Ok, folks. Here is what happened in today’s episode of “NCGA Crossover Week”.
HB-249 (aka Economic Terrorism bill)
Good news – this bill failed in committee by a 6-5 vote! This is a win for the First Amendment as the bill would have criminalized peaceful protesting in North Carolina. Thanks to all of the folks who observed committee meetings today. There is no way to know what the outcome would have been had observers not been present, but watching the room does change behavior. McGrady, Michoux, and Harrison all opposed the bill. Michaux had a classic quote about the bill that has been shared widely on Twitter: “This bill that you have here is a piece of abomination that should be confined to the streets of hell forever”
As a leading contender for most asinine bill of the year, HB-330 passed out of Judicial 1 committee today. House Bill 330 would basically make it legal for drive to run over protesters in the street. Go figure. For the life of us, we can’t figure out why this bill is necessary.
This bill passed a House judiciary committee on Tuesday by a vote of 7-5, and next goes to a vote of the full House. The bill is a renewed attempt by Republicans to continue to whittle away the governor’s powers by limiting his choices in appointing judges and prosecutors to fill vacancies. In other words #CarolinaCoup, part two. It would affect state Supreme Court justices, appeals court and superior court judges and district attorneys.
The vote to override of Governor Cooper’s veto of this bill passed the House this morning. The bill strips Cooper’s ability to control boards of elections. As the courts have already struck down its predecessor, SB-4, from the original Carolina Coup back in December for being unconstitutional, you can expect legal action on this one as well.
After being discussed in the Senate Education Committee last night, the Senate passed their amended bill without any reference to funding, ignoring Sen Chaudhuri’s requested amendment. Now it goes to the House so the CTA is to ask the House to vote No unless additional funding included.
Heads Up for Tomorrow
Moms Demand Action is issuing an urgent call to action on Omnibus Gun Changes (H588; an omnibus gun bill that would not only repeal our background check system but also allow guns on college campuses) and NC Constitutional Carry Act (H746;a bill that would remove the permitting requirements for the concealed carry of handguns in NC). They are asking people to meet at 9:30 outside NCGA and attend Judiciary IV @10am.
1) These bills will be heard at the committee hearing.
2) If they pass this notoriously gun-friendly committee, then they can proceed to the floor of the House of Representatives for their 2nd and 3rd readings.
3) After a vote, the bills are ready to cross over to the Senate, just ahead of the Thursday deadline.
Nothing like a deadline to get the gun lobby moving. Let’s get people down there to show them that we’re watching. If you can’t attend, email your state reps and simply say No to HB-588 or No to HB-746 in the subject header. You can elaborate on your position in the email, but keep the subject heads simple so it’s easy for the reps to do a quick scan on public sentiment.