We welcome two new blog team members this week, scroll down to meet Kate Capehart today and come back tomrrow to meet Michele Sager!
Poor People's Campaign, rally for health & a healthy planet, Monday, June 4, 2-5pm
Democracy NC, Fair Votes, Fair Courts Day of Action, June 5, 2-5pm
League of Women Voters Civil Discourse Initiative Meeting, June 6, 6:30-8:30pm
Judicial redistricting bills
Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) said on Friday that he does not expect the NCGA to move forward with plans for statewide judicial redistricting or a constitutional amendment for a merit selection plan during this session. However, two House bills (HB 1037 and HB 717) and one Senate bill (SB 757) that represent a piecemeal approach to judicial redistricting ARE being considered. SB 757 is on the House calendar for what could be a final vote on Monday at 7pm; it has passed the Senate. HB 717 is on the agenda for the Senate Select Committee for Elections on Monday at 4pm.
From NC Policy Watch: "Senate Bill 757 splits up Wake and Mecklenburg district court districts, which means that those judges would no longer run for election in county-wide races. The plans do not double-bunk any judges, but two seats are eliminated in one proposed Mecklenburg County district. House Bill 1037 makes changes to superior and district court districts in Duplin, Jones, Sampson and Onslow counties, Hoke, Moore, Anson, Richmond and Scotland counties and Montgomery, Randolph and Stanly counties (Burr’s district). There is a proposed committee substitute (PCS) pending in the Senate to the overall statewide judicial redistricting bill, HB 717, but Lewis said it affects western districts and that lawmakers from the House and Senate are not in agreement, so it likely will fail." Read the whole piece at the link above.
What do you think about the proposed changes to judicial elections in several counties across NC? Let your NC state legislators know TODAY. Find your legislators here.
EDUCATION ACTION ALERT from the League of Women Voters, HB 514 is scheduled for a final vote in the Senate today, it's passed in the House. It changes the state education funding model by allowing cities and towns to pay for their own schools, including charters. ACT NOW, link has details.
Budget is a fait accompli
The NC budget, which was released late on Monday night, May 28, was passed by the House and Senate and sent to Gov. Cooper's desk on Friday afternoon. It moved very quickly because it was created behind closed doors by leaders of one party, and no discussion or amendments were allowed.
We're delighted to welcome Kate Capehart as a new blog writer. By day, Kate is a freelance writer with a degree in English and Creative Writing from UNC Chapel Hill. Also by day, she is a cat foster mom, an amateur baker, a coffee addict and a relentless pursuer of ways to pet dogs and restore democracy to our state and country. By night, she is asleep because doing all that is quite tiring. Look for Kate's first post soon!