Feb
15

Legislative Update

By

It’s been a busy session for the new Republican dominated North Carolina government. Here’s some other folks’ rundowns on what’s been happening:

AC-T:

F to North Carolina’s leaders for pressing ahead with a plan to radically slash unemployment benefits.
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The cuts mean the state can’t take advantage of long-term unemployment insurance supplied by the federal government. With a statewide unemployment rate still about 9 percent this is alarming.
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“If enacted, the legislation also would cut off all federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation — that is, benefits after 26 weeks of unemployment — to 170,000 unemployed North Carolinians.
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the state’s economy will lose $780 million in federal funds that are vital to reducing North Carolina’s high unemployment rate.”


Indyweek:

The house passed a bill that will reduce the maximum benefit allowance from $500 to $350 per week. It will also cut the number of weeks an unemployed person can receive benefits from 26 weeks to 20.
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North Carolina is already a right-to-work state. But legislators want to hold a referendum that would enshrine anti-union laws in the state constitution.
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Yes, it’s back. Senate Bill 76 would allow gas drilling ["fracking"] permits to be issued as early as 2015. It also authorizes McCrory to form a compact with the governors of Virginia and South Carolina to advocate for offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters, including sensitive areas off Cape Hatteras and Wrightsville Beach.

Charlotte Observer:

The Senate Rules Committee passed a bill on party lines Tuesday that fires every member of eight key boards and commissions. Once that dirty work is done, the bill states, the Republicans will replace them with their hand-picked substitutes.

That’s politics, you might say, but Sen. Bill Rabon’s bill goes far beyond routine politics. It’s one of the more blatant power grabs in state history, and would clear the way for unchecked ideological policymaking from commissions designed to be independent and non-ideological. It gets rid of public servants before their terms end and without regard to their expertise, experience or quality of service.


Comments

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    On the boards bill, the response to the “unprecedented” accusation seems to be: we have to do something about the fact that North Carolinians kept electing Democrats all those years.

    Here’s my question: someday the pendulum will shift back, and Democrats will be in charge again. When it does, will it be right for them to seize county properties and give them to the state’s cities? Fire all the oversight boards and pack them with new appointees? Introduce local issue bills with support from Democrats only? Do Moffitt, Ramsey, and Apodaca think about precedent at all?

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  2. trifecta says:

    Doug, the truth is democrats won’t retaliate this way.

    That is why the Republicans are filibustering Hagel. They know that the democrats won’t equally, or greater retaliate when they are in the minority again.

    If you don’t give a crap if government fails, it’s a lot easier to be reckless. If you want services to actually be done, you are more conciliatory and cautious.

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  3. Gordon Smith says:

    Here’s UNCTV’s Legislative Week in Review:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmoozifM3N4

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  4. Tom Sullivan says:

    Go to Legislative Week in Review timestamp 6:55 for coverage of the eminent domain bill. Note the special exemption for snatching public infrastructure at timestamp 8:00. The House and Chuck McGrady want a jury to decide how much individuals get compensated for having their property legally seized under eminent domain. But city taxpayers? Go suck eggs.

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