NCGA

Republicans tired of losing in courts still seek to stack superior courts

RALEIGH—Real Facts North Carolina today released an updated analysis of new judicial maps proposed this week. Using the gubernatorial election results from 2016 as a benchmark, the Real Facts report finds that under proposed maps the number of republican held seats could nearly double going from 31 to 58 judgeships.

Statewide results in the gubernatorial race were nearly even between Democrats and Republicans, 48% to 48%. But in their judicial gerrymander, the GOP picks their voters to turn an even slate into a nearly 2 to 1 advantage.  

Fourteen times, laws enacted by this unconstitutional General Assembly have been found unconstitutional. Laws that have rigged the system and earned North Carolina headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Whether it’s restricting women’s access to health care, the worst voter suppression law in the country, or gerrymandering legislative districts by race these unconstitutional actions by the Republican led General Assembly have hurt citizens across the state. 

“North Carolina is a 50-50 state that gave their electors to Republican Donald Trump while electing Democrat Roy Cooper governor. Republicans, upset by their losing streak in courts where 14 of their laws have been overturned on a constitutional basis, now seek to use a partisan gerrymander to rig the courts.”

Download the report here (PDF).

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North Carolina legislator profile: Representative Tim Moore (R – Cleveland)

In the second in a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at the Speaker of the House, Tim Moore.

Moore has represented Cleveland County since 2003 and became Speaker of the House in 2015.

After being named Speaker, Moore said, "I am committed to improving North Carolina through greater economic opportunity, less burdensome regulations and a new vision for educating and equipping our students.”

Below, read a summary of how Tim Moore has only succeeded in creating greater economic opportunity for himself, his friends, and donors, while his constituents in Cleveland County fall further behind. Read the full report here.

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Legislators set date for redistricting public hearings

The joint legislative redistricting committee has set a date and locations for a public hearing on the redistricting process. The public hearing will be on Tuesday, August 22 at 4:00 p.m. Following, is a list of all locations, including remote sites, that will participate in the public hearing:

 

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UPDATED: Could Duke Energy be planning to spray coal ash waste?

August 14, 2017: A coal ash dump in Chatham County run by Duke Energy contractor Charah now has a 90-day permit to collect the liquid it leaks and spray it into the air, but Courtney Wood at UNC-Chapel Hill's school of public health says the process "negates any basic chemistry from high school."

So yes, a Duke Energy contractor plans to use this process for coal ash.

Charah CEO Charles Price contributed at least $22,000 in 2016 and 2017 to NC Republicans, including Berger and Moore. Additionally, Charah has a history of violating permits. The company was previously cited at least twice by NC for starting construction at sites without required permits, but received no fine under Gov. McCrory’s DEQ.

June 1, 2017: The fluid that collects beneath landfills, referred to as leachate, could soon be sprayed into the air, thanks to House Bill 576 sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon.

The aerosolization of leachate, or “garbage juice in a snow blower”, is an unproven and untested technology.

Via NC Policy Watch
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Henry Hinton shows the high price of votes in the House 

Last week the newest members of the UNC Board of Governors were sworn in. Missing was Henry Hinton, a Greenville broadcast executive and former BOG member who was not chosen by the House for another term on the Board. Hinton made the news in April for an email he sent to House leaders remin…

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Republicans tired of losing in courts seek to stack superior courts

Real Facts North Carolina today released a new analysis of judicial maps proposed on Monday. Using the gubernatorial election results from 2016 as a benchmark, the Real Facts report finds that under the proposed maps the number of Republican-held Superior Court seats could double, from 31 to 62 judgeships.

Fourteen times, laws enacted by this unconstitutional General Assembly have been found unconstitutional. Laws that have rigged the system and earned North Carolina headlines for all the wrong reasons. In Superior Court, judges have ruled against the GOP majority on judicial retention elections, local control, and the NCGA’s authority over the coal ash commission.

Now, in the last week of session, and without consulting either the Administrative Office of the Courts or the Conference of District Attorneys, Republicans seek the first statewide redraw of these districts in decades.

Statewide results in the gubernatorial race were nearly even between Democrats and Republicans, 48% to 48%. But in their judicial gerrymander, the GOP picks their voters to turn an even slate into a nearly 2 to 1 advantage.

You can find the report here (PDF).

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Unconstitutional GOP majority proposes budget—our first take

This unconstitutionally elected Republican majority continues to legislate, not on behalf of the people of North Carolina, but on behalf of their billionaire backers. Instead of protecting the middle class and building world-class public schools, this budget gives tax breaks to billionaires. Under this budget, North Carolina will keep falling behind when it doesn’t have to.

