NCDP Clips July 11, 2013

N.C. House to vote on new anti-choice legislation today, under GOP leadership NC losing business competitiveness, national Republicans visit NC in search of Hagan challenger and the decline of black power in the South


WRAL: House to vote Thursday on new abortion bill
The North Carolina House is expected to engage in an impassioned floor debate Thursday before voting on the latest version of a bill that would place new restrictions on the state’s abortion clinics. In response to a Wednesday veto threat from Gov. Pat McCrory, the House Judiciary B Committee slightly altered a suite of abortion restrictions passed by the Senate and dumped them into a bill related to motorcycle safety, Senate Bill 353.

Politico: Democrats say GOP playing politics with abortion
Senate Democrats on Wednesday sharply criticized a House-passed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, disparaging it as an “extreme and dangerous” attack on women’s health. The bill stands no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but has nonetheless incensed abortion rights activists and others on the left. “At a time when our workers are being furloughed, and our student loan rates are going up, and investment in education and research is being slashed, the last thing we need is a politically driven distraction like this is,” said Murray.

VIDEO: Rachel Maddow Show: State GOP war on women undermines national American will
“Because of what the state has been going through in the state legislature in the last couple of weeks, just today Republicans sneaking abortion restriction language into a motorcycle safety bill – because of that maneuvering in the North Carolina state legislature, fifteen of the sixteen clinics in the state are now in danger of closing. … But if you stop looking at per individual states, it’s a pretty dramatic thing that is happening now. … Where Republicans have taken the reins of state power across the country, they have used it single-mindedly to shut down women’s health clinics.”

WRAL: House committee approves new version of abortion bill
Members of the House Judiciary B Committee changed the bill to instruct Department of Health and Human Services regulators to write rules "not unduly restricting access" of women seeking abortion, but opponents of the bill say the change does little to alter the substance of the measure. House leaders were critical of senators, who rewrote a House bill just before the Fourth of July to carry the abortion language, and told reporters this week they would follow a more open process. But Wednesday, the House committee took a bill related to motorcycle safety, Senate Bill 353, and attached the abortion language. There was no notice that the abortion-related provisions would be on the calendar.

Dome: House committee OK’s new version of abortion bill
The main changes were relaxing the proposed standards that abortion clinics would have to meet — sharing some regulations with ambulatory surgery centers but not making them identical — and allowing pregnant women to take abortion-inducing medicine at home after taking an initial dose at a clinic under a doctor’s supervision. Most other provisions in the bill were left intact.


Dome: North Carolina losing ground in business competitiveness, survey shows
Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP legislature came into office promising a more friendly business environment and it may be unfair to expect results this soon. But so far their efforts are not showing up in the ratings. North Carolina was rated as the 12th most competitive state for businesses in 2013, according to a new survey by CNBC. This year’s ratings are a significant drop from 2012, when North Carolina was rated as the 4th most competitive state for business.

WRAL: Senate OKs drug testing for benefits applicants
The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would require people applying for public assistance to pass a drug test and would require local Department of Social Service offices to conduct criminal background checks on applicants. The drug test requirement calls for applicants to pay for the test and bans anyone with a positive test from receiving benefits for a year, unless they can show they have completed a substance abuse treatment program and can pass a subsequent test.

Dome: Virginia leaders appeal to feds, McCrory to block landfill bill
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is asking the federal government to examine a bill moving in the N.C. General Assembly that would allow a large landfill near the state border. McCrory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources support the bill but the governor is not yet completely on board. The issue is attracting so much attention the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sent a letter June 19 to DENR Secretary John Skvarla emphasizing the importance of the existing five-mile buffer between national wildlife refuges and landfills.

WRAL: Omnibus regulatory reform bill gets House panel OK
A House committee on Wednesday approved a wide-ranging measure to reform state regulations and limit the ability of agencies to adopt new rules in the future. Senate Bill 112 initially covered only environmental regulations, but the House Regulatory Reform Committee amended it to include everything from rules for child care centers to meals at bed-and-breakfast inns to disposition of medical records. House members spent more than half an hour outlining the 32 sections of the new bill.

Winston-Salem Journal: NC lawmakers moving on Charlotte airport shift
North Carolina legislative leaders are ready to move forward again on a bill transferring control of Charlotte’s airport away from the city to an independent panel after efforts to create a study panel disintegrated. The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that GOP lawmakers decided to continue with the transfer after city officials balked at an offer to join a proposed study commission. New Charlotte Mayor Patsy Kinsey says the commission’s composition was lopsided so that its recommendation was predisposed to a regional authority.


Politico: Nancy Pelosi: House should pass its own immigration bill
Seeming to almost echo House Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday the House should determine its own comprehensive immigration bill separate from the one passed by the Senate. “I always support the prerogatives of the House, and I want the House to have a bill that goes to conference where the debate will take place,” she told reporters. “The Senate passing a bill gives leverage to those who want a bill in the House because the pressure is on them to do something if you want to exercise the prerogatives of the House. So we view it as a positive step.”

Politico: Poll: Immigration support grows
Americans are more supportive of immigration than ever, according to a new poll, with a record-low number of people wanting to decrease the flow of immigration. A record-high number of people also believe immigration is a good thing for the country since Gallup began tracking it in 2001. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said it’s a good thing. The share of people saying it’s a bad thing similarly set a record low, with 25 percent.


National Journal: NRSC Visits N.C. in Search for Hagan Challenger
The National Republican Senatorial Committee was in Raleigh, N.C., earlier this week and met with several potential challengers for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s seat, a sign that national Republicans may not yet be sold on House Speaker Thom Tillis as their party’s standardbearer in one of their top races this cycle. But Tillis has been plagued by bad press on the local and national level, and that may be giving national Republicans some pause. Tillis has been repeatedly criticized for raising money for his Senate campaign from groups lobbying the state House, which would be illegal if he were running a state, and not a federal, campaign.


New York Times: The Decline of Black Power in the South
African-American Democratic officials have been relegated to minority party status. Equally important, an estimated 86 African-Americans who spent years accumulating seniority have lost their chairmanships of state legislative committees to white Republicans. Republicans in control of redistricting have two goals: the defeat of white Democrats, and the creation of safe districts for Republicans. They have achieved both of these goals by increasing the number of districts likely to elect an African-American. Black voters are gerrymandered out of districts represented by whites of both parties, making the Democratic incumbent weaker and the Republican incumbent stronger.


Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @Micah4NC