floyd McKissick
1) The House Rules Committee
Simply copy all the following addresses together and paste into your Email program…