Advocacy Update: Few meetings, death penalty, ABLE Act
Monday, August 3, 2015
By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
Senators did not hold any committee meetings last week since their announcement that Senate committees were done on July 23rd. However, they worked on several controversial bills on the floor such as the death penalty and the omnibus gun bill. House members held a few meetings including a lengthy Appropriations meeting on Wednesday afternoon where they discussed budget differences and heard from community members.
Legislators now have just over a week and a half to compromise on a budget and a Medicaid Reform plan.
Relevant Bills With Action
HB 562 Amend Firearms Laws: This bill created a lot of controversy in the House before it was amended on the floor as it would have fined providers for asking clients about access to firearms. This language was removed on the House side thanks to your action! This bill passed the Senate without any additional amendments and was sent to the Governor to be signed into law.
HB 134 Soliciting Prostitution/Immunity for Minors: This bill is a positive fix from the comprehensive human trafficking legislation passed in 2013. The bill would take a minor suspected of soliciting prostitution into protective custody and investigate factors of human trafficking- this was not included in the 2013 legislation. The bill passed the Senate and was sent to the Governor for signature.
HB 556 Achieving A Better Life Experience Act: This bill creates tax free savings accounts- 529 Accounts- for persons with disabilities in an attempt to ease financial burdens such as transportation, housing, education, health care, and more once a guardian has passed away. It’s a great solution for families who are worried about taking care of children with disabilities later in life. The bill passed the Senate and was sent to the House for a minor correction. The bill will be heard this week in the House.
HB 774 Restoring Proper Justice Act: A very controversial bill, this legislation would allow executions to begin on death row in North Carolina by removing the provision that a licensed physician be present for the execution and allows for another licensed medical provider to be present to administer the injection of the lethal solution. A licensed physician would have to be on the premises to examine a body after the execution. The bill passed the Senate and the House concurred with changes. The bill was sent to the Governor for signature and is effective when it becomes law.
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