North Carolina state lawmakers Rep. Rick Glazier (left) and Sen. Josh Stein (right) warn that Amendment One, if passed, will:
- Curtail domestic violence protection for unmarried women and their children, and
- End health care benefits for children of unmarried couples.
Glazier and Stein wrote:
“Experts in Family Law at every one of our state’s law schools have studied this issue and reached the same conclusion – the proposed Constitutional Amendment represents a number of certain negative impacts for unmarried couples in our state, and because it contains such vague and untested language, could very well lead to even more harmful outcomes, including the loss of domestic violence protections for unmarried women and their children, and the loss of health care benefits for unmarried partners.”
A little while ago, Honest NC’s CTO Scott Heath posted a link to a site called Legistorm. The company is useful for directory information, but requires a subscription for relevant contact information for legislative staff. Why isn’t it simpler to contact representatives directly?
Contact Congress - a free iPhone App
Like usual, the smartphone revolution has arrived on the scene. There are free apps on both the iPhone and Android operating systems that identify your pertinent representatives based on current location or a specific address. Of course, the iPhone version provides a slick interface through which you can call, Tweet or Facebook your representative at the push of a button. You can also apply costumes to a representative’s photo. The Android app seems a little more ponderous, but provides a wealth of information regarding bills on the floor and voting records, as well as a touch-to-call feature.
Congress (Sunshine Foundation) - a free Android App
Thus does technology march forward, empowering the individual by making the mighty more accessible.
Reading the State’s newspapers and blogs since the General Assembly reconvened to consider a slew of Governor Bev Perdue’s vetoes – I can’t help but chuckle.
Many (politicians, newspaper op-ed boards, columnists, advocates), including some of my colleagues at Honest NC, are upset by the Republican’s “legislative maneuvering”.
Last night, lawmakers in Raleigh showed an unprecedented disregard for both democracy and basic human decency.
Combine this with their gerrymandering, and you would think that the Republicans have slipped to new political lows.
But don’t forget. The Democrats, who controlled the Legislature for more than a century, did the exact same things. Unlike the Republicans though, the Democrats – led by the grand wizard himself, Tony Rand – did it all behind your backs.
I haven’t forgotten.
Looks as if the NCGA is heading home for the year, to reconvene again on the 3rd of January. We at HonestNC wish them a happy holiday season. Even with the posturing, the legislative gridlock, and a laundry list of questionable choices, every member is a citizen of this great State. So, enjoy your time off members of the House and Senate. Governing is a difficult, tedious job that often wins you more enemies than friends.
That said, can you kick off the next session with what remains of your holiday spirit? At least come back with some helpful New Years resolutions…
“The Environmental Review Commission will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building, Raleigh, North Carolina.
The agenda for the meeting is expected to include presentations on the State Parks System and State land conservation efforts, water quality buffers, and the use of ecological flow in hydrologic modeling.”
As an environmental scientist and watershed hydrologist – I am curious to see what this band of hooligans is up to, especially with regard to buffer rules and flow. The term “use of” is perhaps a code word that the current application of ecological flow modeling in environmental policy and regulation is under legislative attack.
The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation in 2010 directing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop hydrologic models for each river basin in N.C. An important part of this bill requires the department to determine the flows needed to maintain ecological integrity in surface waters. The bill further authorized the creation of a Science Advisory Board to assist the department in assessing these ecological flows.
What important legislation are members of Congress working on if they are not members of the Super Debt Committee?
The answer: the worst bill on Earth - banning circus animals, from circuses.
An interesting notice from the NC General Assembly staff.
North Carolina is home to a thriving banking and financial industry. I imagine that the outcome of this “modernization” will only drive more businesses from the State.
JOINT LEGISLATIVE STUDY COMMISSION ON THE MODERNIZATION OF NORTH CAROLINA BANKING LAWS
Rep. Harold J. Brubaker (Co-Chair)
Sen. Harry Brown (Co-Chair)
WHEN: Monday, November 21, 2011
TIME: 10:00 am
LOCATION: 544 Legislative Office Building
While bloodninja69 doesn’t sound like the most trusthworthy of names, this redditor does lay down some very helpful advice on how to get directly in touch with your congressperson and the benefits of a level-headed discourse:
…if you contact them directly, you’re knowledgable about the issue, and demonstrate that you understand the structure of a House office, they’ll be more responsive than you think.
Don’t know the structure of a House office? I didn’t either. Thankfully, bloodninja follows up in a another comment:
Member, Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, Legislative Assistants, Legislative Correspondent(s), Staff Assistant, Interns.
Bloodninja recommends a transparency tool called Legistorm to find the staff directories of your legislators. Check North Carolina’s esteemed list of current and former congressional members. Careful, there are few philanderers in there.
There is a good amount of free information available, but if you want the names, numbers and faxes of the legislative staff, you’ll have to pony up a hefty subscription fee. Information like this should be available for free; we the people, after all, pay for all those offices, phone lines and faxes.
I hope you will all go forth and harass your senators and representatives into making the right choices for the American people.