NC Senator Michael Garrett reports these four critically important bills ignored by Senate leaders
Last week, both chambers of the General Assembly advanced past the “crossover deadline.” That is the date by which a bill introduced in the House or Senate must be passed in one chamber or else it will not be considered this legislative session. There were hundreds of introduced bills not sent to a committee for a vote. I want to highlight four significant bills which I sponsored or co-sponsored but were never even allowed to have a committee vote.
S3 – Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
500,000 or more North Carolinians, including more than 17,000 in Guilford County, would gain health insurance coverage if state legislators would vote to close the coverage gap. This bill would have done just that.
S244 – Restore Masters Pay for Teachers
Public school teachers who take on the financial and personal burden of furthering their own education to improve classroom outcomes deserve recognition in the form of a pay bump. We used to recognize teachers in this way but that was taken away by Republican leadership in 2013. This bill would have undone the 2013 changes and restored the pay.
S464 – Full Repeal of HB2
The discriminatory law known as HB2 wreaked havoc on our state and tarnished our reputation for years to come. I co-sponsored this bill to completely remove any trace of HB2. It was both morally wrong and bad for business. Unfortunately, this is another ignored bill.
S651 – Polluter Pays (for Their Own Mess)
When a utility company creates an environmental disaster, they should be the ones to clean up the mess at their own expense. We need only look across our state to see the crippling impact of coal ash spills. Ratepayers paying bigger electric bills to pay for cleanup should not be part of the consequences of those disasters.
There are countless other bills that we could highlight, from institution of independent redistricting, to giving our state retirees a much-needed cost of living adjustment, to reinstating the Earned Income Tax Credit. As long as Democrats are in the minority in the Senate, Republican leaders will continue to shut down bills without so much as a hearing. We’ve got a shot to take the Senate majority in 2020, but we have to hold the new seats won in 2018.
As you probably heard last week, my predecessor, Trudy Wade, has stated her intention to run for her old seat next year. We’re getting started on the reelection campaign this year to help ensure that the people of Senate District 27 has someone who truly represents them in this seat. Can we count on you to put $10 toward that end?
In the meantime, the fight continues.