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  • Republican Lawmakers Reintroduced Legislation Vetoed By Gov. Cooper In 2021 That Would Prohibit Cities Or Counties From Adopting Ordinances That Limit The Expansion Of Natural Gas. “Members of North Carolina’s House of Representatives are again seeking legislation that would prevent counties and municipal governments from banning the use of natural gas or any other form of energy to heat buildings or power appliances. At least 20 states have passed similar so-called ‘preemption laws.’ In North Carolina, a bill failed in the 2021-22 session following a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper. […] Cooper’s 2021 veto message said preventing governments from banning natural gas or other energy sources ‘wrongly strips local authority’ while also hampering the state’s ability to move toward fossil fuel-free energy sources.” [The News&Observer, 2/23/23]
    • The Bill Passed Into Law Without Gov. Cooper’s Signature. [North Carolina General Assembly, 2023-2024 Session, HB130, Became Law W/o Signature, 6/26/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed A Bill To Ban Certain Investments In Green Energy. “A ban on green investing has cleared North Carolina’s GOP-controlled legislature as part of a broader Republican crusade against big businesses that champion sustainability and workplace diversity. The measure, which won final legislative approval Tuesday, bans state agencies from using “environmental, social and governance” standards to screen potential investments, award contracts or hire and fire employees. It also says the state cannot weigh how a company promotes sustainability, engages with its community or structures its leadership to support those goals. At least two other states — North Dakota and Idaho — have already enacted laws banning such criteria. And elected officials in several other red states have derided them as “woke” or proposed similar policies to stop investors who contract with states from adopting them. The Senate voted 29-18 along party lines on Tuesday after the House passed the bill with veto-proof margins in May. It now heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who could sign it, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.” [Sun Journal, 6/13/23]
    • Gov. Cooper Vetoed The Bill, But It Was Overridden By The Republican-Led Legislature. [North Carolina General Assembly, 2023-2024 Session, HB750, Veto Overridden, 6/27/23]

Criminal Justice

  • Republican Lawmakers Passed A Bill That Increases Punishments For Protestors. “In the House on Wednesday, Sen. Natalie Murdock of District 20 said the bill ‘will not stop violence’ but instead infringe on First Amendment rights, citing the 2020 protests after George Floyd’s murder as a reason not to support it. ‘Millions of people protested and risked their lives in the middle of a global pandemic, because they wanted a criminal justice system that sees and protects them,’ Murdock said. ‘Unfortunately, instead of listening to their calls and passing truly bold changes, HB 40 doubles down on the punitive system that created the scars of mass incarceration that we’re still dealing with today.’” [PortCityDaily, 3/12/23]
    • The Bill Passed Into Law Without Gov. Cooper’s Signature. [North Carolina General Assembly, 2023-2024 Session, HB40, Became Law W/o Signature, 3/21/23]
  • House Republicans Passed A Bill That Removes The Firearm Safety And Training Requirement For Probation Or Parole Officers. [H36, North Carolina General Assembly, 23-24 Session, passed House 2/15/23]


