On Friday, 4/26/19, the House rolled out part of its budget. It includes an appropriation of 3 million dollars to test untested rape kits—Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Cooper requested 6 million dollars. The anti-abortion Human Coalition, which funds crisis pregnancy centers, will receive 1.2 million dollars. Expect more budget information next week. For more information, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html
It is always necessary to watch the budget bills because they often contain policy measures in addition to appropriations. For example, the House Education budget, released on Friday, April 26, contains a provision designed to prevent teachers from taking time off during a school day to go to the legislature to rally in support of educational issues, including their pay. The bill would require schools not to grant teachers a personal leave day unless they verify that a substitute teacher is available. Many school districts have closed schools on May 1 because there are not enough substitutes to fill in for the teachers who have taken a personal leave day to go to Raleigh.
Posted in abortion, budget, education, ncga interference, rape kits
Tagged abortion, budget, ncga int, ncga interference, r, Rape, rape kits
By Gailya Paliga and Toni Van Pelt
When Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the so-called “Born Alive” bill on April 18, 2019, he sent a clear message to the state legislature that these types of “junk science” bills on abortion will not stand in this state. We encourage the state legislature to learn from this failed effort and stop their attacks on women’s constitutional right to abortion.
The politicians and the groups behind these anti-abortion measures have always been in pursuit of a single goal. They want to ban all abortion, including in cases of rape and incest and return control of women’s bodies back to lawmakers. To do that, they need to find a case that can be taken to the Supreme Court and lead to a decision that repeals or severely limits Roe v. Wade.
See the full NC NOW Legislative Update #10.
Another bad abortion bill was introduced this week—there seems to be no end. This one, HB603, Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is really yet another attempt to ban all abortions after 20 weeks with few exceptions. The excuse for banning these abortions, however, does not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Feeling pain at all requires development of a network of neurons along with development of the area of the brain needed to process the sensory data. While it is really impossible to determine what a fetus is experiencing, most studies show that there is not adequate physical development in a fetus to feel pain until 28-30 weeks. For a detailed examination of the evidence pro and con, see: https://www.factcheck.org/2015/05/does-a-fetus-feel-pain-at-20-weeks/
See whole NC NOW Legislative Update #7.18Mar19 here.
In 2018, voters in North Carolina’s biggest counties elected seven new sheriffs who campaigned on pledges to no longer work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because their practices have become increasingly brutal under the Trump administration. The will of the voters was clear. But this week Republicans filed a bill (HB370) that would force sheriffs to cooperate with ICE or face fines of up to $25,500 per day. This bill is yet another example of the conservative Republican majority in the legislature attempting to force its agenda on urban counties that elect more moderate to liberal Democrats to local offices. This bill has the support of Republican leadership; Governor Cooper has not stated a position. For more information, see https://abc11.com/politics/nc-republicans-file-bill-to-force-county-sheriffs-to-work-with-ice/5194070/
Sign from Tuesdays With Tillis protest against ICE taking children. Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg
The drive to expand Medicaid hit an unexpected hitch this week. Expanding Medicaid is a priority of Cooper’s legislative agenda, and companion bills (SB3/HB5) have been introduced in both the House and Senate. But hopes for passage of a bill during this session (2019-2020) were crushed through a rookie error by a freshman legislator.
NC NOW’s Legislative Update for the first week of the 2019 long session includes ERA Advocacy Day, link to new legislators from both parties, talk of medicaid expansion, update on rape kit processing, and revival of ‘floaters’ as ways for Republicans to control committees.
The General Assembly reconvened on Wednesday, January 30 to begin this year’s session. Members were sworn in on January 9, and this link lists the newly elected members of both parties: https://www.ncallianceforhealth.org/2019-nc-general-assembly-session-convenes/
ERA Advocates at the NC General Assembly on 1/30/19. Photo Credit: Mike Oniffrey
The NC Legislature called this special session months ago in anticipation of being able to implement some or all of the constitutional amendments. Many organizations are working together to expose what they are doing. Events are planned in and around the Legislative Building at 16 W. Jones St on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018. Please come to some or all if you can, or just come to witness the legislature’s actions, and make sure they know we care and are watching.
August 2018 protest of constitutional amendments and yet another special session at Legislative Building in Raleigh.
Posted in constitutional amendment, ncga interference, power grab, State interference (NC), violence against women, voter id, voting
Tagged constitutional amendment, lame duck session, ncga, ncga interference, voter id
Four of the six constitutional amendments passed in the 2018 midterm elections in North Carolina (11/6/18). Thank goodness, the two explicit power-grabbing amendments failed. As you may remember, NC NOW could not endorse any of the amendments since they were basically blank checks for the legislature to implement whatever they want, and also because they were passed with no public input or expert testimony. We had a statement to this effect on our endorsement flier, also found here at the bottom of the yellow page.
The NC legislature convenes a special session on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018, to implement the constitutional amendments like voter id in the last few weeks of the Republican supermajority.
As NC Policy Watch wrote in “NC voters pass 4 constitutional amendments; lame-duck session looming,” 11/7/18, NC Policy Watch,
“North Carolina voters wrote four blank checks [on 11/6/18] to GOP lawmakers who already said they plan to hold a lame-duck legislative session to implement constitutional amendments.”
Photo Credit: Jacalyn Engler
These are some things we can do to try to block some of the damage.
Citizen outrage sparked creativity at a protest of the latest day of this special session series, when the #NCGA was called to return on a rare Saturday to override very valid vetoes from Governor Roy Cooper. The signature costume for this event was a man dressed up in regal attire who called himself “Berger King.” The legislature voted to override the two vetoes, but the outraged citizens were speaking out and watching. First article, “Facing protesters, NC legislators override vetoes” was posted at 12:24pm on 8/4/18.
Many of the protesters were returning, since they had protested one or more days of the hastily called #DeceptionSession that started on Jul 24, 2018 with fewer than 24 hours notice. Protesters went today on short notice again as the outrage grew over the last few days. The Aug 4 session agenda included vetoes of last minute legislation intended to deceive citizens into voting away their rights in one of the bills.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gailya Paliga, President of NC National Organization for Women (NC NOW), http://www.northcarolinanow.org, email@example.com (organizer)
Aylett Colston, firstname.lastname@example.org (organizer)
Raleigh, NC, 8/4/18 – Tell the NCGA to Stop Their Dirty Tricks. #NixAllSix!
WHAT: Rally encouraging #NCGA Leadership to Stop the Dirty Tricks and Let Vetoes Stand
WHEN: Saturday, Aug 4, at 10:30 am
WHERE: In front of State Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones St, Raleigh NC
WHO: North Carolinians
VISUALS: Diverse crowd, interesting and creative signs, costumes to draw attention to dirty tricks pulled by the #NCGA
Should North Carolinians be tricked into giving the NC General Assembly a “blank check” to do whatever it wants to our state? We say NO!
Write your representatives and the NCGA leaders and tell them NOT to override Governor Cooper’s vetoes. Read more about the situation with the #NCGA interference in the constitutional amendment captions and the NC Supreme Court election at “Tell the NCGA to stop their dirty tricks. #NixAllSix! 8/4/18.” See how to contact them and get an idea of what you could say here.
#NixAllSix and #SHAME signs – the right size for the galleries. Photo Credit: Arsidez Leon
Here is a polite version of a letter to use verbatim or as an example. Also see here where to look up your current state representatives too (not the ones in the November election). You are welcome to edit and use your own words. If you write them, it is likely their office will respond. If you call, less so.