What’s Happening This Week at the NCGA
The North Carolina General Assembly has been back in session for just over a month now and the past couple of weeks have been hectic.
If you feel like you’re being left in the dust kicked up by legislative Republicans trying to expedite the process of taking away your rights, read below for a quick summary of the most critical bills working their way through the General Assembly.
- House Speaker Tim Moore’s proposed rule changes meant to give him unchecked power and the ability to take away your rights with (literally) no warning were approved on Wednesday by a 76-43 vote. The new rules will allow Moore to call for votes, including veto overrides, at any time. Previously, 48 hours’ notice was required but now If a single Democrat is sick or has a family emergency, Republicans can vote to take away your rights. If the NCGOP were acting in good faith on behalf of the people they were elected to represent they would not need to resort to “gotcha” tactics and cheating.
- This week, Republicans in the House fast-tracked an intentionally vague, racist and undemocratic “anti-riot” bill that will punish protesters with mandatory jail time. The “Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder” bill, HB 40, is part of a larger right-wing agenda that includes gaining power, silencing dissent and ending with North Carolinians’ First Amendment freedoms being taken away. The bill passed the House by a 75-43 vote. It is currently in a Senate committee.
- In another successful attempt to make all North Carolinians less safe, Senate Republicans advanced a bill this week that would make it easier for North Carolinians to buy handguns and carry concealed weapons in more places – such as churches and schools based in houses of worship. Separate companion bills, HB 49 and HB 50, also advanced through a House judiciary committee. Republicans have repeatedly shown they are focused on the wrong priorities. They are intent on making it even easier to obtain a gun – even bypassing common sense safety precautions supported by a majority of North Carolinians.
To end with some good news, more than 600,000 low-income North Carolinians could soon have health coverage through Medicaid after the House approved expansion legislation on Thursday by a 92-22 vote. House Bill 76 is now headed to the Senate where it also has bipartisan support, but Republicans there want additional measures added. Democrats have been calling for Medicaid expansion for around a decade.