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News & Press: Updates for Members

NASW-NC Advocacy Update

Friday, February 28, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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North Carolina's next legislative session is set to begin on April 28th. When session is not in, check out what NASW-NC is doing across the state!

 

Court of Appeals Suspends Voter ID in North Carolina Indefinitely

In 2018, 55% of North Carolinians voted in favor of a voter ID law for North Carolina. Prior to that amendment being voted on, Governor Cooper had vetoed legislation passed by the General Assembly that would establish a voter ID requirement in North Carolina, saying that the law would prevent minorities and the elderly from being able to access their right to vote with ease. The approval of voters in 2018 set voter ID in motion for the 2020 elections.

 

However, in a ruling issued on December 31, 2019, District Court Judge Loretta Biggs suspended voter ID from taking effect in the primary elections because the law is racially biased, stating that “...the evidence suggests that S.B. 824 is likely to have a racially disproportionate impact in North Carolina by preventing some voters of color from casting their ballots when they get to the polls.”

 

On February 18, 2020, a North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a Preliminary Injunction that prevents voter ID laws from taking effect in North Carolina until the case is settled. In their ruling, the Court of Appeals stated that “the [voter ID] Amendment itself allows for exceptions to any voter-ID law, yet the evidence shows the General Assembly specifically left out types of IDs that African Americans disproportionately lack. Such a choice speaks more of an intention to target African American voters rather than a desire to comply with the newly created Amendment in a fair and balanced manner.” 

 

Because of this ruling, a photo ID is NOT required to vote in the 2020 elections.

Primary Election Day is March 3, 2020

The primary election day is a few days away! On Tuesday, March 3, make sure you vote if you did not vote during Early Voting!

To find your polling place, sample ballot, and check your voter registration, click HERE.

For more voting information, visit the NASW-NC Voting Information Page. NASW-NC's Political Action Committee will endorse candidates in the general elections. Members, look for more information later this summer!

Redistricting in North Carolina

In mid-2019, a three-judge panel ordered that the state’s legislative and congressional maps be redrawn prior to the 2020 elections to reflect districts that are more equitable and less gerrymandered, or drawn for political gain. As a result of those rulings (Common Cause, et al. v. Lewis and Harper, et al. v. Lewis), the 2020 districts have changed. After this year’s Census, the districts will change once more as they are redrawn by the general assembly to reflect population changes. To find the current legislative and congressional district you will be voting in, click HERE.

The 2020 U.S. Census is Coming

Every ten years the United States counts its total population. The data collected provides the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and how $675 billion of federal funds will be distributed. The results of the census have the potential to greatly impact communities.

Participation in the census is considered a civic duty, and is a social work issue. The 2020 Census will begin in March and will continue through July.

 

After the Census, the data will be used by state lawmakers in the General Assembly to redraw district maps according to population changes. For more information on the 2020 Census and how you, as a social worker can participate, click HERE.

NASW Action Alerts

NASW has two active action alerts! Please contact your lawmakers!

 

Ask Your Lawmakers to Cosponsor the Employer Participation in Repayment Act (S. 460/H.R. 1043)

Contact Your Lawmakers

Social workers’ salaries are often not commensurate with their high level of education, and tuition costs continue to rise. The bipartisan and bicameral Employer Participation in Repayment Act (S. 460/H.R. 1043) will provide tax incentives to employers for helping pay off part of their employees’ student loan debt. The legislation would treat student loan repayment as tax-free. If passed, this legislation would allow employers to contribute up to $5,250 tax-free annually to their employees’ student loans – providing employees with much-needed relief and employers with a unique tool to attract and retain talented employees. Neither employees nor employers would be taxed on this money.

Urge Your Congressional Lawmakers to Cosponsor the Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act (S. 2880/H.R. 5138)

See more from NASW about Social Work Safety and use this link to access a template letter and contact information to contact your lawmakers!


The bipartisan Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act is urgently needed legislation that will strengthen workplace protections for social workers and health care professionals. The legislation was introduced on November 18 by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), a social worker, and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Julia Brownley (D-CA-26) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21). It will create a federal grant program within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enable employers to purchase and deploy safety equipment.


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