NC lawmakers take up slew of bills

Posted June 9, 2011

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— State lawmakers argued all day long and into the night Thursday as they slogged through dozens of pending bills in advance of a legislative deadline.

Most bills that don't make it through either the state House or Senate by midnight Sunday can't be taken up again until 2013. Normally, that deadline would fall at midnight Thursday, but House Speaker Thom Tillis said legislative leaders agreed to extend it to give them extra room to get work done.

After several hours of debate, the House voted 66-48 to approve a measure that would require voters to show one of eight photo ID documents or cast a provisional ballot and later prove their identity.

Democrats argued that the idea would preclude elderly residents, college students and poor people who don't have the required photo ID from voting. Republican sponsors said it would ensure that people's votes were accurate.

The House also voted 63-51 to pass legislation that would bar the North Carolina Association of Educators from collecting dues from teachers through payroll deductions.

Republicans acknowledged last week that the move was political payback for teacher support of Democrats, and the bill was tailored so that it affected only NCAE.

"The political bullying that Speaker Tillis is engaging in will not deter us," NCAE President Sheri Strickland said in a statement. "Parents, teachers and North Carolinians need to know that Tillis' plan leads to thousands of classroom layoffs, increased class size and will take North Carolina to near the bottom in per pupil funding nationally."

Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for Gov. Beverly Perdue, called the bill "yet another attack on teachers," but there was no indication on whether the governor would veto the bill.

A bill that would have allowed people to drive up to 15 mph over the limit – with a maximum of 80 mph – and not pick up any points on their license or insurance surcharges failed.

The Senate voted unanimously to remove the cap on the number of North Carolina charter schools. A compromise bill removed other changes to how charter schools operate.

“Removing this arbitrary cap on public charter schools will increase educational opportunities for our kids and give parents the freedom to choose a school that best meets their children’s needs,” Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement.

The House later concurred with the amended bill, sending it to Perdue.

The Senate also approved medical malpractice reform by capping jury awards for pain and suffering at $500,000 unless a patient can show malice or gross negligence by a physician. After much debate, the House concurred with the measure and sent it to Perdue.

The Castle Doctrine, which expands the rights of people to use deadly force with guns to protect themselves in their home, workplace and vehicle, also passed the Senate. Likewise, the Senate approved legislation that would prohibit state environmental regulators to issue rules that are tougher than federal regulations.


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  • Plenty Coups Jun 10, 2011

    "Prove other wise"

    I just did.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 10, 2011

    gunny-The data is easy to find. NC has one of the lowest amounts of debt, mostly from bonds and is only one of 7 states to enjoy a "AAA" top tier ratings on our credit. That's hardly "crushing debt".

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 2011

    "Laws like these just make murder easier to get away with. haggis basher"

    Source? Yeah Didn't think so!

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 2011

    "Can you show even one election where this was a problem? It adds to Gov. spending (you have to provide free ids) so why are the GOP adding to taxpayer burden to fix a problem they can't even show exists??? haggis basher"

    Please show ONE state where there hasn't been a problem

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 2011

    "Oh he "knows" it all right because some right wing nut job radio show or website said was a "fact" and he never bothered to actually check. haggis basher"

    Prove other wise

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 2011

    "Be thankful for small mercies! These fools have done enough damage already. haggis basher"

    Aaah yes, less we FORGET the last 100 years where fools voted for fools! Nothing like a broke budget to hear people whine when their pet projects get cut.

    Here's an idea, raise lunch's on all school children $10 more, this will increase our coffers. Raise the traffic fines x3 for 3 years with a larger % to schools, close all of those so called head start programs and send these children to public schools.

    Let Plenty, BI, Haggis and all of the rest who want to have tax-payers pay for state abortions pay for them out of their pockets.

    Let them also pay the 1% tax that I'm sure WE all feel we need during this RECESSION. Have them pay to have all union and teachers dues processed instead of using tax payers money.

    Take away their gun rights and have signs posted on their front yards stating they don't have them inside.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 10, 2011

    "Over and over on these posts you find tea party/republican supporters making claims while those opposed offer FACTS and DATA."

    Yes, but you and I both know its probably more related to just not wanting to pay taxes. Most of those Tea Party folks simply hate taxes and are willing to criticize anything that gets its funding from them. Facts don't matter as long as they can scare politicians and others into keeping taxes low, taking advantage of the fact that most people don't like paying taxes.

  • BIlzac Jun 10, 2011

    Like the person who posted the other day saying that he had built his home planning to retire in NC, but now because of the massive taxation would have to sell and move elsewhere.

    Nevermind of course that NC is one of 27 states that do not tax social security at all, that our state tax rate (even with the soon to expire 1% from 2009) places us comfortably in the bottom half of states, and that overall the US Census Bureau has NC ranked 26 out of 50 states for per capita taxes.

    Over and over on these posts you find tea party/republican supporters making claims while those opposed offer FACTS and DATA.

    Anyone can have an opinion. It takes a little bit of work though to make it an INFORMED opinion.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 10, 2011

    Of course whatelseisnew can't back up his rhetoric. Still waiting for the proof of the "massive" state debt.

  • haggis basher Jun 10, 2011

    "You act like you know this as fact....I doubt it.

    Oh he "knows" it all right because some right wing nut job radio show or website said was a "fact" and he never bothered to actually check.