2011 NC Public Policy Priorities

UPDATE: This reflects the bill status at end of 2011. See the Public Policy Project for details on what issues are being monitored closely through 2012.

Here is the current status of bills that were identified in the Spring 2011 handout for AAUW NC members, along with a two new issues. It is possible that some of these issues were moved to different bill numbers. If you have any updates to the underlying issues, please do contact info@aauwnc.org and this page will be updated.

Click the link on the bill number for the details.

Another issue that will be important to us all is the affect of the  budget cuts on education at all levels. Watch for more information on that, and if you want to get involved, please contact info@aauwnc.org.

EDUCATION

HB 7 (Cleveland) COMM. COLLEGES/OPT OUT OF FED’L LOAN PROGRAM

  • Would allow community colleges’ trustees to opt their schools out of having a counselor to inform students about federal loan programs.
  • Passed. Governor vetoed in April. No override as of July 19.
  • However, these provisions were implemented for some schools in a variety of local bills that the Governor cannot veto, and a similarly titled HB 134 was passed.

HB 11 (Cleveland) NO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION/ ILLEGAL ALIENS

  • Would prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending community colleges in NC
  • Died in education committee

SB 8 (Stevens, R.) NO CAP ON NUMBER OF CHARTER SCHOOLS

  • Would eliminate the current cap of 100 charter schools in the state.
  • Passed, Gov. signed – before passage it was amended so that there were some limits on charter school growth (yearly percentage) and the State Board of Education still has most of the controls. The charter schools are now allowed to charge some fees that they could not in the past.

HB 41 (Stam) TAX FAIRNESS IN EDUCATION

  • Would allow tax credits for parents who choose not to send their children to public schools and would authorize counties to provide funds to children in non-public schools.
  • Died in Education Committee

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

HB 93 (Howard) MODIFY REFUNDABILITY OF EITC

  • Would eliminate refunds of the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Was replaced by a bill on a very different issue
  • The related bill in the Senate, SB 117 died in the Finance Committee
  • This will, however, expire at the end of 2012 without additional legislative action.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

SB 73 (Daniel) “CHOOSE LIFE” SPECIAL PLATE
Included in H289(Gillespie) AUTHORIZE VARIOUS SPECIAL PLATES

  • Would authorize the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to issue a “Choose Life” license plate
  • The omnibus bill was passed and signed by the Governor.
  • The state branch of the ACLU filed suit in early September arguing that having a “Choose Life” plate without a corresponding “Respect Choice” or equivalent was a free speech violation.

HB 854 (Samuelson) ABORTION – A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO KNOW (new issue)

  • Would require a 24-hour waiting period and specific information given to a pregnant woman before an abortion may be performed.
  • Passed. Governor vetoed. The legislature overrode the veto, so this bill becomes law.
  • On September 29, 2011 the ACLU, Planned Parenthood affiliates and other organizations filed suit challenging the constitutionality of this law.

H200 – Budget – defunding of Planned Parenthood (new issue)

  • One section of the budget says: “Department of Health and Human Services may not provide State funds or other funds administered by the Department for contracts or grants to Planned Parenthood, Inc., and affiliated organizations”.
  • The budget was passed, the Governor vetoed it (not solely based on this issue) and her veto was overridden.
  • Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit to challenge this provision. (Article from the News & Observer; Column from The Independent; Editorial from the Herald-Sun)
  • On August 18, Judge Beaty issued a preliminary injunction against the defunding. Stay tuned. (News & Observer article)

CIVIL RIGHTS

SB 106 (Forrester)/HB 177 (Lewis) DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE

  • Would amend the constitution to provide marriage between a man and woman as the only domestic legal union that is valid or recognized in North Carolina
  • In a special session the week of September 12, both the Senate and House approved putting the measure on the May 2012 primary ballot. See SB514 for details.
  • Please see Equality NC for additional info. Ways to take action to oppose this amendment.

HEALTHY FAMILIES AND WORKPLACES

HB 223 (Adams)

  • Would provide that all workers have paid sick days to address their own health needs and the health needs of others.
  • Died in the Commerce and Job Development Committee

NOTES