  • The Republican budget fails our schools, middle class families, and the future of our economy at a time when we do not have to.
  • Cooper found a way to raise teacher pay more than 5% next year. Republicans only offer 3.3%. Instead of investing in classrooms, Republicans are giving millions in tax breaks to billionaires.
  • Cooper offered free community college for high school graduates, money to help teachers pay for out-of-pocket expenses, and eliminated the waitlist for pre-K. Republicans did none of those things.
  • Under this budget, we are still spending less that we did before the recession per student, teachers are still underpaid, and we have seven thousand fewer teaching assistants than we did in 2008.
  • Instead of prioritizing education, Republicans are undercutting our kids and it’s our economy that will suffer as North Carolina falls farther and farther behind other states and competitors like China and India. 

In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..

  • Governor Cooper's budget invests $20 million to expand access to broadband and improve the economy of rural North Carolina, while the Republican budget would spend $250,000 on state IT bureaucrats.
  • Cooper proposed $30 million for a ready-sites program to attract new jobs to rural areas. The Republican budget leaves rural areas behind, choosing to spend only $2 million on ready-sites.

The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right:

  • The Republican budget spends $1.3 million on an anti-abortion advocacy group that masquerades as a provider of health services to women, pushing dangerous and misleading propaganda on vulnerable women.
  • The GOP spends $40 million on private school vouchers which send tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools.

 

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14 unconstitutional laws passed under the cloud of a racial gerrymander

For five years now, Republican majorities in the North Carolina legislature have been elected under maps that have been found to violate the Constitutional rights of North Carolinians. The nation’s highest court – including a Justice appointed by President Donald Trump - found these legislators’ actions discriminatory yet they treat this news like another round of a child’s game. We have seen why fair and nondiscriminatory representation is important time and again. 

Fourteen times, laws enacted by this unconstitutional General Assembly have been found unconstitutional. Laws that have rigged the system and earned North Carolina headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Whether it’s restricting women’s access to health care or the worst voter suppression law in the country, these unconscionable actions by the Republican led General Assembly have hurt every citizen of this state. In their decision striking down the voter suppression law, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called out North Carolina Republicans for targeting black voters “with almost surgical precision.” When will it end? 

From the State Supreme Court to the Fourth Circuit and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, courts have not been fooled by the actions of North Carolina Republicans who have enacted laws under the dark cloud of a racial gerrymander. The cases range from the drawing of district maps to coal ash to defunding Planned Parenthood to Elections and Ethics Reform, taking power away from the Governor. In each instance, the rulings have been clear that the partisan power grabs are wrong and they must end. 

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NCGOP making it rain garbage juice and money

While North Carolina residents are facing the possibility of being sprayed with garbage juice, the NC GOP is lining their pockets with money from the waste industry, which has donated at least $34,200 to GOP legislators overseeing debate on the bill.

House Bill 576 would allow for the aerosolization of leachate, an untested and unsafe method for landfills to dispose of their waste. Picture it as “garbage juice in a snow blower.”

And who would be most impacted by this legislation? Communities of color and poor, who are more likely to live near landfills.

The waste industry is in favor of the aerosolization of leachate because it is cheaper than other methods of removing waste and they have been donating big money to legislators who could advance the bill.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, has received $6,100 from the waste industry, the majority of which came from Ven Poole, the CEO of Waste Industries. Dixon is also the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which received House Bill 576 on referral.

Speaker Tim Moore has received $8,600 from the waste industry, including contributions from Ven Poole and the Waste Management Pac. Moore voted in favor of House Bill 576.

Sen. Trudy Wade has received $19,100 from the waste industry, including donations from Ven Poole and the inventor of aerosolization, Kelly Houston. The contribution from Houston came when Wade was the chairwoman of a Senate conference committee charged with compromising on a bill containing language about leachate. Wade is also a member of the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee, which reported favorably on the bill.

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North Carolina would be one of 11 other states that don’t require concealed carry permits because - jackets

North Carolina would join just 11 other states in doing away with concealed weapons permits under House Bill 746.  Under current law, concealed carry weapons permits are issued by law enforcement after individuals pass a minimal background check. North Carolina would become one of 12 states that do not require any type of permit for concealed handguns and would treat concealed handguns the same way as visible handguns. 

Rep. Chris Millis (R-Onslow, Pender) argued in committee that people could violate concealed carry laws when they wear jackets in the wintertime. Apparently this bill is more about fashion than doing the bidding of the NRA.

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