CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee
Lunch with Representative MICHAEL SPECIALE
CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee had lunch with Representative Michael Speciale and Hazel Speciale upstairs at Beer Army Saturday afternoon.
Anne and Rick Hopkins, Joe and Barbara Whiteman, Kathryn Blankley, Ann Tipple, Connie Hanna, Katherine Wyatt, Bill and Betty Harper, Ron Cherry, Nancy Brinkley, Iggi Husar, and Hal and I were there. Ed and Anne Kearney came, but they went to the Baker’s Kitchen (our first planned meeting place which had an hour wait time), and Hal missed them when he tried to catch everyone who came. We “owe you one,” Anne and Ed! I’m so sorry that happened!
We pointed out to Michael that he knows us well enough to know what we want to hear about and asked him to update us on what’s going on in Raleigh that we need to know.
There’s a lot of good stuff going on! However, there are some things that aren’t so good. One thing in that category is the effort to replace HB-2.
Michael says HB-186 isn’t going anywhere, but Representative Sarah Stevens, Speaker Pro Tempore, has introduced a bill to replace HB-2. That’s a shame. So far the Republican Caucus has rejected all efforts to get rid of HB-2, but what if there is a long term effort to wear them down and pick off one or two representatives at a time?
It would be wise for us to write every Republican (yes, I know we’re non-partisan, but the Republicans are the ones resisting the change we want resisted) in the NC House and make sure they know beyond all doubt that we want HB-2 kept; Please stand strong.
The address of the General Assembly website is www.ncga.state.nc.us. Go there and in the upper right there’s something that says, “VIEW MEMBER INFO: Select a member,” and there’s a drop down menu with House members listed. Each has a page with their, political party, phone numbers, and active email addresses on it. You can send a message to each of the Republicans on the list. Just cut and paste the message you write once and go from name to name down the list.
Some observations about HB-2…
People complain that we’ve lost millions of dollars in business (mostly from athletic events in the Charlotte area – poetic justice since they caused the problem), but NC’s state economy is about $552 BILLION dollars and CLIMBING, so the loses are minor.
Dan Bishop, the guy who wrote HB-2 was in the House when he wrote it; he’s in the NC Senate now. Writing HB-2 does not seem to have cost him votes!
Dan Forest went to Texas to help them do a bill similar to HB-2. Conservatives in other states are still going forward with similar measures.
Mark Brody has put forth HB-328 which would investigate the tax status of the ACC and the NCAA.
Michael has proposed a bill, HB-344, which would exempt ophthalmology from the need for a Certificate of Need (CON).
On the school front…
A bill to give tax credits for home schooling has been proposed.
Larry Pittman is waiting until after meeting with Mark Johnson, new head of the Department of Public Instruction, to finalize a bill referred to as Bill to Actually Repeal Common Core!
Also, Linda Harper has a meeting scheduled with Mark Johnson toward the end of the month, and we’ll want to check with her afterwards.
A simple, straight forward bill has been put forward that says life begins at conception.
There are two “Constitutional Carry” bills. The Republican Caucus is expected to work to combine the best features of each.
The Marine Fisheries Commission is playing politics. Work is going forward outside the General Assembly for now, but the General Assembly will get involved if it needs to.
Michael Speciale is the Chairman of the Freedom Caucus on the House side. Senator Norman Sanderson and Senator Bill Cook are the only two who have joined on the Senate side. Thank heavens for those two!
This Wednesday is the deadline to begin the drafting process for statewide bills. Within a couple of weeks after that, people will begin pushing their bills in earnest. Therefore, we need to plan a trip to Raleigh on about Wednesday, April 12. I believe we’ll want to work on some of the items mentioned above. (We’ll know more details when we get closer to that date.) Can you go with CCTA, or can your group join in working on some of the same items at the General Assembly on the same day?
(Raynor James, Chairman, CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee)