North Carolina Latest State to Kill Article V Convention of States

Article V of the U.S. Constitution

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

As anyone can read there are no rules, regulations, guide lines, etc. on how to run a Constitutional Convention.

The New American – “The tide has turned. The Convention of States did not win a single state this year,” Janine Hansen, national Constitutional Issues Chairman for Eagle Forum, told The New American Monday night after the latest defeat of the Article V Convention of States (COS) in North Carolina. “That is 18 states.”

And the person Hansen credits above all others in North Carolina for defeating the COS is Wynne Coleman, a tireless leader in the fight against the proposal in the Tarheel State. Coleman is the daughter of the late General Andrew Gatsis, who served for years on the National Council of The John Birch Society, the parent organization for The New American. This author personally heard General Gatsis speak in the 1980s on a national speaking tour for the JBS on the topic of the dangers of the feminist movement on the American military. Wynne’s mother, Alice, was also an activist, heavily involved in the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and 1980s.

Not surprisingly, Wynne Coleman has followed in her parents’ footsteps, and is also a proud member of The John Birch Society. Coleman formed and led a grass-roots committee, No Convention of States North Carolina, dedicated to the defeat of any attempt to call a Constitutional Convention, by whatever name, that she and others fear could lead to a re-writing of the U.S. Constitution.

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Click here to learn more about an Article V and make up your own mind.

A NC Representative Mike Clampitt, District 119 Review

Short Session in Review

I guess if one were to look back at the session that ended last Friday, one could say that it was the shortest session in recent memory. Under normal circumstances, the “short sessions” traditionally run from mid-May to the mid-to-latter part of July. For a session to last longer than that in an even-numbered year, one only needs to go back to 2002, where the session did not end until November 13 of that year.

The 2018 session can be broken down in three phases. The first phase, of course, was the budget. The second phase was a smattering of local bills, while the third phase was a combination of local bills, veto overrides, and constitutional amendments.

Of course, the process for constitutional amendments are, by no means done. As I stated in the previous two newsletters, the votes taken in the General Assembly only means that voters will have a say as to what gets added to the North Carolina Constitution.

Local bills are bills that, by rules of the legislature, effect fifteen or fewer counties. With few exceptions, local bills generally have either unanimous or near-unanimous support, and does not require the signature of the governor. Some issues that might inspire a local bill might be about personnel policy issues that only effect small counties and municipalities, or the need to establish fire districts in a particular county.

During the session, there were several overrides of gubernatorial vetoes. Here is a summary of some of those bill. Other bills has been covered in previous newsletters.

House Bill 374 Regulatory Reform Act of 2018

One of the main missions of the General Assembly since 2011, was untangle businesses’ and entrepreneurs from the ever growing amount of red tape that was hampering growth of the economy. Here are the main provisions of this years’ regulatory reform bill.

