N.C. Legislature approves education cuts, voting & abortion restrictions
Yasmine Regester | 8/2/2013, 11:27 a.m.
years. Our public school system had strong ties with industry
and business to make North Carolina a world-class education
system. Public dollars are for public schools. It’s a gross
misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
NCAE officials say they are prepared to file a lawsuit to
oppose private school vouchers, the elimination of teacher
tenure and under-funding of pre-Kindergarten.
Educators also feared cuts to higher education with a focus on
consolidation of 17 of the UNC system campuses and possible
elimination of several HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and
Universities). After receiving backlash from across the
state, that idea was shot down.
On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee passed a
restrictive anti-abortion measure disguised as a motorcycle
safety bill that places new requirements on women’s health
clinics and would allow the state’s health department to
create temporary rules for North Carolina’s abortion clinics
as it sees fit.
The Senate gave final approval to SB 353 – anti-abortion bill
– before the session closed. The N.C Department of Health and
Human Services is now charged with regulating abortion clinics
using the same standards as those for outpatient surgical
centers. The bill also prohibits government-administered
insurance plans (including the Affordable Care Act) to pay for
abortions and would require a doctor to be present when a
patient is administered an abortion-inducing drug.
Other restrictions listed include prohibiting gender-selective
abortions, increasing requirements of clinics and placing more
restrictions on doctors.
Women’s health groups are alarmed that many clinics will be
forced to close because it would be too costly to upgrade
Paige Johnson, vice president of external and governmental
affairs at Planned Parenthood Health Systems said, “Voters
trusted McCrory when he said he wouldn’t restrict women’s
access to health care. He should keep his campaign promise
and veto this sweeping attack on women’s access to
McCrory signed the abortion bill into law this past Monday,
Looser landfill rules were also passed during this session.
With help from sponsor Sen. Trudy Wade (Guilford County),
landfills no longer need to be a mile from state game lands,
garbage trucks no longer need to be leak-proof, but rather
During this legislative session, the elected chambers also cut
weekly unemployment benefits to more than 170,000 workers,
dropping benefits from $535 to $350 a week; while denying
Medicaid expansion to 700,000 uninsured and underinsured North
Gov. McCrory has already signed the bill to repeal the Racial
Justice Act, a landmark bill passed in 2009 that allowed
convicted murders to reduce a death sentence to life in prison
if they could show race was a deciding factor in their case.
District 58 House Representative Alma Adams noted that she is
still in shock at some of the devastating legislation that
passed this session.
“These laws are horrible and mean-spirited. We have diminished
all of the laws we’ve had to protect our citizens. Not much
good came out of this in my opinion. This is one of the worst
legislative sessions I’ve seen in a while,” said Adams.
The session adjourned on July 26 and lawmakers are not
scheduled to return until May 14, 2014.