NC budget approved
The Senate and House have now approved the nearly $24 billion budget.
As I covered yesterday, the framing of the debate has been noticeably favorable to Democratic arguments and tactics.
Democrats "wage an intense campaign" to defeat Republicans.
Republicans "threaten" to defeat Democrats.
So, let's see how the media covers this demagoguery from the Democratic Party of (ironically) Craven County:
Shame they don't want to hold the person accountable for the backlog who sat in his office for 16 years and apparently did nothing. https://t.co/ggEPXATfMW— Jeff H (@j_hauser9) June 1, 2018
Meanwhile, Democrats began testing their campaign talking points. This one has the benefit of being true - if we agree that stopping a planned tax reduction is a tax increase. (Which is what Democrats want to do with planned income tax reductions.)
So @NelsonDollar36 and @JohnTorbett wouldn't answer a question.— Darren Jackson (@DarrenJNC) June 1, 2018
So the gas tax was scheduled to drop dramatically in 2016. They passed a bill that froze that drop. So that is a tax increase.
A tax increase of a billion dollars.
That's why they won't take a ? #ncga #ncpol
Rep. Jackson said the GOP's top three priorities are "Number One - tax cuts. Number Two - tax cuts. Number Three - tax cuts."
He said Democrats' top priority is investing in people.
Which means government spending. A lot more spending.
Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar replied budgets are about choices.
And the choice now is to move the state forward, or not. And Democrats are voting against progress. That Democrats want to go back to the days of tax increases and runaway spending.
He said it forced hundreds of millions in cuts to mental health care and a billion dollar cut from education.
Dollar said the GOP had to rebuild a billion in spending, because during the times of plenty Democrats spent every penny.
The bill now goes to the Governor. He can sign it, veto it, or let it become law without signing it.
Constitutional amendments coming?
Senior Vice President of the conservative John Locke Foundation, Becki Gray, has a good write-up on what might be coming now that the budget is passed.
Eighteen constitutional amendment bills were introduced during the long session. Because of the eligibility rules for the short session, more will probably be introduced.
- Senate Bill 74 proposes to cap the income tax rate at 5.5 percent. It’s currently capped at 10 percent. The current personal income tax rate is 5.25 percent because of further tax cuts in this year’s budget.
- Senate Bill 677 would protect the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.
- House Bill 727 would impose constitutional limits on the growth of state spending to the annual growth rate of inflation plus population.
- House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 34 would prohibit condemnation of private property except for a public use and provide for just compensation with right of trial by jury in condemnation cases.
- House Bill 551 would strengthen protections and establish rights for crime victims.
- House Bill 145 would repeal the constitutional provision allowing the General Assembly to prohibit carrying concealed weapons.
- House Bill 819 and Senate Bill 632 would clarify the right to live includes the right to work, and that right shall not be denied because of membership or non-membership in any labor union.
- Senate Bill 702, House Bill 735 and House Bill 674 would establish an independent redistricting commission.
- House Bill 133 would provide for the election of the State Board of Education. Members are now appointed by the governor.
- Several proposed amendments would limit government service. House Bill 682 would limit the length of legislative sessions, House Bill 413 would limit service in the General Assembly to 16 years, House Bill 193 would extend legislative terms to four years — now two-year terms — and House Bill 105 would limit the governor and lieutenant governor to a lifetime maximum of two terms.
New constitutional amendments can be proposed during the short session. One likely proposal is a requirement for identification when voting. Judicial selection, moving toward a retention or merit-based process from our current election system, may be considered. Leaders for months have hinted numerous amendments may be brought forward.
We could also see proposals for voter ID and a change in the way judges are elected and retained.
Charlotte City councilwoman continues the crazy
Whether it was hinting at an opponent's sexual orientation, or promoting 9/11 trutherism, or calling police officers terrorists, Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield knows how to get media attention.
In her latest Tweet, Mayfield says “To all of you talking nonsense about my posts, forget you. A black man can't drink in his own garage, can't drive down the street, car can't break down, can't walk in a store without being killed by someone in a police uniform. So who is going work to remove the bad cops? #I will.”
It comes hours after dozens of police wives confronted Mayfield. Many wearing t-shirts saying “My husband is not a terrorist. My husband is a hero”.
Mayfield is up for re-election next year.
And another thing...
A lawsuit could mean an end to traffic fines for poor people.