NC General Assembly 2013

'Not ready for prime time:' Greensboro paper pans H589

Editorial on the omnibus elections law bill (H589) from the Greensboro News Record:

Gov. Pat McCrory had the right idea when he decided not to hold a public ceremony while signing the state’s sweeping — and repressive — new voting changes into law. There was no sense in calling more attention to this legislative travesty that makes it harder for North Carolinians to vote.

Instead, the governor put out a limp, 96-second video that was about as misleading as last fall’s campaign ads in which he pledged to put politics aside and work for all of North Carolina. On YouTube, McCrory’s latest video is titled “Governor McCrory Signs Popular Voter ID into Law.” A more accurate title might be “Governor Ignores Most of New Law’s Meanest Provisions and Is Promptly Sued.”

The 2013 General Assembly session by the numbers

The 2013 General Assembly session by the numbers
By Mark Binker

from http://www.wral.com/of-the-perfect-/12781694/

One of the most basic duties a lawmaker carries out during session is mashing the red or green button during recorded votes on the House or Senate floor. While plenty of hard bargains and hard luck lurk behind the numbers, vote totals can tell part of the story behind the 2013 legislative session.

Binker reports on quickies like this--most red member of the House: Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, voted most often with the majority, 98.8 % of her votes were with the majority.

And from the loyal opposition, her opposite: Of those who served a full term, Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, voted against the GOP majority the most, 74 percent of the time. She is virtually tied with Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham.

Some more interesting tidbits here for political junkies. Check it out.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird has resigned

WRAL News at noon reporting that Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Chapel Hill) has resigned effective today. News will follow on WRAL.com.

Sen. Kinnaird has been a fighter for the underdog and a strong progressive influence in the NCGA for years.

She plans to launch a project to ensure people have the identification required to vote under a new state law. Kinnaird has served in the Senate for 17 years.

ALEC diagram of power, access, and money

"Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) told the press 'we really believe in transparency,' new documents show the organization directing legislators to hide ALEC meeting agendas and model legislation from the public."

Read more: http://bit.ly/16eApZd from CommonDreams.org

Great image of the cycle of money, influence peddling, and state government bills.

NC Republicans ask voters: 'Who's your Daddy?'

Last fall, voters across North Carolina made their choices at the ballot box. In the next general election we will see whether they still like those they chose.

I recently read a post from state Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover. He explains why he and Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, introduced a bill taking away our choice to vote a straight ticket. Republicans like more choice in theory. Because freedom. But they insist on taking away this choice. Plus a few others.

If you’re a city, why bother?

If you’re a city, why bother?

Why bother building airports or water systems or tennis courts or roads or, well, anything?

"It’s a legitimate question, now that the Republican representatives Tim Moffitt, Nathan Ramsey and Chuck McGrady — may I call them “The Three Spigoteers?” — have filed the bill that would turn over Asheville’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

That’s with no compensation for land the city bought and owns for reservoirs, or the system itself — water treatment plant, pipes, infrastructure, you name it..."

Read more of the column from the Citizen-Times in Asheville:
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013303310048
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-submitted at request of Ellen Lyle, an activist in Asheville, who can be contacted by email at ellendlyle@gmail.com

Tue. Mar 12: Public Hearing, Voter ID

Tue Mar 12: Public Hearing, Voter ID
4pm in Rm. 643, Legislative Office Bldg.

Wake County Democratic Party Chair Dan Blue pointed out that this voter suppression bill (which will pass) still deserves wide publicity and study across the state and not just by politicos in Raleigh. But it won't get that unless there is a public outcry from the many thousands of voters who are at risk of losing their voting rights.

If you can, attend the public hearing. If you cannot attend, listen in on NC Voter Radio or through the audio link at www.ncleg.net online.

“It’s odd that we have a constitutional right to vote,” [said] Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham. “This voter ID bill is something of a solution looking for a problem.” Michaux noted that voters who cast absentee ballots are not asked for photo ID.

DHHS Secretary "explains" state of the agency

If you missed Vos' presentation to the Joint Committee this morning (as I did), you can watch the video over the net here:

WRAL.com:
DHHS Secretary explains state of the agency


State Department of Health and Human Service Sec. Aldona Wos gives a presentation to the Joint Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services on the state of the agency after a week of scrutiny.

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I have been listening to the video online, and I have never seen a presentation like it in my days at the General Assembly. Overall impression: this woman is in way over her head.

'On the Record': Reps. Deborah Ross, Jim Fulghum of Wake County


On the Record: Reps. Deborah Ross, Jim Fulghum of Wake County

Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, and Rep. Jim Fulghum, R-Wake, go On the Record about what has already happened in the early stages of this legislative session and what appears to be on the horizon

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Roundtable discussion with Laura Leslie of WRAL.com and David Crabtree of WRAL with their invited guests from the NCGA. (Video)

NC General Assembly action

State Auditor Beth Wood to discuss Medicaid Audit

The Senate Committee on Appropriations on Health and Human Services will meet at the following time:

ROOM 643 Legislative Office Building, Jones Street, Raleigh
Thursday February 14, 2013 8:30 AM

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NC Secretary of Health & Human Services Wos to present priorities for NCGA biennium to Joint Committee Meeting next Wednesday.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations on Health and Human Services will meet at the following time: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:30 AM

ROOM 643 Legislative Office Building, Jones Street, Raleigh

(for more info see www.ncleg.net for the NCGA legislative calendar and contact information)

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