This week action focused on piecemeal budget bills with local targets and one major budget item, pay for teachers. The legislature keeps passing bills to allow various businesses to open during the pandemic, and the governor continues to veto them. The Senate passed a bill to allow people to carry guns to church services held in schools and a bill that would allow local areas to hold July 4 parades and other activities in spite of the restrictions the governor has ordered for the pandemic.
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.
Posted in legislative update, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga, state budget issues, voting
Tagged legislative update, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga, state budget, voting
Pro-choice Signature Ad Appeal (2020)
As the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision approaches, it is important for us to take a stand and make a public statement in support of the rights it protects. We invite you to join us in signing our annual pro-choice signature ad. The war against women’s reproductive rights has escalated to unprecedented heights. A slew of abortion ban bills were introduced around the country in 2019. See a few examples in the NC and Other State Abortion Bans – What Are We Looking At?
Wide Shot of the Stop The Ban Rally in Raleigh. This is not all of us! Photo Credit: Sam Bennett
In North Carolina, we’ve just experienced one of the least productive legislative sessions in North Carolina history. The NC General Assembly finally adjourned in November with no more damage done to reproductive rights—but the threats are real and ongoing. Our governor vetoed an outrageous bill claiming to protect born-alive fetuses from murder on the grounds that existing law already protects born-alive infants. Other equally outrageous bills were introduced, but died in committee. Anti-abortion forces no longer enjoy free reign to implement their extreme agenda here in North Carolina—with one major exception.
The keynote speaker for North Carolina NOW’s 2019 State Conference is state Representative Deb Butler, who represents downtown Wilmington and parts of Brunswick County.
Rep. Butler gained national attention for her impassioned rebuke of House Speaker Tim Moore after he called for a vote on Governor Cooper’s veto of the state budget during a session that Democrats and the media had been told would be a non-voting session. Republican representatives, by contrast, had been told to “be in your seats.”
Lois Roewade from Pfafftown didn’t mince any words in her LTE, titled “Taxpayer-funded propaganda,” which ran in the 8/3/19 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal. Find it at The Readers’ Forum: Saturday letters.
Currently the N.C. legislature is at a budget stalemate over the issue of Medicaid expansion, which would provide affordable, quality health care to approximately 500,000 people. The cost? About $2.13 billion, 90% of which would be reimbursed by federal dollars and the rest paid by hospitals and health plans. (Source: NC state budget).
But there’s another way to help reduce the cost. Eliminate the $2.64 million budgeted for crisis pregnancy centers. Of this total, $1.2 million is directed to the Texas-based Human Coalition, a virulently anti-abortion, anti-contraception, social media-focused organization that blatantly promotes Christian theology all over its website, blog and printed materials.
Quote from Lois Roewade
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/
You can go directly to the full legislative update, NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #24 (29Jul19), which includes the week’s summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist. Summary includes the state budget impasse and a lawmaker has resigned his seat after pleading guilty to cyberstalking his estranged wife.
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. The Winston-Salem Journal reported, “As has been the pattern for 11 consecutive sessions, neither the veto override vote nor the bipartisan Medicaid expansion legislation House Bill 655 was addressed.” “The next opportunity will come Monday night [7/29/19], which would represent Day 32 of the stalemate.” See: https://www.journalnow.com/news/state/n-c-house-pushes-possible-votes-on-state-budget-veto/article_00c86259-3fb7-5758-9ed5-9aff47c9c693.html
Posted in budget, cyberstalking, domestic violence, Medicaid, medicaid expansion, state budget issues, veto
Tagged budget, cyberstalking, domestic violence, medicaid, medicaid expansion, state budget
A coalition of organizations held a community conversations event “Public Education, Medicaid Expansion and the State Budget” in Fayetteville on Thursday, 7/25/19. Attendees heard from many very well qualified speakers on two panels – the first panel included community leaders, doctors, patients on need for Medicaid Expansion and returning public education to place of importance in state, and the second panel included some history of Medicaid expansion in NC and current shenanigans and chances with past and present lawmakers.
Early full house from back Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
Posted in ACA, education, health care, Medicaid, medicaid expansion, Obamacare, Obamacare, public education, state budget issues, tax giveaways, teachers
Tagged ACA, health care, medicaid, medicaid expansion, Obamacare, state budget, state budget issues, tax giveaways, teachers
The state budget that passed the NC General Assembly in 2019 funnels at least $2.64 million to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to pursue their anti-abortion agenda. More money is being sent to some of these organizations even though even though the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has serious problems with them.
Crisis Pregnancy Center Protest
Photo Credit: Whole Woman’s Health Blog, 2017
The breakdown of millions of dollars to anti-abortion organizations is as follows:
Posted in abortion, budget, church and state separation, clinic violence, CPC, state budget issues
Tagged abortion, church and state separation, clinic violence, CPC, state budget, state budget issues
NC NOW Legislative Update #6, 11 Mar 19 includes the ERA bills filed on 3/5/19 while women and allies filled the Legislative Building with hours of activities. It also talks about Governor Cooper’s budget and what we may expect this session.
March 5 was an exciting day at the General Assembly. Bills for North Carolina to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) were introduced in both the House (HB271) and the Senate (SB184). The ERA-NC Alliance (North Carolina NOW is an lead member organization) organized events that brought over 150 ERA advocates to the General Assembly to advocate for the ERA, hear speeches, participate in a press conference, and lobby legislators to sign on as sponsors the bills. So far all Democratic members of the House and Senate are sponsors. The halls were filled with women wearing green and white and waving ERA YES rounds. Thirty-eight states are needed to ratify the ERA, and 37 have already done so. Let’s make North Carolina number 38!
One of the groups of women and allies at NCGA on 3/5/19, Photo Credit: Aylett Colston