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News & Press: Updates for Members

North Carolina Legislative Session Update: New Task Forces

Friday, June 5, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Legislators worked on a few bills of interest this past week, mainly the passage of
House Bill 1187: Raise the Age Funding. The bill allocates $10.4 million to build three juvenile detention facilities. This was one of the goals of the original Raise the Age bill that passed in 2017 to help process 16- and 17-year-olds out of adult prisons.

Other bills of interest

HB 1048 CPS Intake Screening/PED Recommendations: The bill prohibits local county departments of social services from developing their own screening criteria that is different from the state’s. Additionally, the bill requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to develop and implement a rapid consultation system to provide consultation to counties when making decisions regarding the safety of children. Part of this system would require, upon receiving a request, Division staff to consult with the county department of social services within 24 hours of receipt of the request and at least two Division staff workers to consult on each call to ensure the advice conveyed is consistent. The bill passed committee and was sent to House Rules before it heads to the floor for a vote.

HB 1169 Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020: This bill, which already passed the House, was heard in the Senate’s Election Committee. A few changes were made before passing and being sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Other policy related news

After Thursday’s voting session,
House Speaker Tim Moore announced the development of a new bipartisan task force. The new Task Force on Justice, Law Enforcement and Community Relations will begin meeting after this current legislative session adjourns. The Task Force will recommend legislation and other statewide measures.

Also on Thursday, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 143. According to the Governor’s Press Release, the Executive Order was developed “to addresses the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic.”


Breaking NC Supreme Court Decision
Information from the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

In major decisions released Friday, June 5, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued two civil rights rulings on the Racial Justice Act. These decisions clear  the way for a much-needed review of racial discrimination in death penalty cases across the state.

The Court held that Rayford Burke and Andrew Ramseur, two men on North Carolina’s death row, were entitled to hearings where they can present evidence that prosecutors purposefully excluded African American citizens from their juries and that racism tainted their trials.

The rulings also mean that over 100 people on death row across North Carolina, who filed claims under the N.C. Racial Justice Act before its repeal in 2013, are entitled to present their evidence in court. If they win their hearings, they will be re-sentenced to life without the parole.

Read the full Burke and Ramseur decisions.
Read more about the decision from the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

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