On Tuesday, state Representative Bill Cook (R-Beaufort County) introduced a controversial "Equalizing Voter Rights" bill (SB 667) that would negatively impact North Carolina students who are registered to vote where they attend school as opposed to being registered at their parents address. The bill would only apply to students from North Carolina attending college in the state. It would make such students ineligible for dependent status on a parent or guardian's state income tax forms. The bill was filed on Tuesday and is also paired with a larger voter suppression bill that would limit early voting days and times and ban same-day registration (SB 666).
Last year, 17 states passed voter suppression laws that increased wait times at the polls, decreased early voting days, and mandated state-issued ID requirements for voting. New laws affecting the election process have already been suggested this year in preparation for the 2014 mid-term elections. The Supreme Court is also currently debating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires areas with a history of voting discrimination to have any changes made to voting laws reviewed by the Department of Justice.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .