Raleigh NOW did an action at their August meeting to write LTEs on inappropriateness of taxpayer money going to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which are also known as anti-abortion clinics and fake clinics. Some of these were written when the Senate’s state budget was available, allocating $4 million to CPCs and anti-abortion organizations. Later, it came out that the NC House was allocating $9 million to CPCs and anti-abortion organizations!! Both should be allocating NOTHING. Others are writing about this too. If you write something, please email it to me or post here, whether it gets published or not.
Yes, the legislature is still in session. And, no, there is still no agreement between the House and the Senate on the budget. Can we look forward to an agreement soon? No, because Senate leader Phil Berger has said that we should not expect a budget until the end of September or the beginning of October. But his prediction will need to be updated because there has been a complicating development.
What happened to “separation of church and state”? I was shocked to learn that my NC tax dollars are being used to support anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (“CPCs”) in the House version of the state budget for $9 million. The mission of these CPCs is to eradicate abortion as an option for pregnant women.
HB 608 has passed the Senate, this bill makes significant reforms in the treatment of women prisoners. We are expecting unconstitutional districts from the legislative majority again. Then more on the budget process and what happened two years ago.
Take actions on up to 4 issues. In fact, for each issue, you can write your representative, write a letter to the editor, or both!
Stop state funding of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. CPCs don’t act in the interest of the majority of N.C. women. They are private, often religious based, organizations whose goal is to undermine a woman’s reproductive rights. They are not staffed by medical professionals. They use scare tactics to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose to end a pregnancy.
Senate Bill 35 has passed the House and has been placed on the Senate calendar for final approval on August 16. This bill raises the marriage age to 16 under all circum-stances, including pregnancy, requires parental consent for marriage at age 16 or 17, and further requires that there must be no more than a 4-year age difference between the parties to allow marriage under age 18. The bill is expected to pass. Currently, children as young as 14 can marry in this state, a situation that has made North Carolina a go-to state for child marriages. Last year, for example, two-thirds of marriage license applications in Buncombe County, a county that includes Asheville, were from out-of staters seeking to marry underage partners. We are finally ready to close the book on that ugly chapter. Also talking about state budget, Governor Cooper’s priorities, and how state budget defectors take leverage away from the governor.
Kathy Greggs, a US Army combat veteran from Fayetteville, went to the Legislature to speak to the state House Appropriations Committee for Health and Human Services to urge lawmakers to expand Medicaid, expand workers’ rights, and pass affordable housing protections. Although Greggs and others were able to sign up to speak, they were told they couldn’t speak. Greggs didn’t accept that. Here is what happened.
Normally during a short session the budget passed during the long session is tweaked, and funding for a few local projects is passed. Budgets passed by the General Assembly cover a two-year period. This year the situation is much more complicated because last year the governor vetoed the budget bill backed by Republicans and no substitute budget bill was ever passed. Instead we are operating by using the level of funding contained in the previous budget supplemented by a series of “mini budget” passed last session that funded certain departments or items. 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 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. This is no way to run a state.
The NC legislature is back in session. See the bills on which they are allowed to consider during the short session (in 2020). 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. Read what is happening with state budget, Medicaid expansion, and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.