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Surveying the Legislative Landscape

by The Urban News
Nelda Holder
Photo: Tim Barnwell
Legislative News by Nelda Holder –

From ICE to firearm storage to medical cannabis to abortion rights, with lots of twists and turns in between, January brought the expected host of bills to the North Carolina Legislature.

Some of the more interesting or most public-affecting possibilities are briefly described here, offering a possible map for you to follow at the NCGA website, www.ncleg.gov.

(Cue the NCGA website commercial)

You’ve heard this before from me, but there is a vast complex of helpfully organized information accessible at ncleg.gov. Get the latest versions of the bills and find out who is sponsoring what, or research the legislature itself or the host of educational resources collected there. Find committee meeting dates and tune into live hearings. Or contact your very own legislators—address, email and phone numbers are waiting for you there.

Now back to our regularly scheduled column.

There will be much more proposed legislation to come, but these initial January offerings offer plenty to gnaw on for now. Some that really caught my eye include the codification of Roe v. Wade abortion protections (HB 19/SB 19); an honoring of civil rights contributions in this state (HB 42); and a Fair Maps Act (HB 9) to amend our NC Constitution in order to establish an independent redistricting commission—taking this troublesome football known as redistricting out of the hands of the General Assembly.

This is an idea that has been spotted in the legislative halls and in the government watchdog enclaves for a very long time, in light of successful models elsewhere, but which has not heretofore gained enough traction to be enacted.

Then there are the eye-popping proposals that do not tread lightly on the legislation scale. For example, Republican-led HB 43 (Prohibition of Certain Hormone/Surgery/Minors) would disallow parental control in certain medical decisions, while SB 49 (Parents’ Bill of Rights) is…

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