April 26, 2019/Press

Democratic Legislators Follow Through on ‘Our Carolina Promise’ with Commonsense Legislation

Raleigh – With the bill-filing deadline behind us, it’s clear that Democratic lawmakers have used this session to focus on the kitchen-table issues impacting North Carolinians across our state like expanding access to health care, ensuring working families have more money in their pockets, supporting our teachers and reforming our political system.

A commitment to putting the people first is what led Democrats to break the Republican supermajority and bring balance back to our state. Now, Legislative Democrats are following through on their promise to stand up for our jobs, our health and safety, our schools, and our people.

Our Jobs

  • Reenacting the Earned Income Tax Credit. Sens. Smith, Foushee, and Van Duyn proposed SB 137, which would bring back the EITC and help keep money in the pockets of working families.
  • Ensuring Equal Pay for Equal Work. SB137 would also help close the wage gap by requiring equal pay for equal work.
  • Passing the Equal Rights Amendment. Sens. McKissick, VanDuyn, and Smith and Reps. Cunningham, Fisher, Terry, von Haefen proposed SB 184 and HB 271 which could make North Carolina the final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, making wage and sex discrimination illegal in our state.
Our Health & Safety

  • Expanding Medicaid. HB 5 and SB 3 would cleanly expand Medicaid, making health care more accessible to 500,000 North Carolinians, bringing 40,000 jobs to our state, and helping struggling rural hospitals better serve their communities.
  • Protecting the Health and Safety of LGBTQ+ Individuals. Nearly a dozen Democratic legislators proposed HB 514HB 515, and HB 516 which would protect the health and safety of marginalized communities, fully repeal HB2, and ban conversion therapy.
  • Establishing Red Flag Laws. Reps. Morey, Clark, Harrison, and Martin proposed HB 454, which would implement commonsense gun reform by temporarily removing weapons from dangerous individuals.

Our Schools

  • Increase the Minimum Wage for School Employees. Rep. Everitt led the way on HB 359, which would increase the minimum wage for non-certified school employees like bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians.
  • Reinstate State Retiree Health Benefits. Reps. von Haefen, Ball, Lucas, and Harrison proposed HB 790 to restore retiree health benefits for teachers after 2021.

Our People

  • Establishing Independent Redistricting. Reps. Reives and Turner proposed HB 69, which would establish an independent redistricting commission because voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around.
  • Making it Easier to Register to Vote. Sens. Jackson, Foushee, and deViere proposed SB 641, which would decrease barriers to voting by establishing online voter registration and automatic voter registration at the DMV.
  • Closing the Consent Loophole. Sen. Jackson proposed SB 563, which would close the loophole in N.C. law that says people cannot revoke consent once it has been given.

North Carolina Democrats are standing up for the best interests of our people, our communities, and our state. Meanwhile, Republicans have spent the 2019 legislative session on heavy-handed government overreach like regulating our grass clippings and gerrymandering the Winston-Salem City Council, pushing their wrong priorities on education by attacking next week’s teacher rally and deceiving teachers with a “smoke and mirrors” bill with no new funding, and undermining affordable health care by pushing junk insurance plans and refusing to expand Medicaid.

“Last year, North Carolina Democrats made a promise to the people of our state,” NCDP Spokesman Robert Howard said. “This year, they’re following through on that promise with commonsense legislation that puts North Carolinians first. It’s time for Republican leaders to do the same.”