The NC General Assembly (NCGA) session is really rolling. The cross-over deadline for bills passing in one chamber is May 9, so there's a flurry of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
We're taking a break from the bad and the ugly today to highlight some of the good bills that reflect our progressive values and have been filed by Democratic legislators:
- HB 574, Fix Our Democracy, an act:
- AMENDING THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH THE CITIZENS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION;
- REENACTING LEGISLATION THAT ESTABLISHED A NONPARTISAN METHOD OF ELECTING SUPREME COURT JUSTICES AND COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES BEGINNING 2020;
- EXTENDING THE WAITING PERIOD FOR FORMER LEGISLATORS WHO BECOME LOBBYISTS;
- MODERNIZING THE VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESS BY ESTABLISHING THE FAIR ELECTIONS PROGRAM;
- INCREASING TRANSPARENCY IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS BY REQUIRING FORTY-EIGHT HOURS NOTICE OF MEETINGS OF ALL LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES;
- AND DIRECTING THE LEGISLATIVE SERVICES OFFICER TO DEVELOP A PLAN TO PROVIDE LIVE VIDEO AND AUDIO STREAMING OF ALL MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS MEETING IN THE LEGISLATIVE COMPLEX.
- HB 589, Let NC Vote, an act:
- PROVIDING FOR AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION AT DRIVERS LICENSE OFFICES, PUBLIC AGENCIES, COMMUNITY COLLEGES, AND COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM;
- REQUIRING THE BIPARTISAN STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND ETHICS ENFORCEMENT TO IMPLEMENT AN OUTREACH CAMPAIGN INFORMING CITIZENS ABOUT AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION;
- ALLOWING INDIVIDUALS WHO MEET THE CRITERIA TO REGISTER TO VOTE OR CHANGE VOTER REGISTRATION ONLINE;
- REESTABLISHING SAME DAY REGISTRATION, INCLUDING ON ELECTION DAY;
- REESTABLISHING THE PROGRAM TO PREREGISTER 16 & 17-YEAR-OLDS;
- TO MAKE CHANGES TO PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE IN PERSON;
- AND TO RESTORE THE LAST SATURDAY OF EARLY ONE-STOP VOTING.
- HB 5, Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap, a clean Medicaid expansion bill
- SB 617, AN ACT REQUIRING A CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO FILE THE CANDIDATE'S FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN BEFORE THE CANDIDATE'S NAME APPEARS ON THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT
- SB 565, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (aka Red Flag Law)
- There are lots more, addressing public education, health care, the environment, gun safety, regulation of charter schools, mental health services in schools, collective bargaining, pregnanacy-related workplace discrimination - the list goes on.
Thanks to the Republican leadership, most of these bills will never see the light of day this year. BUT looking at what the Democrats have filed inspires me - WHAT IF the Democrats become the majority in 2020 and any or all of the bills listed above become law?!?
2020 is coming, and we have work to do! The Stamp NC Blue leadership team will meet in early May and connect with other progressive groups to develop a coordinated plan for the 2020 elections. FLIP NC has already started:
FLIP NC had a pivotal role in flipping two NC House seats in 2018, helping to break the GOP supermajority and elect more progressive voices to the NCGA. Their goals for 2019 and 2020 include protecting those hard-fought wins and flipping more seats so that we’ll have a real shot at fair maps in 2021. That work starts now! Join FLIP NC for their first canvass of 2019, when they’ll be talking to voters in Wake County, thanking them for voting (or finding out what would inspire them vote next time) and sharing what their newly elected representatives have been up to. FLIP NC’s data show that these authentic conversations are incredibly effective – they’re also really fun to have! If you haven’t canvassed before, they will pair you with an experienced canvasser, and there’s a pizza-and-beer debrief afterwards! You can sign up for that canvass and join their mailing list to stay up-to-date on their plans for 2019, including expansion into Alamance and Lee Counties. More info and sign-ups.
You Can Vote also is already working across the state to inform voters about the new voter ID requirements for 2020 (NOT 2019!), check out and share their voter education and registration events.
(Tags: NCGA, NCPol, Stamp NC Blue, Flip NC, You Can Vote)
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