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.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .