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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Session Ends with Passage of Pro-Life Bills

The North Carolina House adjourned on Saturday, June 18, after passing Rep. Mitch Gillespie's "Choose Life" License Plate bill H289, "Authorize Various Plates."  This bill was the last of the several pro-life bills supported by North Carolina Right to Life to get through the legislature in the waning days before adjournment.

The "Choose Life" plate was attacked by amendments offered by both House and Senate Democrats who wanted to keep the plate from being offered by the NCDMV.  Democrats in both chambers offered an amendment to include a "Trust Women..Respect Choice" plate in Rep. Gillespie's bill with the proceeds from the sale of the plate going to Planned Parenthood.  These amendments in addition to other gutting amendments offered by the Democrats failed.

There was one amendment in Senate Finance that almost derailed the the bill because it would have prohibited full color license plates. While the amendment did pass the Finance Committee and the bill passed the Senate 41-9, the House voted 108-0 not to concur.  The negotiations that followed between Rep.Mitch Gillespie (R-McDowell) and Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mechlenburg), brought a compromise that allows the Choose Life plate to have its special full color plate design until 2015.  The compromise passed the Senate 29-11 at 12:56 AM on June 18 before the Senate adjourned, and then passed the House 68-44 at 11:42 AM just before it adjourned.

The bill also provides for a study committee:

"The Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and the Department of Transportation shall study whether, for purposes of effective law enforcement, full-color special license plates should continue to be authorized or be phased out, with all special license plates being on the First in Flight background.  The study shall also include an estimate of the replacement costs and recommendations for funding those costs. 

The Departments shall report their findings and make recommendations to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee on or before the convening of the 2012 Regular Session of the 2011 General Assembly.  The Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee shall make any legislative recommendations based on the study to the 2012 Regular Session of the 2011 General Assembly."

Based on the recommendations of the study committee, the phase out of the full color plates could be repealed, allowing the plates to remain full color for those which qualify by statute.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, June 15, the Senate Rules Committee passed the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know Act along party lines, allowing the bill to go straight to the Senate floor on the supplemental calendar for that day.  Just as in the House, Democrat legislators spoke against the bill. All Democrats and one of the Republicans, Senator Stan Bingham (Davidson), voted against the bill. Senator Richard Stevens (R-Wake) did not vote.

The bill passed its second reading (29-20) and third reading on a voice vote without a single amendment being offered. It was ratified on June 16; then, presented to the Governor on June 17.  Governor Beverly Perdue has 10 days to either sign or veto the bill.  If she does neither, the bill will become law automatically after 10 days.


Call Governor Perdue at 1-919-733-4240 to ask her to allow the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know to become law. 

When the person answers the phone, say that the voice mail is full and you would like to leave a message. 

Then say, "I strongly support the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know H854 and ask the Governor to allow the bill to become law." 

Be sure to give your name. Pass the word to all your pro-life family and friends.


H854 Abortion Woman's Right to Know

H289 Authorize Various Plates

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