  • Democratic Lawmakers Introduced A Bill Aimed At Increasing Voter Accessibility Through Online Voter Registration, Enforcing Penalties For Voter Intimidation, And Setting Early & Weekend Voting Times. “‘The conservative members of the General Assembly are so afraid of voters’ power that they are working to pass laws that limit our chance to cast our votes and to have that vote be counted,’ said Sen. Kandie Smith (D-Edgecombe, Pitt) at a news conference to unveil companion House and Senate bills aimed at deterring voter intimidation, providing online voter registration, setting hours for early and in-person voting on weekends, and creating a less partisan redistricting process. ‘So that voters can know and trust that they, and they alone, have the power to choose their elected officials,’ Smith said.” [BPR, 3/10/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed A Bill That Would Remove Control Of Commission Seat Appointments From The Democratic Governor, And Give That Power To The State Legislature, As Well As Other Executive Branch Departments Outside Of The Governor. “The bill, which passed the chamber on a 29-18 party-line vote before heading to the House, would either shift control or eliminate over 20 commission seats otherwise filled by Cooper and future governors. Current members wouldn’t be replaced until their terms end. The legislature, Senate leader or House speaker would get to make many of those appointments instead. The state treasurer, agriculture commissioner and insurance commissioner, all of whom lead executive branch departments but are elected separately from the governor, would also get to make some appointments.” [Spectrum News 1, 4/7/23]
  • Senate Republicans Passed Legislation That Would Place Restrictions On Early And Mail-In Voting, As Well As Change The Makeup Of The State Elections Board. “The State Senate passed two bills addressing elections, SB 747 and SB 749 on Wednesday evening. Senate Bill 747 would shift the deadline for mail-in and absentee ballots from three days after election day to 7:30 p.m. on election day. It would also require new signature verification — using software to verify a person’s signature to that on record — and would change the rules for people who register to vote on election day, making their ballots provisional. […] Senate Bill 749 would restructure the Board of Elections by splitting the appointments between the majority and minority leaders in the General Assembly.” [ABC11, 6/21/23]


  • House Republicans Passed Legislation To Prohibit Teaching Concepts Related To Race Or Gender Inequalities. “State Rep. Vernetta Alston, who also opposed the 2021 bill, told The N&O this month that legislation like this “is dangerous” and called it a political distraction. ‘Our children, our students, deserve to know the truth about our history,’ said Alston, a Durham Democrat. ‘This is something that’s being manufactured by the Republican Party, and it’s going to have real consequences for our children, for our teachers, for our schools at a time when we should be talking about the fact that I think teacher vacancies have tripled in the last three years. … There are real crises going on in our schools that need immediate attention. And this is not where we should be spending our energy,’ she said.” [The News&Observer, 2/23/23; HB187, North Carolina General Assembly, 23-24 Session, House Passed 3rd Reading, 3/22/23]
  • House Republicans Passed A Bill That Would Allow For More Reasons To Suspend Students, Including Adding Dress Code Violations And Inappropriate Language As “Serious Violations.” [H188, North Carolina General Assembly, 23-24 Session, House Passed 3rd Reading, 3/22/23]
    • The Bill Sponsor, Who Also Chairs The K-12 Education Committee In The House, Rep. John Torbett, Spoke About The “Structural Pier” Of School Discipline. “He said the education system is doing a disservice to students who cause a disruption by not getting them the help they need to deal with the root cause of the behavior. And at the same time, he said it’s unfair to other students when one child disrupts the learning taking place in the classroom.” [EdNC, 12/5/22]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed Legislation To Further Extend Charter School’s Pilot Status And Allow Them To Offer Remote Academies. “The bill would allow charter schools to offer remote academies, similar to what traditional public schools offered during COVID-19 and beyond. But a separate section of the bill allows the state’s two virtual charter schools to continue on in their pilot status for another year and increase their enrollment. At issue is the schools’ performance. They were launched in the 2015-16 school year as a pilot program and have consistently been designated by the state as low-performing schools. […] ‘I really don’t understand why we are continuing to extend this pilot program. Since 2016, these schools have received D ratings and have not met growth standards. I really don’t understand that. Can you explain that?’ asked Rep. Julie von Haefen, D-Wake.” [EdNC, 3/8/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed Legislation To Expand The State’s Private School Voucher Program. “The effort to greatly expand the state’s nearly decade-old Opportunity Scholarship Program is a key initiative of conservative school choice activists. They argue government should provide students with funds to ensure they can succeed in private or religious schools, perhaps to avoid chronically low-performing local public schools. […] Democrats spoke against the measure, saying it would erode financial support for traditional public schools even more by siphoning state funds to private schools, many of which lack the same standards and accountability as public schools. Rep. Julie von Haefen, a Wake County Democrat opposed to the program, said eliminating the income standards would transfer money to wealthy families that already have the funds to pay for private schools.” [WNCT, 5/18/23]


