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As the N.C. General Assembly works to wrap-up its seven-week session, Senator Eric Mansfield says there were several missed opportunities.

Mansfield, who appeared last weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, says among this session’s biggest disappointments was the failure of his colleagues in the Senate to even consider compensation for victims of the state’s now defunct forced-sterilization program:

“It seemed not indicative of what I thought most of our Senators were, which even if they were nothing else, I thought the majority of them were empathetic and compassionate,” said Senator Mansfield.

To hear the full interview or download a podcast of last week’s entire show, visit the Radio Interview section of the N.C. Policy Watch website.

The legislature is expected to conclude its summer session on Tuesday.

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State Senator Don East is mounting a strong last minute rush in his campaign to be named Top Heartless Blowhard of the 2012 Legislative Session.

As the Mount Airy News reports, East is unrepentant about helping to torpedo compensation for eugenics victims.

“It doesn’t change anything — if they’re sterile, they’re still sterile,” said the Republican who represents Surry, Stokes, Yadkin and Alleghany counties in the Legislature.

Maybe next year, East will propose a bill to abolish punishment for murder. After all, as the Senator would be able to argue, “It doesn’t change anything – if  the victims are dead, they’re still dead.”

If you want to get the gist of what the new version of the state budget as advanced by the NC Senate is about, check out this story by Lynn Bonner in Raleigh’s News & Observer.

In one fell swoop, GOP leaders voted to say “yes” to preserving a tax break for profitable businesses that they slipped into the budget while no one was watching last session and “no” to compensating victims of the state’s horrific, mid-20th Century eugenics program.

Thanks for making things so clear, Senators!

 

The state Senate gave tentative approval to its $20.1 billion budget on Wednesday. But unlike the NC House, it appears Senate Republicans are not interested in providing compensation to the victims of the state’s forced-sterilization program.

During the debate, Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt said he believed that almost everyone was on board with legislation in the House that would set aside $11 million for the living victims of the state’s eugenics program.

But Surry County Senator Don East made it clear he didn’t believe the state should shoulder the blame or the financial burden:

“You can’t rewrite history. I’m sorry,  I had nothing to do with that, “said East. “A few dollars ain’t going to change nothin’.”

Randolph County Senator Jerry Tillman told Nesbitt he should have pushed for compensation when the Democrats had control of the legislature, rather that look for support this year.

The Senate is expected to give final approval to their proposed budget on Thursday.

To watch Wednesday’s heated exchange over eugenics compensation, click below:

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Just how unapologetically extreme are the people running the current North Carolina General Assembly?

This extreme: Yesterday, when the House of Representatives finally voted to toss a rather paltry and too-little, too-late bit of compensation for the victims of the state’s infamous, mid-20th Century “eugenics” program, the majority Republican caucus was almost equally divided.

Thirty-five GOP’ers voted for it and 31 (47% of those voting) voted against. Click here to see the vote.    

For a more thorough examination of the General Assembly’s current rightward tilt. check out this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing.