Today marks the second day of the legislative session, and there are a flurry of bills on the legislative calendar slated to be introduced. Many of you are already familiar with the Civitas Institute’s Bad Bill of the Week series from last session – a series we plan on continuing this session – but we also like to call attention to legislation we feel will have a positive impact on North Carolina.
Four such house bills are scheduled to be introduced today.
HB 1659, sponsored by Rep. Stam (R-Wake) and Lewis (R-Harnett), is a bill that would strengthen private property rights by amending the state constitution to protect against eminent domain abuse (an issue highlighted in the Civitas Institute’s 20 Changes for 2010: A Primer for State Reform).
Two bills will be introduced to address the rule adopted by the State Board of Community Colleges that allows illegal immigrants to enroll in North Carolina’s Community Colleges. HB 1672, sponsored by Rep. West (R-Cherokee), Rep. Guice (R-Henderson); and HB 1679, sponsored by Rep. Cleveland (R-Onslow), Rep. Neumann (R-Gaston), Rep. Burris-Floyd (R-Cleveland), and Rep. Moore (R-Cleveland) would change North Carolina’s general statutes regarding the community college system to include the term “who are lawfully present in the United States” to the eligibility criteria for community college enrollees. The bills would also update state law to include the following:
The admissions standards of the State Board of Community Colleges and the admissions standards of all local community colleges shall prohibit the admission of persons who are not lawfully present in the United States, except as otherwise required by federal law.
Lastly, HB 1674, sponsored by Rep. Stam, Burris-Floyd, Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), and Barnhart (R-Cabarrus), is a bill that would authorize the General Assembly to consider a bill “TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO PROTECT THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HEALTH CARE AND HEALTH INSURANCE.” (caps in original). In other words, this bill would allow the introduction of and debate on a bill to exempt North Carolinians from the federal health care reform’s mandatory requirement forcing citizens to purchase a government-approved health insurance plan. Disappointingly, this bill will not see the light of day, as Attorney General Roy Cooper has refused to join dozens of other states in a lawsuit against this mandate.