We are in the home stretch of Crossover Week! Be warned there might be a flurry of last minute calls to action as the NCGA scrambles to get stuff pushed through before the midnight deadline tonight. Keep your eyes open here and on social media.
Thanks for all the work everyone is doing this week. Most of us never knew Crossover Week existed and we are making a difference.
A few updates from yesterday’s session:
SB-486 (Uniform Voting Hours)
This bill would “enforce” uniform voting hours across all precincts in the state. The positive spin: This bill would mandate that when voting hours are extended in one precinct in an election, voting hours have to be extended in every precinct in that same election. The negative spin: The bill states that the State Board of Elections, county board of elections or even a state court “is not authorized” to extend voting hours in one precinct unless voting hours are extended in every precinct. So, if in the case of the Durham precincts that were having issues with voting machines this last November, this bill could be interpreted to say those precincts were not allowed to stay open late. The bill passed in the Senate and still has to go to the House, but will likely face legal challenges for being unconstitutional.
HB-588 (Omnibus Gun Changes) and HB-746 (NC Constitutional Carry Act)
We highlighted both of these bills in Tuesday night’s blog post and both bills died in committee yesterday – woo hoo! Thanks to all who went down to witness committee meetings and sent emails to committee members. We are learning that we can have a big impact when bills are still in committee. Being an active participant in democracy can move the needle. Bad legislation will still get passed, but we are shining a light on the bad bills and can better hold our representatives accountable for that bad legislation.
Speaking of Bad Legislation . . .
It appears the American Health Care Act may be resurrected for a vote in the House of Representatives as early as tomorrow. They have been negotiating behind the scenes to try and get the Freedom Caucus on board. In our opinion these changes make a bad bill even worse.
A couple of articles worth reading on this:
RISE Together has put together a script on this issue: http://risetogethernc.org/call-to-action-42717/ In addition to calling our own NC state reps (see Stronger NC link above to understand their previous AHCA positions), we need to be putting pressure on moderate Republicans in the House to help them stay firm in their opposition to the bill.