Amidst another weekend filled with legislative and political news, my favorite quote was this from House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes in a News & Observer story about the halfway mark of the General Assembly session.
House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, a Hickory Republican, said the session is moving as expected. “I think the General Assembly has been on a pretty slow and deliberate pace,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve done anything too terribly controversial yet.”
Well let’s see, lawmakers have denied health care to 500,000 low-income people by refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, refused to allow 170,000 unemployed workers to receive emergency unemployment benefits paid for by the federal government, and voted to allow the state Earned Income Tax Credit that helps low wage workers to expire.
Nothing “too terribly controversial” in there? Good grief .
Then there are all the regressive bills working their way through the House and Senate that are far too numerous to mention. And it is worth remembering that if Starnes’ had his way, the absurd state religion bill would have passed too.
He was one of 14 members of the House—the nullification caucus—to sign the resolution that declared among other things that people in North Carolina are not subject to decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The fact that the elected leader of House Republicans believes the state does not have to obey federal laws or federal court decisions is evidence enough that things are indeed “terribly controversial” on Jones Street.