The General Assembly on Monday overrode Governor Perdue’s vetoes of three bills. By doing so they gutted the Racial Justice Act, revised the budget for 2012-13, and moved ahead with fracking. The outcome was not in doubt in the Senate. In fact, several Senate Democrats had excused absences and didn’t even show up for the votes. The drama was in the House. [...]
Continue reading A Bad Day for Veto Overrides
The General Assembly has passed S 820 and sent it to the Governor. This is the bill that would move North Carolina farther down the road toward extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, a technique which has had serious impact on health, environment, and safety in other states.
Suggested Action: Call the Governor’s Office and ask her to VETO S 820, the fracking bill. The best number to call is (919) [...]
Continue reading Ask the Governor to Veto Fracking Bill
The House of Representatives has voted 73-47 to gut the Racial Justice Act. The vote was on S 416, a bill originally about using tire retreads on school buses. The House stripped out the original content and replaced it with language limiting the use of statistical evidence to show racial bias in the death penalty. Because this was done by amending an already-passed Senate bill, S 416 will go back to the Senate only for [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report — House Votes to Gut Racial Justice Act
George Reed, Editor Robert L. Mason, Intern Associate
Fracking Clean Energy and Economic Security Act Domestic Energy Policy Underground Injection Ban Fracking Contracts/Against Public Policy Sale of Children Senate’s Budget
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a natural gas extraction process that uses high-pressure fluids to open up fractures in gas-bearing rock formations. This extraction method involves first drilling a gas well vertically and then drilling horizontally through gas-bearing shale rock to access natural [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report June 12 Update
Two time-sensitive issues for advocates: 1) A vote to override the Governor’s veto of the Racial Justice Act could come up any time. 2) There is a lobby day tomorrow in opposition to fracking. We will send more information on fracking, including other related bills, later in the week. If you cannot attend the lobby day, note the suggestion below of calling your senator and representative tomorrow.
Racial Justice Act Veto Override
Raleigh Report [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report: Racial Justice Act Veto Override and Lobby Day to Stop Fracking Bill
The General Assembly leadership is committed to having this short session truly be short, and there’s talk of adjourning by early July. In fact, an adjournment resolution was introduced yesterday with a target date of June 19. This session, which starts in May of even-numbered years, is primarily to tweak the second year of the budget adopted the year before. In addition, certain bills which were introduced last year (mostly ones which passed in one house) can be considered. For a new bill to be introduced this year, it must fit into one of a few specific categories, with most new bills having to do with budgetary matters or coming from a study commission which met during the interim. Finally, pending veto overrides are also thought by the House and Senate leadership to be eligible for consideration.
Also in this Raleigh Report: Guns in Church, Gambling, Death Penalty, Boards and Commissions and more. [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report – June 1, 2012
A Legislative Advocacy Toolkit is now available from the Council. The toolkit provides a wealth of information for people of faith who want to be effective as grass-roots lobbyists, especially with the state’s General Assembly. Information includes how to register and vote, how to get information on a bill, how to contact your legislators (and how to find out who they are), and more. It is the perfect companion piece to Raleigh Report, the Council’s [...]
Continue reading Legislative Advocacy Toolkit Now Available
The General Assembly convened this past Wednesday for its regular “short session.” As always, the primary purpose of the short session is to tweak the budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1, but there are several other important issues either still rattling around from last year or being newly introduced. Because we have colleagues working on many of these issues, this edition of Raleigh Report will be made up mostly of information [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report — May 18 Update
Several additional legislative days have been announced. Among them are:
HKonJ, People of Color Justice and Unity Legislative Day is Wednesday, May 23. The opening session will be at Raleigh’s First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street at 9:00. The group will then march to the General Assembly Building, where there will be a press conference at 11:00, followed by legislative visitations. For more info, contact HKonJ at 919-682-4700.
The Duke Center for Child and Family [...]
Continue reading Upcoming Legislative Days and a Revenue Plan
I am writing you with a last-minute appeal to get to the polls for next Tuesday’s election, when voters decide whether to amend the state constitution, defining marriage between a man and a woman as “the only domestic legal union” inNorth Carolina. In addition to inserting discrimination based on sexual orientation into our constitution, the amendment would also have consequences for couples, straight or gay, who have not married, and for their children. [...]
Continue reading Keep Discrimination Out of the NC Constitution — Vote May 8
The lead case applying the historic and ground-breaking NC Racial Justice Act (RJA) concluded today with a judicial finding of race discrimination in the operation of the death penalty in North Carolina.
North Carolina Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks found that prosecutors deliberately excluded qualified black jurors from jury service in death row inmate Marcus Robinson’s case, in Cumberland County, and throughout the state.
As directed by the law, the Court stated that parole eligibility [...]
Continue reading Ruling on Lead NC Racial Justice Act Case
The newly formed House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy met for the second time in as many months on Wednesday, January 25, 2012.
The focus of the most recent Committee hearing was squarely on how much unauthorized immigrants cost the taxpayers of North Carolina. Various state agencies (Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Health and Human Services) presented information primarily about the restrictions already in place that prevent [...]
Continue reading Update: GA Committee Meets on Immigration
The 2012 Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly is this Saturday, February 11. We’ll gather at Shaw University in Raleigh starting at 9:30 and march to the Legislative Building.
Other than voting, there’s probably nothing more important for you to do in the interim between legislative sessions. By our presence, we show policy makers the strength of support for HKonJ’s agenda for social justice. And we encourage one another by reminding ourselves that [...]
Continue reading Join Us at HKonJ This Saturday
Governor Perdue has called on the General Assembly to restore three-quarters of a cent of sales tax which the General Assembly allowed to expire last year and to use the money to reduce cuts to education.
In a statement, the Governor noted that “The North Carolina Association of School Administrators pointed out recently that North Carolinahas fallen to 49th in the nation in per-pupil funding. The legislature’s budget has hurt education at all levels – from pre-k [...]
Continue reading Governor Proposes Adding Back Emergency Sales Tax
Late this morning, Governor Bev Perdue vetoed the bill which would have gutted the Racial Justice Act (RJA). The RJA is a two-year-old law which allows defendants in death penalty cases to introduce statistical evidence that racial bias affected their death sentence. It’s rebuttable evidence, which means that prosecutors could introduce evidence of their own, but it was almost universally opposed by district attorneys, at least some of whom might be worried about what [...]
Continue reading Good News: Governor Perdue Vetoes Attack on Racial Justice Act