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.
The House Rejects the Senate’s Budget
The House has voted unanimously to reject the Senate budget (House Bill 97), and the final compromise budget will be negotiated by a conference committee behind closed doors. Considering what happened in the conference committee for House Bill 836: Election Modifications, it looks like anything goes.
House Bill 836: Election Modifications
In a surprise move, the conference committee on House Bill 836 added a provision to allow voting without the photo identification required under a law that will go into effect next year. The move was a complete surprise because the normal process for a conference committee is to work out a compromise bill by accepting some differences between the House and Senate versions and rejecting others. Although doing so is not explicitly prohibited, a conference committee adding entirely new material to a bill is unheard of—until now. Senator Josh Stein of Wake County called it a “joke of a process.”