  • Allow electronic delivery of agency decision documents in contested cases
  • Allow temporary food establishments to operate: (i) for up to 30 days, with a possible one-time 15-day extension, and (ii) operate at agritourism businesses
  • Change the required office location for the North Carolina Board Of Cosmetic Art Examiners from Raleigh to Wake County
  • Amend the law on contracts with automatic renewal clauses to exempt real estate professionals from the applicable requirements
  • Make motorcycle financing changes to exempt motorcycles with a purchase price of $7,500 or more from the prohibition on balloon payments
  • Clarify registration requirements for employees of alarm system businesses to include those employees who install or service commercial business establishments to those persons who a licensee must register with the Alarm Systems Licensing Board
  • Modify the timing for renewable precertification for persons transporting essentials or restoring utilities during emergency declarations
  • Require the Division of Mitigation Services to review and revise its bidding and contracting procedures for procurement of mitigation services
  • Clarify improvement permit and construction authorization extensions for wastewater systems to provide that for purposes of extending a permit’s duration, site activities begun or completed pursuant to requirements from the local health department under the original permit would not be construed to be altered conditions and cannot constitute a basis for refusal of the permit extension
  • Require the Legislative Research Commission to study mandatory connection authority relating to use of the engineer option permit for wastewater · Revise wastewater permitting requirements
  • Expand the definition of “accepted wastewater dispersal system” to include approved trench dispersal systems
  • Cap Title V air quality permit fees for air curtain burners
  • Require the Environmental Management Commission to review local government implementation of certain water quality laws · Authorize replacement of certain temporary erosion control structures
  • Authorize certain coastal stormwater program variances
  • Allow American eels to be imported from Maryland for aquaculture purposes
  • Clarify applicability of institutional controls and notice recordation for aboveground tanks, and modify other requirements for underground storage tanks
  • Expand exemptions for certain local governments’ authority to enact flow control
  • Clarify landfill life-of-site/franchise requirements for sanitary landfills
  • Amend recoverable costs in the fuel clause rider for electric public utilities that have fewer than 150,000 North Carolina retail jurisdictional customers to include the cost of PURPA QF purchased power, and subject them to the current 1% annual cap on cost increases Amend the process for vacancy appointments to the Utilities Commission and the Industrial Commission
  • Adjust the number of assistant district attorneys in Prosecutorial Districts 10 and 22
  • Exempt the personal property of charter schools from property tax
  • Amend legislation regarding maintenance of roads surrounding schools
  • Repeal State Board of Education policies inconsistent with State law, as affirmed by the North Carolina Supreme Court, nd address State Board of Education rules
  • Prohibit the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service from revoking or refusing to renew a funeral license under certain circumstances

House Bill 382 DOI Omnibus

House Bill 382 would 1) incorporate model act language from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) into North Carolina’s Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act; 2) amend the Surplus Lines Act to allow an insurer to be designated a Domestic Surplus Lines Insurer (“DSLI”) and be domiciled in and write surplus lines insurance in North Carolina; 3) amend the notice provisions in the consent to rate statute and add data collection provisions; and 4) amend and make technical changes to other insurance laws, as recommended by the Department of Insurance.

House Bill 717 Judicial Elections Changes

House Bill 717 would do the following:

  • Re-establish judicial divisions, reducing the number of divisions to five from eight, effective July 1, 2018
  • Combine Duplin, Jones, Onslow, and Sampson Counties into one district for Superior Court

.Restructure the assignments of Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties to establish two districts for Prosecutorial districts, and establish residency requirements for filing in district court.

  • Restructure the assignment of Hoke and Moore Counties to establish a two county district consisting of those counties for Superior, District, and Prosecutorial districts.
  • Restructure the assignment of Anson, Richmond, and Scotland Counties to establish a three county district consisting of those counties for Superior, District, and Prosecutorial districts.
  • Require that official ballots contain a designation of the seat sought by a candidate when there are two or more vacancies for the office, to be determined by the State Board, provided that the designation is not an individual’s name.

Also in this session, I had a chance to make at least some progress on getting some of my own bills moved.

House Bill 1089 Candidacy Challenge/Expunged Felony/Sheriff

While the bill did pass the House, the bill did not become law since it got bottled up in the Senate. My hope is that the bill can go through the complete process, and become law next year. This bill stemmed from a challenge of candidacy against the Sheriff of Swain County, Curtis Cochran. The intent of the bill is to put the burden of proof on the challenger, since even candidates should have the same presumption of innocence as any other citizen would.

House Bill 414 Official Fly Fishing Museum/Outdoor Festival

One bright spot for me in this session was the passage of House Bill 414. The original language was kept intact, but the Outdoor Festival piece was added in the Senate. I supported the addition, and at my behest the House concurred with the Senate version, and was signed by the Governor on June 15th.

Naturally, I would’ve loved to have seen all my other bills move. Sometimes, it may take several sessions before a bill moves through the entire process. All in all, more than half of the bills on which I was a primary sponsor made it to the other chamber. That is not a small feat for any freshman. My hope is all the bills I introduced in 2017 and 2018 can be introduced early next year so that the chances of them moving in the other chamber, and eventually becoming law are improved.

