UPDATE-Voter ID requirement passes Senate

April 1st, 2011 by Legislative Update Categories: Elections, House Session 2011-2012, Interesting, Senate Session 2011-2012 2 Responses
UPDATE-Voter ID requirement passes Senate

Over protests that they would effectively disenfranchise thousands of voters, the state Senate Wednesday night passed a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID.

The bill passed along party lines 31-19. It now goes back to the House for agreement on minor changes.

Meanwhile a House committee passed a bill that includes sweeping changes in election law, including eliminating Sunday early voting and same-day registration.


Read more

 

The Wilmington StarNews Online is reporting that Republicans are wilting on a voter ID law under pressure from Democrats and the Legislative Black Caucus who say the current bill as written would discourage blacks, students and the elderly from voting. Under the new bill—which is still in draft stage—voters will be able to present one of seven photo identification cards or their non-photo voter registration card.

The way the voter registration card would work would be by comparing the signature at the polls with the signature on the original voter registration form. These signatures would be scanned from the official document and two poll workers would have to agree that the signatures match. If one or both workers think the signatures do not match, then the person will still be allowed to vote a provisional ballot.

What are the problems here? Let me count the ways. Seeing as how the majority of poll workers are liberal Democrats, I doubt many people will be turned down for voting. Also, what will it cost the state to not only scan and store these signatures, but to train poll workers to compare signatures? Considering that handwriting analysis is widely questioned for its accuracy, how to we expect lay people to be good and fair judges?

All of these problems can be solved with a simple photo identification card. No special training is required, and no additional cost to the state is required unless we choose to help individuals obtain photo identification cards. Call your representative and senator today and tell them we want photo identification ALONE for voter ID.

First ‘Castle Doctrine’ hearing Thursday

February 17th, 2011 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: 2nd Amendment, Hot Topics, House Session 2011-2012, Senate Session 2011-2012, Uncategorized One Response
First ‘Castle Doctrine’ hearing Thursday

What are differences of Castle Doctrine bills under consideration?

Three “Castle Doctrine” bills to reinforce the right to self defense have thus far been filed in the North Carolina General Assembly, the most recent of which was introduced on Monday. In contrast to previous legislative sessions, November election results predispose the current legislature to pass some form of the proposed law. The big question for North Carolinians is what version will pass.

Depending on varying definitions, “stand-your-ground” laws have been adopted by at least thirteen states. A larger number of states have “castle laws” whose more limited scope stipulates no duty to retreat when attacked in the home, such as North Carolina’s § 14-51.1. “Castle Doctrine” bills being introduced across the country generally include both.

But as the GRNC Castle Doctrine Feature Summary depicts, not all Castle Doctrine laws are created equal. Some states offer few protections outside the home. With the state finally ready to pass something, North Carolinians should become versed on what does or does not make an effective law.

THREE VERSIONS UNDER CONSIDERATION

On February 4, the NRA issued an alert backing SB 34, sponsored by Senators Andrew BrockDoug Bergerand Kathy Harrington. While the pro-gun sponsors have the best of intentions, SB 34 and its companion bill, HB 52, (Reps. Tim SpearBill Owensand Jim Crawford) are dangerously flawed.

SB 34 and HB 52 are substantially similar to SB 928, which passed the Senate in the last session but was killed in the House when Rep. Deborah Rossand former Rep. Hugh Holliman. (Holliman was defeated largely through the efforts of Grass Roots North Carolina in the last election after denying SB 928 a committee hearing. Significantly, Rep. Rayne Brown, who defeated Holliman, is one of the primary sponsors of GRNC-backed HB 74 above.)

The problem is that SB 928 passed the gun-hostile Senate in a greatly weakened fashion: Although Edition 1of the bill offered victims protection both inside and outside the home, including in motor vehicles, the amended Edition 2offered protection only within the home, meaning it offered little beyond what currently exists under § 14-51.1.

By contrast, HB 74, filed by Representatives Mark HiltonShirley RandlemanGeorge Cleveland, and Rayne Brown, offers significantly greater protection than SB 34/HB 52. Not only would it offer protection against violent crime in motor vehicles and elsewhere outside the home, but also better protection against civil and criminal liability.

COMMITTEE MEETING ON THURSDAY, FEB. 17

The first bill to get a hearing will be SB 34, which will be heard by the Senate Judiciary II Committee on February 17. Grass Roots North Carolina is promoting amending the bill via a “Proposed Committee Substitute” to change its language to reflect the stronger HB 74. GRNC suggests interested parties contact all members of the committee to encourage adoption of the HB 74 language.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BILLS?

Although state laws vary widely, the best offer some version of the following:

Stand your ground
This provision states that if faced with a reasonable threat of imminent death or great bodily harm, you have no duty to retreat before using deadly force. The most comprehensive laws stipulate no duty to retreat both in the home and abroad, typically anyplace you have a legal right to be. While HB 74 ads a new § 14-471 with the “no duty to retreat” provision, neither SB 34 nor HB 52 contain any reference to the measure, presumably because it already exists within the home via § 14-51.1.

Presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm
Absent a castle law, even if someone breaks into your occupied dwelling you must prove you had a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm before responding with deadly force. Under the “presumption” portion of Castle Doctrine, when an attacker unlawfully and forcibly enters a home or (preferably) a dwelling, he is presumed by the law to present a “reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm,” freeing the victim from proving it.

