Friday, May 25, 2007


Crossover happened last night. That means that any NC bill that didn't get a vote in either the house or the senate is essentially dead until next session.

NC Senate Bill 948, a bill that would allow raw milk to be sold legally in this state (and which I had not even heard of before this morning), passed despite MY SENATOR voting against it. (I think. It's hard to tell from the website exactly what happened and why. He voted aye once, and nay once. The nay was about 4 hours after the aye, which is what is making me conclude that he voted against.)

I'm not sure what made him decide to eventually vote nay. I had enough faith in my legislators that I already wrote him about it to THANK him for its passing. Then I saw that there had been some votes against. So I looked up my guy and checked out his voting record. Hm. Looks like I have a follow up email to write. I wish I had heard about this bill before the deadline had already passed.

Apparently some of the debate about the bill was spirited. Sen. Kay Hagen, of Greensboro, sponsored the bill, and a prime objector was Bill Purcell, a retired MD. Senator Tony Rand, of Fayetteville, shared some fond memories of his cow, Lucy. (More audio commentary is over at this blog.)

At any rate, some other bills I like that survived crossover include one to create parity in mental health coverage. Here's hoping that it passes the senate too. Another house bill that survived is one that requires NC school districts to enact a policy against bullying in schools. The sticking point on this bill is that the protected classes include sexual orientation. I still don't understand why anyone would think it's OK to gang up on ANY class of people.

Unfortunately, some bills I liked won't continue to be considered.

HB 879, (my personal favorite), which would re-establish comprehensive sex ed in the NC schools, died in committee. That just means that there wasn't enough support for it yet to make sure it would pass a vote. If a bill is voted down, it's a lot more dead than if it just doesn't make it out of committee. My lobbyist sources (as well as my house rep) tell me that there was a lot of misunderstanding about what the bill meant. Apparently there was some kind of BS going around that the bill would take abstinence out of the school curriculum entirely (!!). It's good news, really, that it got as far as it did. I thank all of you who did contact your legislators about this bill. When it comes up next session, I'm hoping we have more of an educational push for the legislators.

NC also voted against a bill to prohibit corporal punishment in public schools. Nice.

It amazes me how much stuff goes on that people never really hear about unless they are paying close attention to the goings on in the government. It's not possible for a typical citizen to keep up with the bills being introduced; there are thousands each session, and well, we have lives to lead.