A Dream Come True

This past Saturday, I has the opportunity to join US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, US Senator Thom Tillis, US Rep. Mark Meadows, and the Swain County Leadership in formally receiving the full payment of the $35.2 million that was owed to Swain County by the federal government for the unfinished North Shore Road Project.

I am glad to see that this finally came to fruition, thanks to persistent follow up between myself, Senator Tillis, Congressman Meadows, and Secretary Zinke.

Congressman Mark Meadows, Swain County Commissioner Phil Carson, Rep, Mike Clampitt, Sen. Jim Davis, Rep. Kevin Corbin, US Sen. Thom Tillis, Secretary Ryan Zinke

Please remember that you can reach my office by phone and by email. My phone number is (919) 715-3005, and my email address is mike.clampitt@ncleg.net. Also, you can listen to the session, or most committee meetings by visiting ncleg.net,and clicking the audio tab.

Progressives poised to shape agenda if Dems take back House

Progressives = Communists and Socialists and they have taken over the Democrat Party. – Opinion Fremont V Brown III

The Hill – Move over, House Freedom Caucus. Progressive lawmakers are poised to play a pivotal role in the next Congress if Democrats take back the House in November.

That’s because a dozen members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are in line to chair congressional committees, which would give the left-leaning group immense power to influence the chamber’s legislative agenda and strengthen their hand as chief antagonists to President Trump.

The stunning primary victory of self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) has also opened up a coveted spot at the leadership table, bolstering the argument that progressives should have more representation in the party’s top ranks.

Some congressional observers are predicting that congressional progressives could emerge as the liberal equivalent of the House Freedom Caucus, a group that has been highly effectively at pushing the GOP further to the right by banding together as a conservative voting bloc.

Click here to read more about why the Republicans must get out and vote to hold the Senate and House.

Federal Loans Steer Students down a Difficult, Debt-Ridden Path—But There Are Other Promising Paths

FEE – Back in the mid-1980s, when I was in the seventh grade, I took an occupational investigation class. If I remember correctly, there was a fairly stout textbook involved that listed nearly all the jobs and professions of the day. Earning a six-figure salary as a pilot stuck in my memory.

At the time, however, I was drawn to the lawyers of L.A. Law and the doctors on St. Elsewhere. I wanted to be an obstetrician like Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show. I knew any of these paths could be lucrative, but delivering babies seemed pretty rewarding.

Then I saw a character in a movie utter something about going six figures into debt to attend medical school. I was out.
The Changing Landscape of Higher Education

This came back to me recently when I saw a story on National Public Radio’s website reporting on a growing trend: Earnings in vocational trades are on the rise, while the returns to a college degree are “softening.” There are organic and artificial market signals at the root of this, and I’m not alone in having experienced both.

Click here to read more.

NCGOP District 11 Executive Committee Meeting

Members,

Our July meeting will be held on July 9 at Ryan’s Restaurant, 1000 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC at 6:30 pm.

I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Aubrey Woodard

Chairman

NC 11th Congressional District GOP

828.577.0220

“Be VOCAL, be VISIBLE and VOTE”

White House’s Plan for the Postal Service: Fix It, Then Privatize It

The Trump administration on Thursday called for the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service, an agency with 600,000 federal employees and whose creation was codified by the Constitution.

The White House made the proposal in its wide-ranging plan to reorganize the federal government. Privatizing the postal service was among 32 distinct ideas it said would help agencies run more efficiently. It first called for reforms to the Postal Service that would create a more sustainable business model, but those changes would be made only for leverage to then sell the entire agency to the private sector. The proposal comes as a task force created by President Trump is working on a series of reforms to put USPS on firmer financial footing, which it will deliver in a report by Aug. 10.

USPS is continuing to expand its delivery network despite a significant decline in mail volume, the administration said, and can “no longer support he obligations created by its enormous infrastructure and personnel requirements.” The mailing agency is required by law to offer its services to every address in the country and has reported losses of more than $1 billion for 11 consecutive years.

“A privatized Postal Service would have a substantially lower cost structure, be able to adapt to changing customer needs and make business decisions free from political interference, and have access to private capital markets to fund operational improvements without burdening taxpayers,” the White House said. “The private operation would be incentivized to innovate and improve services to Americans in every community.”

