An Analysis of HB2 vs. HB 142
If something is 100% bad and you have an opportunity to remove 50 or 60% of the bad – what would you do?
Would you remove all portions that you could and commit your all to continued efforts to remove remaining bad? Or would you say forget it – leave 100% bad in place?
I chose the former……..
What did HB 2 do:
· It took away your right to sue in state court for discrimination – be it age, religion, race or gender.
· It took away local governments’ rights to impose workplace protections in its contracts with private businesses.
· It allowed for the exemption of protections for a class of people that need our support and protection.
What does HB 142 do:
· Removes HB2 restrictions on what bathroom a person can use
· Leaves in place local ordinances protecting LGBT rights
· Puts time limited moratorium on new local ordinances protecting LGBT rights or restricting LGBT rights
· Restores local governments’ authority to enact local minimum wage ordinances
· Restores a person’s right to recover through the state court system when they are fired based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or religion.
· Restores local governments’ authority to enact family leave policies, child welfare protections and similar polices
· Restores local governments’ authority to contract on terms that include protections for all communities
· Opens the door for NCAA, ACC, NBA tournaments and other sporting events in North Carolina
· Puts North Carolina back on the list for many business and job creators.
This is where we are:
· We can’t let perfect be the enemy of good. This bill is not perfect and it’s not all that we want for our state. With our extremely limited leverage, we had to act to stop the bleeding.
· We have to look at the reality of the political landscape in North Carolina. Republicans have a super majority in the House and the Senate. They have the power to pass whatever legislation they want without any Democratic input. Which means, they could have passed a RFRA bill in response to all this; they could have passed further discriminations; they could have passed further sanctions on cities and counties.
· Repealing HB 2 lifts economic sanctions, but it doesn’t restore human rights because they weren’t effectively in place to start with – and we take the blame for that. Make no mistake: this is not the end. We must not quit until we add LGBT protections across North Carolina. But this is a good start.
· S447. Turning TAs Into Teachers. (Barefoot, McInnis, Smith-Ingram)
o Amends SL 2016-94, Section 8.29, pertaining to the Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Pilot Program. Expands the pilot program to include the local boards of education in Bertie County Schools, Duplin County Schools, Edenton-Chowan County Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, Halifax County Schools, Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, Northampton County Schools, Tyrrell County Schools, Vance County Schools, and Washington County Schools, beginning with the 2017-18 fiscal year. Makes changes to clarify the existing specified local boards of education are participating in the pilot program beginning with the 2016-17 fiscal year. Adds a provision allowing for a teacher assistant to continue to receive salary and benefits while student teaching in the local school administrative unit in accordance with GS 115C-310 (teacher assistants engaged in student teaching).
o Directs all of the local boards of education participating in the pilot program to jointly report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2018, and every year thereafter, including the previous report specifications. Makes changes to clarify that the local boards of education participating in the pilot program for the 2016-17 fiscal year are to jointly report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2017.
o Appropriates from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction $225,000 in recurring funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year for expanding the number of local school administrative units participating in the pilot program.
· SB 483: NC Comprehensive School Accountability (Smith-Ingram, Clark)
o This bill would require comprehensive and uniform accountability through student testing for private schools receiving opportunity scholarship funds.
o Given that the state is providing public dollars to private schools for education opportunities, it is imperative that we hold these schools accountable and ensure they are being both good stewards of public dollars and effective educators.
· SB 484: PARTF Funding Conditions and Match. (Smith-Ingram)
o Sets the local governmental unit match at 50% for local park and recreation purposes other than projects described in below. Provides that the appraised value of land that is donated to a local government unite or public authority can by applied to the match required by this provision.
o Sets the local governmental unit match at 15% for tier one counties and 10% for tier two or three counties for land acquisition, including the acquisition of unbuildable lots for public recreational purposes. Requires at least 50% of the local match to be in cash, and allows up to 50% to be the value of in-kind donations by the local governmental unit.
o Sets the local governmental match at 25% in tier one counties and 10% in tier two and three counties for park and recreation site improvements. Requires at least 50% of the local match to be in cash, and allows up to 50% to be the value of in-kind donations by the local governmental unit.
Bills to Watch
· S314. Give Retirees 2% COLA/Funds. (Waddell, D. Davis, Smith-Ingram)
o Amends GS 135-5, concerning retirement benefits for teachers and state employees, adding new subsection (vvv), providing for cost-of-living increases of 2%.
o Amends GS 135-65, concerning retirement benefits for individuals in the consolidated judicial retirement system, adding new subsection (gg), providing for cost-of-living increases of 2%.
o Amends GS 120-4.22A, concerning retirement benefits for members of the legislative retirement system, adding new subsection (aa), providing for cost-of-living increases of 2%.
o Appropriates $88 million from the General Fund to the Reserve for Retiree Cost-of-Living Adjustments for the 2017-18 fiscal year and $88 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year to implement the cost-of-living adjustment authorized in this act.
· S467. North Carolina Retirement Reform. (Wells, Rabon, Rabin)
o An Act to reform the North Carolina retirement system by providing that certain persons hired by the state beginning July 1, 2018, shall participate in the North Carolina 401(k) plan or North Carolina 457 plan rather than the teachers’ and state employees’ retirement system or the consolidated judicial retirement system; to provide that members of the general assembly who first become members on or after July 1, 2018, shall participate in the North Carolina 401(k) plan or North Carolina 457 plan rather than the legislative retirement system; to provide that certain local governmental employees hired on or after July 1, 2018, shall participate in the North Carolina 401(k) plan or North Carolina 457 plan; to change state health plan eligibility for state retirees; and to make conforming changes.
Come Meet the Senator
· Northampton County Commissioners’ Meeting – Monday, April 3rd – 9am
· Washington County Commissioners’ Meeting – Monday, April 3rd – 6pm
· Tarboro High School – Monday, April 10th – 10am –
The Watch Dog response: I would love to see a Town Hall meeting to talk about these things so that the correct information can be communicated because some folk talk about the issue but I wonder do they know all the facts. I think that folk are getting bits and pieces and don’t know the whole story which would make them better able to talk about the issue.