As the latest session of the North Carolina General Assembly nears another mind numbing conclusion, taxpayers have to wonder what their lawmakers have been doing in Raleigh for the last eight months. Now that the backroom horse trading on the budget is over, we have a state spending plan that manages to raise taxes and increase spending during the worst economy in decades. Legislative leaders have spent the better part of the year deciding whose ox (other than their own) will be gored.
While most legislative action revolves around spending your money, liberal lawmakers wasted no time in advancing a left wing social agenda. Despite losing a seat in the 2008 elections, liberals in Raleigh have been on a tear. This is the real story behind the 2009 session of the North Carolina General Assembly.
A few of the lowlights of the session include:
The ever increasingly invasive hand of government (HB 2) will now reach out into public life and snuff out cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookah smoked in public. How a state that was once the center of the bright leaf universe has come to this point is hard to imagine.
By passing the so-called bullying bill (SB526), legislators managed to enact sexual orientation language into state statute for the first time.
Racial “Justice” Act
While failing to end the de facto moratorium on capital punishment, lawmakers attempted to add racial quotas that would allow murderers to escape the death penalty with the Racial Justice Act (SB461).
Abstinence-based sex education was also attacked this session with the result being the loss of local control by your school board to decide which curriculum should be used. You have to laugh at this bill’s title: The “Healthy” Youth Act (HB88). (Liberals hate the idea that local school boards have the authority to make their own decisions.)
You have to wonder where the liberals learned the art of writing bill titles. The word euphemism comes to mind but then again, so does the word propaganda.
The advancement of the leftist agenda in Raleigh has two parts. The obvious part is the previously mentioned passing of liberal bills. The second part is less visible. The legislative leadership simply blocks any conservative bill from being heard at all.
The most glaring example of a bill popularly supported by the voters of North Carolina is the Defense of Marriage Act (HB361 & SB272). Despite being sponsored by a bipartisan majority of legislators in both houses, leadership refuses to give this bill even a committee hearing.
Conventional wisdom at the Legislature says that once they have passed a budget, adjournment of the session is usually not far behind. Both chambers have left Raleigh and now the citizens of North Carolina must calculate what the damage to their pockets will look like. Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York City once said, “We’re in the hands of the state legislature and God, but at the moment, the state legislature has more to say than God.” North Carolina is in the hands of the Legislature, may God help us.