Click here to read more.

Rep. Meadows Introduces the Equal Protection of Unaccompanied Minors Act

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has introduced the “Equal Protection of Unaccompanied Minors Act”—a bill to resolve loopholes in the U.S.’s immigration border enforcement system, allowing for better resolution to the issue of family separation at the border.

The bill increases multiple enforcement mechanisms for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to better prevent those seeking to take advantage of the asylum system. It targets asylum fraud by adjusting the “credible fear standard” for enforcement officers and barring aliens from entry if they are found to knowingly make a false or frivolous application for asylum.  This will cut down on attempts to use the asylum system to illegally enter the U.S. Furthermore, it requires dangerous criminal aliens, subject to final orders of removal, to remain in detention until they are physically removed from the U.S. The bill would also allow for alien gang members, alien gang associates, and aliens who participate in gang-related activities to be detained and removed by the DHS, cutting down on the issue of violent crime.

The bill more easily allows for family units to stay together by clarifying U.S. policies of family detention and the treatment standards of unaccompanied immigrant children. First, it clarifies the Flores Settlement of 1997, by ensuring that accompanied minors of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border are not separated from their parent or legal guardian while in custody of Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The bill will ensure the safe and expeditious return to the unaccompanied child’s home country, unless the child has a legitimate asylum claim. Additionally, the law would direct the Secretaries of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the DHS to retain better information about unaccompanied children at the border to better ensure their safe return.

Rep. Meadows released the following statement on the bill:

“The President’s agenda of cracking down on illegal immigration is critical, and yet many of us, including the President, agree: there is a better way to solve the complications of illegal immigration proceedings than separating children from their parents at the border. U.S. border officials need better tools to control the system, keep out violent criminals, and identify those who may be seeking to illegitimately take advantage of our asylum laws. By cutting down on asylum fraud, we can keep families together without running a greater risk of traffickers or violent criminals using children to take advantage of the rules.

 We need to better enforce our immigration laws, but we can do so while keeping parents and children together. I believe my bill will help do that. I look forward to working with my colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, to find a compromise where we can solve this issue together.”

News & Updates From Senator Edwards

News & Updates From Senator Edwards
Please Direct Reply or Message to Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net

