June 25, 4pm update, URGENT The NC House will vote on photo ID, HB 1092, TONIGHT. We need to create a WAVE of activism to stop #voterID in North Carolina. Text VOTING RIGHTS to 44939 to contact your state representative NOW!
Read and share this updating action plan for helping immigrant families swept up in the human rights violations at our southern border. June 30 rallies are still on, and there's another rally in Raleigh on June 26.
This should be the last week of the NCGA short session, Speaker of the House Moore has said they plan to adjourn on June 30. Here's a summary of recent legislative actions compiled by our friends at Neighbors on Call.
This week will see votes on local issues and constitutional amendments (CAs). A 3/5 majority is needed to pass constitutional amendments that would appear on the November ballot, so there's a better-than-usual chance of having an impact. Read the NC Policy Watch Round-up and listen to the WRAL Thursday Wrap for more. Today we'll look at the two of the important CAs being considered today.
Require Photo ID to Vote, HB 1092. This is MAJOR, please email or call about this one NOW! The bill passed House Rules Committee and will be voted on by the House Monday/today, then go to the Senate. The only change to the original bill was adding language that exceptions may be included. The details of the voter identification process would be decided during a lame duck session in December, after voters approved the amendment, which means the same lawmakers could resurrect the same “monster voting law” they approved before that was struck down by the courts. Former NCGA senior legal counsel Gerry Cohen urged lawmakers to reject the voter ID bill, citing a variety of concerns, including the observation that enshrining "photo ID" in the state constitution is short-sighted, as photo IDs already are being replaced with new biometric technologies. NC would become the only state to have photo ID (not the more general "voter ID") in its state constitution. None of this mattered. Read more about why this is a bad idea.
Judicial Vacancy Sunshine Amendment, SB 814. This bill would transfer judicial vacancy appointment power from the governor to the legislature. It's a separation of powers issue and is likely to be taken to court if it passes. Roughly 20% of judicial seats turn over during a four-year term, so this is an important. Judicial nominees would be submitted by the public and rated as qualified or unqualified by a "merit commission." Lawmakers then would select two judicial nominees to submit to the governor for appointment. Those nominees, however, do not have to be from the merit commission. The language of the amendment is so vague that lawmakers could actually submit one “qualified” candidate and one “unqualified” candidate to the governor, effectively giving them the power to appoint judges. The Senate Judiciary Committee meets at 1pm to consider it, so customize this Democracy NC email to write to the whole committee at once!
Another bill (not a CA) that's on the Senate calendar for Monday/today is Asheville City Council Districts, SB 813. Citizens of Asheville overwhelmingly oppose this bill to change how they elect their city council. Its passage could open the way for the NCGA to get even more involved in local goverment matters. Read more about it here and here.
Contact your lawmakers and tell them what you think about these constitutional amendments. Even if you don't think they'll listen, it's our responsibility to let them know voters care!