Thursday night was the deadline for hearing bills in the North Carolina General Assembly. This deadline, called ‘Crossover,’ keeps the legislative processes moving by ensuring the Senate has time to consider all House bills (and vice versa) before the Assembly adjourns.
This session, lawmakers passed the expected glut of anti-woman, anti-teacher, and anti-health bills. There were some bright spots, of course—a bill that would give foster children more freedom, and one that would make “revenge porn” a felony.
While there’s no way to tell which bills will be passed by the other chamber or signed into law by Governor McCrory, there’s a few outstanding House bills that have me shaking in my socks. Without further adieu, here are the 5 most terrifying bills the House has heard this session:
- The informed consent bill. If law, this would add a 3-day waiting period for abortion procedures in North Carolina. Like many bills of this ilk, this one is troubling because it legislates a conversation between doctors and patients. I don’t know about you, but I want my medical staff to be free from bureaucracy when they make medical decisions on my behalf. This adds a medically unnecessary, and complicated, step for women seeking care at hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices.
- The Gold Standard Curriculum. A course of study penned by a conservative think-tank, the Gold Standard seems harmless but is another attempt by legislators to undercut public schools’ autonomy. Adding values piecemeal to the curriculum unduly increases teachers’ workload and increases redundancies in the classroom. North Carolina’s standard curriculum already provides most of the education called for in this bill, without the reliance on Koch-Brother funded standards.
- Two bills which may make it more difficult to breathe, or drink, in North Carolina. A Senate bill removes several federal Environmental Agency Protections from the state. A House bill, heard this week, means fewer projects will receive an environmental review. In a time when our state is facing coal ash cleanups and increasing air pollution, why are we seeking less oversight over our environment?
- A bill that would allow more guns in more places. Hello? Last session we passed a law to allow guns on playgrounds. Now we’re making sure schools can’t forbid concealed carry permits and we’re proposing preventing doctors from asking patients about guns in their homes. The House also wants to allow hunting on Sundays.
- A bill to allow animal abuse to possums on certain days of the year. The “possum drop” bill smooths the way for Clay County revelers to drop an opossum in a box on New Years Eve. This is undoubtedly a grand and solemn tradition. But I have to ask how many of my tax dollars are being spent in Raleigh discussing this farce? If we have to have a law to allow us to abuse possums in December, are we really moving forward?
What proposed bill keeps you up at night? Are you writing to your representative or showing up in Raleigh to protest? Let us know what’s going on.