AAUW NC Public Policy Priorities 2009-2010

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AAUW of North Carolina bases its public policy priorities on the principles laid out in the AAUW biennial public policy program.

That document is approved by the AAUW members at the biennial national convention. This document was updated at the 2009 AAUW Convention in St. Louis. No issues in the previous document  were removed. One priority, “Freedom in definition of family and guarantee of civil rights in all family structures,” was added.

Based on those principles, and with knowledge of specific issues related to North Carolina,  AAUW NC has joined coalitions supporting the following bills from the 2009-2010 session of the North Carolina General Assembly:

  • Paid sick day legislation (vote at the spring 2008 board meeting)
    • S534/H177. For more information on the Healthy Families and Healthy Workplaces Act see www.ncsickdays.org.
    • This is also a national AAUW priority.
    • It appears this didn’t get out of committee in the 2009 session, so will not go forward in North Carolina until 2011. Watch for updates on the related federal bill, and see this alert from AAUW.
  • School Violence Prevention Act, anti-bullying to protect an enumerated list of groups (vote at the fall 2008 board meeting)
    • S526/H548. For more information see this Women’s Advocacy Day handout and this additional site.
    • Work against bullying has been a long-time AAUW issue. While our work, such as Hostile Hallways, has focused primarily on sexual harassment, we understand the issues of other triggers for bullying.
    • This passed the Senate on May 6, and the House on June 23.
    • Signed by the Governor on June 30!
  • The Healthy Youth Act that would provide a parental option for comprehensive sex education (after notifying the branches we joined the coalition based on the AAUW principle of providing programs that meet the needs of girls in elementary and secondary education).
    • S221/H88. For more info see this Women’s Advocacy Day handout.
    • This passed the House on April 16, and the Senate on June 25.
    • The conference committee did leave in the language that deleted parents’ choice in favor of presenting both abstinence-based and “real” sex ed to all students in North Carolina.
    • Signed by the Governor on June 30!
  • Voter Pre-Registration and Education is a bill that allows 16 and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote. (Branches and board members notified spring 2009.)

In addition, AAUW of North Carolina is a member of the North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections coalition which endorses the following bills that are supportive of the AAUW principle of meaningful campaign finance reform.

  • Expand Voter-Owned Elections, H586, S966 Give candidates for Council of State agency heads a voluntary option to finance their campaigns using a publicly supported fund but only if hundreds of registered voters authorize them to do so.
    • For more information, see the Women’s Advocacy Day handout.
    • This bill affects appropriations, so can be considered in the 2010 session, even though it did not pass either chamber in 2009.
    • Aug 14 update: In addition, S20, a bill to add the state treasurer’s office to the list of those eligible for public financing, did pass the Senate on August 6 and will be considered in the House during the 2010 session. See NCVCE press release for details.
  • Public Municipal Campaigns, H120. Authorize publicly financed campaigns at the local level for any city in NC.

To find the contact information for your legislators, go to http://ncleg.net  and use the “Member Lookup” in the right hand column. If you don’t know your legislators’ names, use the NCLeg.net Representation page, and search by district, zip code, or find your record in the voter registration system.

See also the  “Policy on Endorsing Proposed NC Legislation” [approved, Oct. 10, 2009 as part of the AAUW NC Policies and Procedures which can be found in the Documents section of this web site.]