Co. Commission Could Take Over School Property

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A bill calling for the Wake County Board of Commissioners to take control over the acquisition, building and maintenance of local schools has been revived in the Senate. After spending two months in the Rules and Operations Committee, the bill has passed a partisan second reading in the Senate 26 to 9. This comes after passing unanimously 111 to 0 in the House back in mid-May. Should the bill pass, the Wake school board would cede their power for the county’s school buildings to the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

The school board would still have the authority to say whether or not a property is unsuitable for a school, after which the board would have to dispose of the property and use the proceeds for school funding or use the property for non-educational purposes and use proceeds for schools. Wake would be the only county in the state with such a provision.

Wake Democratic Senator Dan Blue proposed two amendments to the bill (including a call for a referendum to determine the bill’s outcome), both of which were shot down by the Republican majority. Since it is a local bill, the proposal would not need the signature of the governor.

Read the bill’s second edition:

http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H726v2.pdf

Wake Commission Vacancies Settled by NCGA

Legislators gave final approval last week to a bill that will change the way vacancies on the Wake County Board of Commissioners are filled. In short, under these new provisions, vacancies on the Wake County Board of Commissioners will be filled by a candidate of the same political party from the same district.

In the event of a vacancy, the Board will contact the respective political party of the vacated seat to request a suitable candidate, after which the Board would either approve or request another candidate. If members cannot reach a decision within thirty days of the candidate’s submission, a special primary will be held for members of the party whose seat was vacated.

The new law covers Mecklenburg, Pitt, and Alamance counties in addition to Wake. The measure was passed unanimously by the Senate 49 to zero.

Read the new law:

http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S288v4.pdf

Abstinence, Mammogram Bills Go to Governor

While most of last week’s women’s health bills are currently in committee, two have since moved forward. One bill promoting abstinence education became law last Wednesday. It will require seventh grade health instructors to teach abstinence as the best form of protection against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. It would also cite abortion, drug use, and alcohol abuse as contributing factors of pre-term births.

The bill passed strictly along party lines throughout its time in both houses. In line with women’s health issues, the General Assembly has also ratified a bill concerning mammograms. It would require health care professionals conducting a mammogram to provide patients with their breast density reading. This information would help certain patients understand possible increases in risks for cancer and other complications, as well as options to consider with their physician.

The bill also ensures immunity to anyone (usually a health care provider) who reports incidents of cancer to a central cancer registry. The bill passed unanimously in both houses before being presented to the governor last Wednesday.

Read the new law about abstinence education:

http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S132v5.pdf

Read the ratified bill about mammograms:

http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H467v4.pdf

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