RSVP for the free Neighbors on Call Election Skills Fair on Sept 15, 2-4pm, Seymour Center, Chapel Hill. Meet NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls (we wrote postcards to help elect her in 2018!) and NC State Senator Jeff Jackson, plus a bunch of other progressive NC legislators and candidates. Learn about the 2020 voter photo ID requirements and how YOU can best help get out the vote for NC's progressive candidates in 2020 - in addition to writing postcards with Stamp NC Blue 😀!
Have some free time and want to help with last-minute phone- or text-banking for the NC CD 3 & 9 races? Phone bank from home for Dan McCready. Register to text for Allen Thomas here. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to phone bank from home for Thomas or chip in for billboards in Craven County.
With Dorian moving in, both these districts may be affected on election day, as is early voting, sadly. Seems like these folks can't catch a break. Find lots of hurricane readiness resources, including an app, at Ready NC.
Let's take one more victory lap about yesterday's partisan gerrymandering decision, read and savor Kate's coverage! Learn more about the court ruling and what it means in this new post from our friends at Stronger NC. The House Redistricting Committee just posted a meeting on Monday, Sept 9, 1pm, in 643 LOB. If you can't show up in person, email one (David.Lewis@ncleg.net) or all of the committee members to let them know you expect them to have read the court ruling and finally follow it to create fair maps. AND remember that fair maps only help if we GET OUT THE VOTE IN 2020!
There's not much to report this week from the NC General Assembly. They've been off for Labor Day and are scheduled to return on Sept 10, so there's not a lot happening this week - mostly the ongoing LACK OF ACTION on the budget stalemate and Tim Moore's daily posting of the budget bill on the House calendar in hopes of finding a literal minute when there aren't enough Democrats in the chamber to vote against overriding Gov Cooper's veto. SAD.
The Republican leadership shifted strategy last week and began passing “mini-budgets” for specific line-items. Democrats have supported some (pay raises for most state employees and correctional officers), but not others (Medicaid Transformation funding, pay raises for non-certified school personnel). There will likely be a mini-budget bill on teacher raises when the legislature returns. These mini-budget bills are political theater in advance of the 2020 elections (Democrat X voted AGAINST funding ...) that reflect the breakdown of any willingness to discuss and compromise on important issues (eg, public education, Medicaid Expansion, environmental protection) facing our state. NC Policy Watch, WRAL. And continuing to cost taxpayers for every day they're in session, of course.
A bit of catch-up:
- Gov Cooper vetoed HB 555, Medicaid Transformation Implementation. This is NOT Medicaid expansion, it pertains to the planned transition to managed care for current Medicaid recipients, scheduled to start on Nov 1. Cooper believes this funding should be part of a comprehensive health care plan that includes Medicaid expansion. There are enough votes to protect Cooper's veto, so this bill is dead and the transition is delayed once again. We're with Cooper.
- Republican leadership has come up with the idea of giving some NC taxpayers a whooping $125 "refund" from the state "surplus," HB 74, Taxpayer Refund Act. NC Policy Watch explains why that's such a bad idea - because the state has unmet needs for things like Medicaid expansion, school construction, public school funding, hurricane rebuilding, and environmental protection. Let your NC legislators know you oppose this bill, copy email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The school Testing Reduction Act of 2019, SB 621, was presented to Gov Cooper on Aug 28. Read more about it and other education-related bills with recent action from the NC School Boards Association.
- Gov Cooper let SB 86, Small Business Health Care Act, become law without his signature. We're disappointed, but some Democrats supported the bill so a veto override was likely. It allows new "association health plans" that aren’t required to cover essential health benefits, can charge more to people with pre-existing conditions, and increase premiums in the traditional insurance market by cherry-picking healthy populations. Some folks are happy, we'll see how it works out.
And for the week of Labor Day, our friends at the NC Justice Center's Budget and Tax Center just released their annual report, State of Working North Carolina, Equity in Employment. "The report details the continued failure of the economic recovery to extend to communities of color and rural communities, as well as the broad-based effects of inequities in employment, including poorer health and well-being and lower participation in civic life." The co-authors of the report will summarize their findings in a free, 30-minute webinar on Sept 10, 2pm. Register here.
Progress NC Action is collecting stories about what the Labor Movement has meant to individuals. Share your story (or your family's) here.
Tags: (NC Budget, NCGA, NC Economy, NCPol)
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