Wake Dems Weekly Update, Vol. 1, No. 1

Welcome to the first “Wake Dems Weekly Update.” Our goal is to connect our members to some of the issues being debated at the NC General Assembly. We are watching. We want you to join us!

Calling the legislative redrawing of the Greensboro City Council districts unconstitutional, a federal ruling said it was “not directed or rationally related to any identifiable legitimate governmental purpose.”

--U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles

GOP-sponsored HB 704 - Divide School Systems/Study Committee, a bill to study breaking up large school districts, was referred to the House Committee on Education-K-12. Rep. Chris Malone (R-Wake), a former Wake County School Board member, is a primary sponsor, and former school board chair Ron Margiotta said he favors this idea. But current school board chair Monika Johnson-Hostler pointed to the ability to share resources and maintain diversity in our merged district. Read more here.

SB 325 - Billion Dollar Middle-Class Tax Cut passed the Senate and now resides in the House Rules Committee. Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake) is a cosponsor. NC Policy Watch explains, “Proponents of the bill claim that the tax cuts are targeted to middle-income taxpayers, but this is not the case. The majority of the net benefits for the tax cuts will go to the highest income earners in the state. Simply put, this bill is not a billion dollar middle class tax cut, despite the title of the bill. This is a false claim that becomes apparent upon a deeper analysis of the bill.” Read more here.

Christmas came early for the corporate pork industry when HB 467 - Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies passed the House and was sent to the Senate. NC Policy Watch explains that the “bill would prevent plaintiffs from recovering damages unrelated to property value, including compensation for health effects, lost income, and pain and suffering.” Director of governmental relations for the NC League of Conservation Voters Dan Crawford had this to say: “It’s despicable that the bill sponsors attempt to equate the long-term suffering of their constituents to a ‘nuisance’ that can be silenced by a foreign entity.”

CONGRATULATIONS to Rep. Cynthia Ball (D-Wake) on her very first bill HB 84 - DL/Deaf or Hard of Hearing Designation that passed the House unanimously. This bill would allow a person to designate on their driver’s license that they or deaf or hard of hearing, if they wish.

HB 780 - Uphold Historical Marriage Act introduced by Reps. Michael Speciale (R-New Bern), Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus), and Carl Ford (R-Rowan) claims that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows gay marriage is not valid in North Carolina. House Speaker Tim Moore quickly released a statement that the bill would not be heard because of “strong constitutional concerns.” Rep. Pittman took to his Facebook page to respond to the nationwide criticism that followed the bill introduction. As clarification, he compared Hitler to Abraham Lincoln.