The first measure to get official action in the House today was the Eugenics Compensation bill. House Bill 947 would set aside $10 million dollars for surviving victims of the state’s forced sterilization program.
Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina sterilized more than seventy six hundred men, women, and children without their informed consent. Some were mentally ill or disabled. Others were the children of alcoholics. Some were just poor.
The state estimates about a quarter of those victims may still be alive, though only about 130 survivors have been verified so far. Each survivor would receive $50 thousand, tax-free, in compensation.
The proposal follows the recommendation of the Governor’s task force on eugenics. It has strong bipartisan support – Speaker Thom Tillis and Majority Leader Paul Stam are both primary sponsors – so it’s expected to move quickly through the House.
The bill will be heard in the House Judiciary committee Tuesday afternoon at 2pm. Public comment will be heard at that meeting.