North Carolina legislators were cooking up some particularly noxious potions yesterday here in one of Charlie Pierce’s Laboratories of Democracy. Pay attention. North Carolina has become wingnut DARPA for this stuff.
The NC state legislature adjourned for the year about the time I got up to write this. Twitter and email lit up last night after all the turds they’d kept plugged up in the legislative pipeline until the very last all spewed out into public view at once. Much like the infamous “motorcycle vagina” bill of 2013, some of the worst appeared as surprise revisions to other bills.
Ironically, a colleague yesterday noticed that sometime after September 2012 our local GOP website had quietly removed its “Principles” page from its website. They included “I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.” Well, yesterday the “closest to the people” people in the state capitol attempted to prevent local governments in North Carolina from doing anything remotely progressive:
“This bill includes pages and pages of bans on local ordinances including banning living wage ordinances, local affordable housing ordinances and nondiscrimination ordinances,” wrote Burns, a Democrat and frequent critic of the legislature. “This bill would prevent cities such as Raleigh, Apex, Wake Forest or the County of Wake from passing and implementing many ordinances that result in progress.
North Carolina Policy Watch’s Progressive Pulse spelled out what SB 279 might do:
Many of the new restrictions are highly charged, including provisions that could allow local landlords to deny housing to veterans and seniors, permit local businesses to discriminate against their customers based on their sexual orientation, and prohibit city and county governments from passing living wage and paid sick ordinances to boost their local economies. One shocking provision may even stop local governments from requiring landlords to provide heating, air, and ventilation in their properties.
That one was attached to a bill on qualifications for professional counselors. It got sent back to committee to die. For now. It was so noxious even Republicans wouldn’t vote for it.
— William Osborne (@wosborne321) September 30, 2015
Another sought to transfer even more money from public education to charter schools. That one died too. For now.
— Jess Clark (@jessclarkNC) September 30, 2015
This session in Raleigh was supposed to be over long ago. But as I said the other day, the NCGOP has been out of power for so long, it doesn’t know how to lead, even if it wanted to. In the New York Times,
Geoffrey Kabaservice said the same of Washington: “The extremists have the ability to disrupt the Congress, but not to lead it.” Except to ruin.
A change is gonna come.
— Rob Schofield (@Rob_Schofield) September 30, 2015
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)