Tag Archives: legislative update

NC NOW Legislative Update – 29 Jun 2020 – Summary of Short Session

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—29 June 2020

They’ve gone home!  Both houses have passed an adjournment resolution that sets July 11 as the date of adjournment.  Between now and then there will be skeleton sessions, but no further legislative action is anticipated.  The date for reconvening is set for September 2.

The short session is primarily a budget session, and the major landmarks of this session are House Bill 1023, which appropriates federal COVID-19 funds for various purposes, including funds to cover additional expenses for the 2020 elections, and Senate Bill 818, a mini-budget bill covering adjustments to pay for teachers.   When he signed the bill, Governor Cooper slammed its inadequacy:  “I signed this bill because it funds step increases for teachers that have already been promised, but it falls outrageously short on raises we need to give teachers and all school personnel like bus drivers and cafeteria workers.”  As expected, there was no action on expanding Medicaid or improving unemployment compensation.

An astonishing amount of time and energy was expended trying to thwart Governor Cooper’s power to contain the COVID-19 virus, to block measures he ordered using his emergency powers.   The attacks took two approaches. 

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NC NOW Legislative Update – Harrassment, Assault & Bullying in NCGA – 01 Jun 2020

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—1 June 2020

There have been shocking developments concerning alleged sexual harassment and verbal assault in the General Assembly.  Senator Erica Smith has accused Senate colleagues of harassment, assault, and bullying in incidents dating back to 2015. Complaints against legislators are handled internally and secretly by the Legislative Ethics Committee consisting of legislators who are historically reluctant to condemn any of their colleagues. 

Sen. Erica Smith with Flag by Greg Stewart

Sen. Erica Smith with Flag at 2019 Teacher Rally in Raleigh, by Greg Stewart

These issues came to a head on September 11, 2019, when reporters witnessed Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth) being escorted out of a committee room by Senators Floyd McKissick, Jr. and Jay Chaudhuri. 

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NC NOW Legislative Update – During Pandemic – 25 May 2020

NC NOW Legislative Update—25 May 2020

The NC legislature is back in session.  At the end of each long session, a resolution is passed that determines the bills that can be considered in the upcoming short session.  Here is a link to an overview of the categories of bills that can be considered  in this 2020 short session along with a list of crossover bills that are also eligible to be considered:  https://www.ncleg.gov/documentsites/legislativepublications/Legislative%20Analysis%20Division/Eligible%20Bills/Bills%20Eligible%20for%20Consideration%20for%202020%20Session.pdf.

Under normal circumstances, the short session would focus on tweaking the budget, local bills, and bills that passed one house or the other during the long session.   However, these are not normal circumstances.  The legislators are so divided along partisan lines that no budget was passed during the long session.  Republicans passed a budget along party lines; Governor Cooper vetoed it; and Republicans were unable to override the veto. 

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NC NOW Legislative Update #30—11/4/2019

It’s over—for now.  The legislature adjourned on October 31 after the longest session in 18 years.  It will reconvene on November 13 to consider legislation addressing court-ordered redistricting of our congressional districts and other narrowly defined matters. The 2020 short session will begin on January 14, 2020.  Considering how many major issues remain unresolved, including the budget and Medicaid expansion, the short session may not be so short.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #26 – 8/26/19

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—August 26, 2019

Jump to the full summary and listing of bills NC NOW is tracking at NC NOW Legislative Update #26 (26Aug19).

Billboards Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment Unveiled in Press Conference

Senator Terry Van Duyn, Marena Groll, Gailya Paliga, Lori Bunton in in back with ERA sign, Senator Floyd McKissick, Jane Terwilliger, Rep. Julie von Haefen, Rep. Susan Fisher. Photo Credit: Senator Floyd McKissick

North Carolina NOW, in partnership with AAUW and the ERA-NC Alliance, held a press conference at the legislature on August 22 to launch our statewide campaign to raise awareness of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).  Four billboards calling for the ratification of the ERA have been installed statewide. 

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NC NOW Legislative Update #25 – Budget Impasse and Push for Gun Safety – 8/12/19

Summary includes a summary via gifs of the budget standoff and its negative consequences. Definitely worth a look! And what Democratic legislators are doing in response to the tragic shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. Be sure to read what one of the survivors of the shooting at UNCC said. You can go directly to the full legislative update, NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #25 (12Aug19), which includes the week’s summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist.

Still no vote on whether to override the governor’s veto of the budget and no progress to report on a stand-alone bill to expand Medicaid. Speaker Moore warns the stalemate could continue until October. This link contains a serious explanation of the budget standoff and its negative consequences along with some amusing gifs: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/08/07/the-n-c-budget-stalemate-explained-in-gifs/

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NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – 6/24/19

Go right to the NC NOW Legislative Update #21 at NC NOW Legislative Update #21.24Jun19.

Budget negotiations continue on two fronts, but there are no concrete results to report yet.  In the legislature, the committee tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the budget into one compromise document continues its work.  The goal is for a new budget to be presented and passed before the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1.  Every indication is that this goal is likely to be met.

The biggest hurdle, however, is for the legislature to produce a budget that the Governor will sign.  Here there is a stalemate.  On Friday, June 21 Governor Cooper met face-to-face with House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger and Democratic leaders for nearly an hour.  After the meeting, each party (the Governor’s office and the Republican leaders) issued press statements accusing the other of refusing to compromise.  Continue reading

NC NOW Legislative Update #20 – Updates on State Budget – 6/17/19

See NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #20 (17 Jun 19), with summary and bill listings. Summary follows.

Last week the House and Senate leaders appointed budget conference committee members to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the budget. Budget chairs from both the House and Senate will serve as chairs.  For committee members, see: https://www.ncleg.gov/Legislation/Bills/Conferees/2019/H966.  No Senate Democrats were appointed to the committee, and only two House Democrats were appointed: Rep. Charles Graham, D-Robeson, and Rep. Elmer Floyd, D-Cumberland–the only Democrats who voted for the House budget.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #19 – The Veto Is Sustained! – 10 Jun 2019

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #19—June 10, 2019

See NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #19 (10 Jun 19), with summary and bill listings. Summary follows.

VICTORY!  After many, many delays, the House voted to uphold Governor Cooper’s veto of SB359, Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  Republicans needed 72 votes to override the veto and fell five votes short.  It was mainly a party-line vote with only two Democrats, Rep. Charles Graham (D-Robeson) and Rep. Garland Pierce (D-Scotland), voting with the Republicans.

Photo Credit: Marci Curtis

The House gallery was packed.  This photo shows NC NOW President Gailya Paliga and Karen Ziegler with supporters of the Governor’s veto filling the second row and lining the wall.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #18 – Senate Budget and Budget Process – 3 Jun 2019

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update—June 3, 2019

It’s going to be a long, hot summer.  The Senate has passed its budget and virtually excluded Democrats from any participation in the process.  Before discussing what the Senate budget contains, it will be helpful to review the entire budget process.  The process begins with three budgets:  (1) the budget that Governor Cooper proposed; (2) the budget passed by the House; (3) the budget passed by the Senate.  The final product will be a single budget that House, Senate, and Governor accept.

The first step in the process is to work out the differences between the House and Senate budgets.   This is done by a conference committee containing members of both houses who will work together to draft a budget to send to the Governor for his signature.  When the governor receives this budget he will either sign it or veto it.  If he vetoes it, a new round of negotiations will take place between representatives of the governor and the legislature to arrive at a budget acceptable to all parties and which the governor will sign.

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