  • Democratic Lawmakers Are Pushing Back Against A 2021 Plan By Republicans To Eliminate Income Taxes For Corporations. “‘We simply cannot afford to erase a billion dollars from state revenue,’ Durham Democratic Rep. Marcia Morey said at a press conference Monday with other liberal leaders. ‘That will hurt our public schools. It will deprive North Carolinians of public services like longer waits — if that’s possible — at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your license. More canceled bus routes. Delays in court Proceedings and health appointments. Delays in getting your own tax return.’” [WRAL, 3/20/23]
  • The General Assembly Passed A Bill Expanding Medicaid Eligibility, With 24 Republican Lawmakers Voting Against The Legislation In The House. “When Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, a longtime expansion advocate, signs the bill, it should leave 10 states in the U.S. that haven’t adopted expansion. North Carolina has 2.9 million enrollees in traditional Medicaid coverage. Advocates have estimated that expansion could help 600,000 adults. ‘Medicaid Expansion is a once in a generation investment that will make all North Carolina families healthier while strengthening our economy, and I look forward to signing this legislation soon,’ Cooper tweeted.” [AP News, 3/23/23]
    • Gov. Cooper Signed The Legislation. [NPR, 3/28/23]


  • Democratic Lawmakers Introduced A Package Of Gun Safety Bills, Including Permit Requirements, Safe Storage Laws, And Extreme Risk Protection Orders. “A group of North Carolina Democrats introduced multiple gun safety bills Tuesday, including measures that would require purchase permits for rifles and allow law enforcement to destroy certain weapons seized from violent offenders or voluntarily surrendered to police. State Reps. Marcia Morey (Durham), Julie von Haefen (Wake), Pricey Harrison (Guilford) and Sen. Natasha Marcus (Mecklenburg) announced four new bills designed to reduce gun violence and deaths across North Carolina. The lawmakers were joined by several other members of the General Assembly, as well as local law enforcement officials from across the state to unveil the measures.” [WCNC, 3/7/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed Legislation That Repeals The Permit Requirement For Handguns And Authorizes Carrying A Handgun In A Place Of Religious Worship Under Certain Circumstances.. “Under the bill, county sheriffs would no longer be required to perform evaluations of an applicant’s character and mental wellness and ensure that the gun will be used lawfully. […] But Democrats raised alarms that the repeal would create a loophole that could allow criminals or people with mental illnesses to more easily obtain weapons. Background checks are not mandatory for private gun sales between two individuals, which only require buyers to obtain a sheriff-issued permit, or face a misdemeanor charge. ‘We currently have something in place that I will say does save lives,’ Rep. Marcia Morey, a Durham County Democrat, said during floor debate. ‘Let’s not repeal it and take off that layer of protection.’” [ABC 11, 2/22/23; North Carolina General Assembly, 2023-2024 Session, S41, Veto Overridden, 3/29/23]
    • Gov. Cooper Vetoed Senate Bill 41. “‘Eliminating strong background checks will allow more domestic abusers and other dangerous people to own handguns and reduces law enforcement’s ability to stop them from committing violent crimes,’ Cooper, a Democrat, said in a press release. ‘Second Amendment supporting, responsible gun owners know this will put families and communities at risk.’” [The Carolina Journal, 3/24/23]
    • The House Republican Majority Overrode Gov. Cooper’s Veto. “North Carolina residents can now buy a handgun without getting a permit from a local sheriff, after the Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday overrode the Democratic governor’s veto — a first since 2018. […] The permit repeal takes effect immediately. Cooper and Democratic lawmakers warned it allows more dangerous people to obtain weapons through private sales, which do not require a background check, and limits law enforcement’s ability to prevent them from committing violent crimes.” [AP News, 3/29/23]