In HB 74, a new section § 14-472 includes the measure both for dwellings and occupied vehicles. The far weaker SB 34/HB 52 say only that the attacker to a home – and only a home – is “presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence,” neither of which even justify the use of deadly force under § 14-51.1, meaning that once again, the bills offer nothing beyond current law.

Protection against kidnapping
Like many state laws, HB 74 creates the presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm if the attacker has removed or is attempting to remove another, against his or her will, from a residence or occupied vehicle. Exceptions are made if the person against whom defensive force is used is the parent or lawful guardian of the one being removed. SB 34 / HB 52 offers essentially the same language but again, only to the invasion of a dwelling, not an occupied vehicle.

Protection against malicious prosecution
Some state laws offer immunity for prosecution for justifiable use of deadly force, as do SB 34 and HB 52. HB 74 goes a step further, however, and matches South Carolina law by prohibiting law enforcement agencies from arresting a defender unless there is probable cause to believe the force used was unlawful.

Protection against civil suits
While SB 34 and HB 52 match a number of state laws in giving defenders immunity from civil action (such as by the attacker or his survivors), HB 74 mirrors South Carolina in allowing a lawful defender to recoup legal costs from the plaintiffs who filed the suit.

CONCLUSION

While SB 928 might have been the best bill attainable in the last, gun-hostile session of the legislature, you have worked hard to produce a pro-gun majority this year in both chambers, and you deserve better.

By Paul Valone

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republished with permission

Protest at Senator Hagan’s office

February 4th, 2011 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Featured, Senate Session 2011-2012, Tea Party News 2 Responses
Protest at Senator Hagan’s office

Protest at Sen. Hagan’s office — A protest is planned at Sen. Hagan’s office in Greensboro, 701 Green Valley Rd, on Monday, Feb. 7, at 11:30 AM. I am sure you know that the Health Care Repeal vote, after passing the House, was defeated in the Senate on Wednesday. We hope to keep exposing Sen. Hagan’s record to the public. As much attention as we can draw to her vote will be a good thing. Please join me to visit the Senator’s office and then protest outside for about an hour. Bring your signs or just join us and use one of mine. I’ll make sure to have extras. Hope to see you there.

— Joyce
Find Joyce on Facebook

NC Senate Passes Balanced Budget Act of 2011

February 4th, 2011 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Hot Topics, Senate Session 2011-2012 No Responses
NC Senate Passes Balanced Budget Act of 2011

The North Carolina Senate (yesterday) tentatively approved $800 million in savings that will help close a projected $3.7 billion budget gap and help the private-sector create jobs.

Senators approved the Balanced Budget Act of 2011 (SB 13), which would give the governor the authority to cut spending for the current fiscal year and calls for immediate cost-savings to help tackle next year’s budget.

The governor’s office agreed to cut $400 million to help fill the gap between current spending and revenue.  Senate Republicans added an extra $400 million in savings to the bill Wednesday that will help eliminate the deficit while minimizing negative impacts on school teachers and state workers.

h/t to the editor of the NC Senate Republicans website

Sen. Bob Rucho to Dems: “It’s going to take us a little time to recover from 100 years of disaster.”

February 4th, 2011 by WendyW Categories: Featured, Other Videos, Senate Session 2011-2012 No Responses
Sen. Bob Rucho to Dems: “It’s going to take us a little time to recover from 100 years of disaster.”

If this is a preview of things that are to come, hold on to your seats ladies and gentlemen because North Carolina has some LEADERS in Raleigh, now! In a five minute speech by Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), he told it “like it is” concerning $75 million in incentives.

Below is a video of Rucho’s speech, courtesy of WRAL:

Highlights I personally appreciated:

“Here we are in a situation where we’ve got double-digit unemployment. And the reality is that it’s probably close to 17 percent unemployment with people who are either unemployed or underemployed. And yet, last debate, where were you?

“I want you to take responsibility for the way you’ve all led this state in the past 10 to 12 years – because of the fact that you spent us to death.

“And you talk about the incentives and how great they were. Well, I’ll tell you what a good incentive is: it’s lowering your tax rates, cut your government spending to a normal level, and allowing businesses to function in the creative environment. And then you’re going to see the jobs.

“You know, one thing’s for sure, I’m not a great hunter, but you shoot where the ducks are. The ducks are our businesses, the small businesses that exist in this state at this time. And what this is, this is the first step to a pathway that the majority party in this Senate is going to show you and the rest of this state and the business environment which way we’re going so you really understand how to put an economy back together again.

“Pay attention. This is what you should have done when you had a turn. And unfortunately you didn’t – and the people are distressed about it.

“Let’s put the blame where it needs to be. Don’t come back now crying about jobs. You should have done something last time when you could have done something more about it.

“There are going to be… some very tough decisions that need to be made. If we’re going to put our financial house back in order, then, very simply, we need to make the tough cuts… Is it the right thing to do? That’s what the people elected us to do…”

“…But $75 million when we have an opportunity to turn this state around – no, not just an opportunity, a responsibility – because we need to put those people back to work. They’re counting on us.

“Hang on. It’s going to take us a little time to recover from 100 years of disaster. But guess what? We’re going to go ahead and we’re going to show you how to do it. You’re welcome to join us or you can cry about it. But the fact is, you have a responsibility because you’ve got as many people that you’re representing as the rest of us. Don’t fall back and do business as usual. It’s time to go ahead and do the right thing.”