North Carolina is one step closer to offering tax-free, lump sum payments of $50,000 to each victim of the state’s forced sterilization program. On Tuesday, a House committee voted in favor of the compensation package outlined in House Bill 947, sending the bill on to the Finance Committee.
House Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam told the committee it served no purpose to further delay the issue:
“We can’t fix their bodies, but we can fix this. We can pay compensation, and we ought to do it. Get it over with, have it done, so they can enjoy it before they die,” said Stam.
In an emotional appeal, Rep. Larry Womble, who had been absent from the legislature since a head-on car accident last December, urged his colleagues to support the legislation that he had spent the better part of his career advocating for:
“We must come down on the side of right,” said Womble.
To watch the highlights of Tuesday’s committee hearing, click below: