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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!

 

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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.

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The NC House passed and sent to the Senate Tuesday legislation that would compensate victims of the state’s forced-sterilization program.

Approval came amid a push by Rep. John Blust to amend House Bill 947 and offer $20,000 to each living survivor of the program, not the $50,000 as earmarked in the legislation.

The Guilford County Republican argued there was no real rationale for the higher sum in a tight budget year, and that social services these individuals had received over the years could be considered a form of compensation.

In the end, Blust’s amendment failed and the compensation bill passed 86-31. The legislation now heads to the state Senate.

To hear Tuesday’s debate over Rep. Blust’s amendment, click below. To see how individual House members voted, click here.

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The conservative leadership in the N.C. General Assembly has been trying to repair its image and dreadful approval ratings in recent months after more than a year of substantive and P.R. disasters. 

Hence, the phenomenon of a group that has made one of its top priorities the repeal of a law known as the Racial Justice Act getting so visible all of a sudden in pushing to jumpstart the long dormant movement to compensate the mostly African-American victims of forced sterilization. When one of your signature causes amounts to harmful and hateful effort to, effectively,  reinstate racial discrimination in the application of the death penalty, your image on issues related to race can use a lot of burnishing.

Unfortunately, as so often happens with a group that’s connected to and reliant upon the far right Tea Party crowd, doing the right thing is not so easy Read More