  • House Republicans Passed Legislation That Could Require Sheriffs To Detain Individuals With An Unknown Immigration Status For At Least 48 Hours. “‘[HB 10] is talking about additional detention associated with an arrest, or some kind of other criminal detention that is now resolved,’ said Kate Evans, director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the Duke Law School. ‘These individuals would otherwise go back to their families and communities. But this law will keep them for two more days at the request of ICE officers without any kind of independent review as to whether or not there are actually valid civil charges that would justify the detention.’” [The Chronicle, 3/8/23; North Carolina General Assembly, 2023-2024 Session, HB10, House Passed 3rd Reading, 3/28/23]


  • House Republicans Introduced Legislation To Propose A “Right-To-Work” Constitutional Amendment To Voters. “North Carolina Rep. Jon Hardister, who is seeking the Republican nomination for labor commissioner in 2024, wants you to endorse of the idea of making North Carolina a ‘right-to-work state.’ North Carolina already has a law specifying that status, but Hardister, the House Republican whip from Whitsett who has represented Guilford County since 2012, has filed House Bill 614 to create a constitutional amendment that would make the status more difficult to change.” [Fox 8, 4/14/23]

LGBTQ+ Rights

  • Senate Republicans Passed A Bill Banning Teaching About Sexuality And Gender Identity In Grades K-4, And Require Schools To Notify Parents If A Student Has A Name Or Pronoun Change. “The measure faced pushback since its introduction and right until the final vote, including from first-term State Senator Lisa Grafstein, who represents Wake County. ‘We all want to solve problems for our constituents, but first we should do no harm. This bill does harm. Full stop. If you’re thinking of voting yes, this is what I’m going to ask of you. Think ahead to tomorrow morning when you get up and look in the mirror, I want you to be sure to ask yourself this new. Will you be sure that you did no harm by passing this bill? That not one person will feel like they’re trapped and have no one to trust,’ said Grafstein, who highlighted she was the chamber’s lone LGBTQ+ member. Grafstein said there were more pressing matters that deserved attention, including regarding school safety, adding she has heard concerns from constituents regarding this bill.” [ABC 11, 2/7/23]
    • Gov. Cooper Vetoed The Bill. “Governor Cooper made the following statement on his veto of SB 49: ‘Parents are the most essential educators for their children and their involvement must be encouraged, but this bill will scare teachers into silence by injecting fear and uncertainty into classrooms. This ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill also hampers the important and sometimes lifesaving role of educators as trusted advisers when students have nowhere else to turn. The rights of parents are well established in state law, so instead of burdening schools with their political culture wars, legislators should help them with better teacher pay and more investments in students.’” [NC Governor Roy Cooper, Press Releases, 7/5/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed Legislation To Make It Illegal For Anyone Under 18 To Recieve Gender-Affirming Care. “North Carolina lawmakers finalized legislation on Wednesday that would prohibit certain gender-affirming care for children and prevent state funds from being used to provide such therapies and procedures. The House voted 67-46 to accept a version of the measure approved by the Senate on Tuesday. The legislation would bar any medical professional from providing hormone therapy, puberty blockers and surgical gender transition procedures to anyone under 18, with some medical exceptions.” [AP, 6/28/23]
    • Gov. Cooper Vetoed The Bill. “Cooper, in a statement announcing the action, accused GOP lawmakers of ‘scheming for the next election’ by ‘hurting vulnerable children’ and pushing ‘political culture wars.’ ‘A doctor’s office is no place for politicians, and North Carolina should continue to let parents and medical professionals make decisions about the best way to offer gender care for their children,’ Cooper said, referring to HB808, which would ban certain gender-affirming care for minors. ‘Ordering doctors to stop following approved medical protocols sets a troubling precedent and is dangerous for vulnerable youth and their mental health.’” [CNN, 7/5/23]
  • House Republicans Introduced HB673 To Criminalize Public Drag Performances. “A newly proposed North Carolina bill would make it illegal to perform a drag show in public or where a minor could see it. The drag bill, filed Tuesday, would group some “male or female impersonators” with exotic dancers and strippers under state law, prohibiting them from performing on public property or in the presence of minors. Performers could face felony charges after the first offense.” [WCNC, 4/18/23]
  • The GOP-Controlled North Carolina Legislature Passed A Ban On Transgender Athletes From Girls’ Sports Teams.  “The Republican-controlled North Carolina state House gave final approval to a bill Thursday that would ban transgender girls and women from competing on middle school, high school and college sports teams that align with their gender identity. The state House voted 62-43, largely along party lines, to approve an amended version of the bill passed in the state Senate by a vote of 31-17 earlier this week. The measure now heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, whose office slammed Republicans for ‘spending their time on political culture wars’ rather than ‘working to invest in our schools and pay our teachers more.’” [CNN, 6/22/23]
    • Gov. Cooper Vetoed The Bill. “Cooper also vetoed HB 574, which would ban transgender girls and women from competing on middle school, high school and college sports teams that align with their gender identity. The bill states that a “student’s sex shall be recognized based solely on the student’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth,” and would require sports teams to be designated as for males, men or boys; females, women or girls; or coed or mixed.” [CNN, 7/5/23]

Reproductive Rights

  • The Entire Roster Of Democrats In Both The North Carolina Senate And House Signed On To Legislation To Codify Both Roe And Casey Protections. [The Carolina Journal, 1/26/23; The Offices of The House and Senate Democrats, 1/31/23]
  • House Republicans Filed A Bill To Completely Ban Abortion In The State, Except To Save A Mothers Life, And Would Charge Violators With A Felony. “House Bill 533 was filed Wednesday by state Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Beautfort), its primary sponsor, Rep. Ben Moss (R-Moore), Rep. Edward Goodwin (R-Chowan) and Rep. Kevin Crutchfield (R-Cabarrus), and it would ban abortion processes except in cases of a spontaneous abortion of the fetus or an ectopic pregnancy. […] Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said last fall that he was looking for a path to something narrower. He said he doesn’t think the 20-week ban is sufficient, although it is narrower than the roughly 24-to-28-week limit that Roe had stipulated.” [Fox 8, 3/30/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Passed A 12-Week Abortion Ban. “North Carolina’s Republican-controlled state Senate on Thursday passed legislation that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has vowed to veto the bill, but the GOP supermajority in the legislature can override him. The measure sped through the legislature this week, passing both chambers on party-line votes less than 48 hours after being introduced. The state House had advanced the bill on Wednesday after it was introduced Tuesday night. Cooper has previously said he plans to veto the “extreme” legislation, but if all members vote along party lines, North Carolina’s Republican state legislators have enough votes in both chambers to override any veto from Cooper.” [CNN, 5/4/23]
    • Democratic Gov. Cooper Vetoed The Bill. “In front of an exuberant crowd, North Carolina’s Democratic governor vetoed legislation Saturday that would have banned nearly all abortions in his state after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Hundreds of abortion-rights activists and voters watched on a plaza in the capital of Raleigh as Gov. Roy Cooper affixed his veto stamp to the bill. The veto launches a major test for leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly to attempt to override Cooper’s veto after they recently gained veto-proof majorities in both chambers. The bill was the Republican response to last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.” [CBS, 5/13/23]
    • The Republican-Supermajority In The Legislature Overrode Gov. Cooper’s Veto. “North Carolina Republicans successfully killed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban on Tuesday, paving the way for the restriction to soon become law. When the legislature held an override vote on Tuesday, every Republican voted for the 12-week abortion ban in the Senate, 30-20, and the House, 72-48 ― confirming that the state’s Republican supermajority had the power to override Cooper’s veto.” [HuffPost, 5/16/23]