From my Senate Desk

The NC Legislature convened for our short session on May 16. The first two weeks of the session were dedicated primarily towards the budget. This part of session has been widely recapped through the media and by other legislators, so at this time I will only add that both the House and the Senate have now overridden the Governor’s veto. The Governor’s budget include a tax increase and roughly a $470 million deficit due to a half billion dollar ‘spreadsheet error.’ The budget I supported invests $700 million additional dollars in public education, raises teacher pay by 6.5%, directs $200 million to other deserving state employees, and continues to grow our savings reserve.
In the most two weeks we have been working furiously to finalize statewide bills that must be sent to the governor. Later in this newsletter I will highlight some of those in which I think most followers would have the greatest interest.
I Will Meet With
Educators At Home
Approximately 19,000 teachers stayed out of work and forced schools to close around the state so they could descend on Raleigh May 16th. I am pleased that few from WNC made the choice to inconvenience their students, families, and educational staff.
I would like the opportunity to hear from teachers without them having to lose a personal day, or travel to Raleigh. If you are an educator and would be willing to meet with me to share your ideas or concerns please contact my local office at (828) 785-4177 or edwardsla@ncleg.net. I will happily meet you at my Hendersonville office at a time that will be convenient for you including early mornings, days, evenings, or weekends.
School Safety at the Forefront
During this session the legislature has focused much of our attention to improve the safety of our school children. No parent should have to worry about their children when they drop them off at school each day. The tragedies that have been occurring demand action and we have responded.
In the budget, the legislature increased access to mental health professionals, provided additional funding for school resource officers and worked to help fund the creation of an app allowing students to report incidents or behaviors that make them feel unsafe. In this year’s budget we provided $35 million to these efforts.
HB670- Protect Educational Property was presented to the Governor on June 15th. This bill increases the criminal penalty for communicating threats of mass violence on educational property or places of religious worship from a Class 1 Misdemeanor to a Class H Felony. Additionally, it raises the punishment for making a false report about an act of mass violence on a school or place of religious worship a Class H Felony. The defendant of any crimes listed above would be required to be placed on supervised probation for at least one year, complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service, obtain a mental health evaluation, and comply with any treatment recommended as a result of the mental health evaluation. Upon completion of the conditions, the defendant would receive a discharge and dismissal of charges and would be eligible to apply for expunction of the charges. This bill received almost unanimous support.
While there is still work to be done, I am pleased with these bold actions and aside from the budgetary items they have received bi-partisan support.
Reduced Class Room Testing and Ensuring Low-Income Students Have Access to Advanced Courses
One of the most common issues I hear from teachers and parents is the over emphasis on testing of students, and the belief that reduced testing would offer time to focus on teaching. This week both the Senate and the House passed legislation which I supported that takes steps to reduce the testing burden on students in North Carolina and helps provide additional learning opportunities to thousands of children from low-income families across the state.
HB986 directs the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to study and make recommendations on ways to reduce local testing for students from Kindergarten through twelfth grade.
I am dedicated to improve outcomes for students in North Carolina, and after listening to teachers from around the state who are concerned that too much time is spent on testing, I believe that this bill is a first step towards reducing that testing burden.
The bill also makes changes to how students are enrolled in advanced math courses by directing that any student in grade 3 or above who achieves a “superior “score on their end-of-grade math test will automatically be enrolled in an advanced math course the following year.
These changes come after an investigation by the [Raleigh] News and Observer and Charlotte Observer last year found thousands of low-income children who achieve “superior” marks on end-of-grade tests are more likely to be excluded from advanced classes than their peers from families with higher incomes.
The NC Farm Act of 2018 Helps Protect the Right to Farm
This week both the Senate and the House pass the N.C. Farm Act of 2018. I supported this bill. It contains numerous provisions aimed at supporting the state’s largest industry and ensuring that farmers have the intended legal protections in the state’s right to farm law.
Senate Bill 711 clarifies provisions of the current right to farm law in order to protect farmers against unfounded nuisance lawsuits, often brought by out-of-state lawyers, attempting to put them out of business.
The Heroin
& Opioid Prevention & Enforcement
Act- HOPE
On June 14 we presented SB616: Heroin & Opioid Prevention & Enforcement Act or the HOPE Act of 2018 to the Governor. This vital piece of legislation which I supported is an extension of the STOP Act which went into law last. The STOP Act limits opioid prescribing.
In 2017, 64,000 people in the United States died due to the opioid epidemic sweeping our nation. 3 North Carolinians die each day of an opioid overdose. All three counties in our district from 2010-2017 had 6-10 unintentional opioid-related overdoses per 100,000 people. The HOPE Act will give law enforcement the tools needed to help combat the growing opioid problem.
The HOPE Act protects patient safety by making it a class G felony for a first responder or home health worker to steal a patients drugs. It also makes it a class E felony for a healthcare provider to steal drugs by diluting a patient’s drugs or substituting a different drug than what the patient is supposed to receive. The HOPE act also creates a new criminal offense “death by distribution of a dangerous drug”, to hold drug traffickers and dealers responsible if they distribute drugs that aide in the death of another person.
The HOPE Act invests $10 million per year in community-based drug treatment and recovery services to help law enforcement’s efforts to bring low-level, non-violent offenders into treatment. It also invests $1 million per year to the life-saving overdose reversal drug naloxone, and $160,000 a year in the state drug take-back program SafeKids NC/Operation Medicine Drop.
While these two bills are just the beginning, I am proud to have supported their passage. I am confident that these steps will help combat the continued spread of opioid abuse will help ease the epidemic sweeping our state and District 48.
Not Paid for Using Government Funds
Please Direct Reply or Message to Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net
Chuck Edwards for NC Senate, 2115 Legislative Building, 16 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601