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Neighbors on Call’s NC Policy Update for 5/29/23


Governance

  • Two Republican representatives in the NC House resigned from party leadership positions after making offensive remarks to Black Democratic lawmakers. Rep Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) and Rep. Jeffrey McNeely (R-Iredell) both stepped down as deputy whips within the GOP after their remarks stirred controversy. Rep. Kidwell, speaking about Rep. Diamond Staton-Williams’ mention of growing up in a church during comments in which she discussed her decision to have an abortion, said she must have meant the “Church of Satan.” Rep. McNeely questioned Rep. Abe Jones about whether he would have gotten into Harvard if he hadn’t been an athlete and a minority. Following outcry over these remarks, the GOP caucus met and decided the two representatives should be removed from their leadership roles.

  • The NC Senate passed its budget in a 36-13 vote, with seven Democrats voting to approve the budget. Before the vote Republicans tabled or made substitutions for over a dozen proposed Democratic amendments, including an amendment that would have established a right to contraception, an amendment that would have removed sections of the budget that allow leaders in the NCGA to appoint 10 special Superior Court Judges, and an amendment that would have taken over $300 million from the private school voucher program to put toward community college scholarships. The Senate and House will now have to reach a budget compromise, which will include deciding how much of a raise to provide to teachers and state employees (the House has proposed 10% and 7.5% raises over two years, respectively, while the Senate has proposed 4.5% and 5% raises).

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