A dirty baker’s dozen

By: - October 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Thirteen things to fear if the far right takes over the N.C. General Assembly in 2011

During the month of October, NC Policy Watch released a series of special reports that detailed some of the policy initiatives that are likely to gain traction in the North Carolina General Assembly if ideologues on the far right assume significant power in 2011. This edition of Setting the record straight provides a brief summary of each of those reports along with easy-to-follow links that will connect the reader with the original reports.

  1. Voting and elections: Threats to public financing of elections, more corporate campaign cash, more roadblocks to voting for people of color and lower incomes.
  2. Criminal justice: More executions, fewer checks on prosecutor abuses, more prison overcrowding, less chance of overhauling the juvenile justice system.
  3. Affordable housing and homeownership: Big cuts in the already underfunded state Housing Trust Fund and Home Protection anti-foreclosure program.
  4. Health care: Elimination of "optional" Medicaid services like ambulances and prescription drugs, blockage of the creation of a "local health care exchange" under the federal reform law, closing the state Health Choice program to eligible poor kids.  
  5. Public health: Weakened anti-smoking laws, no tobacco tax hikes to curb teen smoking, new attacks on comprehensive sex education, cuts to HIV prevention and treatment.
  6. The environment: An end to state anti-global warming efforts, repeal of law that promotes renewables in electricity generation, an open door to off-shore oil drilling, more coal and nuclear, less public transportation, more sprawl, more billboards on scenic highways.
  7. Women's rights: A broad-based assault on abortion rights and reproductive freedom and an end to progress on pay equity and family leave policies.
  8. Immigrant rights: Serious consideration of an Arizona-inspired "show us your papers" law, new roadblocks to higher education and other essential services for immigrants.
  9. Gun control: The end of any hope for expanded background checks, waiting periods, or a proposal to require gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons.
  10. Education: A comprehensive attack on public education that features lower funding, enhanced segregation, vouchers for private schools and more attacks on teachers.  
  11. LGBT rights: A "Defense of Marriage Amendment" that would write discrimination in to the Constitution, attacks on parental rights of LGBT people and the anti-bullying law.
  12. Consumer rights: Big interest rate hikes on small consumer loans, weakened anti-foreclosure and anti-predatory lending laws, legislation to allow wage garnishment by creditors.
  13. Budget and tax policy: Huge cuts to essential services like education and health care, new tax cuts for the well-off, new spending caps that will leave us stuck in the 1950's.

(Note – if you find this list too distressing and happen to be in the Triangle tomorrow, be sure to attend the "Raleigh to Restore Sanity" event at Tir na nOg Irish Pub. There will be fun and laughs for all (and a little bit of serious stuff too). Festivities will likely commence around 11:45 and then those in attendance will watch the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert event from Washington.)

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors regular commentaries, and hosts a weekly radio show/podcast.