Wednesday News: Constitutional union-bashing


HOUSE PASSES AMENDMENT REFERENDUM TO PUT "RIGHT TO WORK" IN NC CONSTITUTION: N.C. voters would decide if the state’s anti-union “right to work” law should be added to the constitution under a bill approved by the state House Tuesday in a 75-44 vote. Under House Bill 819, voters would decide in November 2018 if the state law governing union activity should be added to the constitution. The law – and the constitutional amendment – bans employers from requiring their workers to join a labor organization or pay dues to a group.

CROSSOVER MADNESS: DOZENS OF UNSCRUTINIZED BILLS FORCED THROUGH SYSTEM: The days are getting longer and tempers are getting shorter as the General Assembly lurches toward its Thursday crossover deadline. The House and the Senate plowed through a combined 64 bills in floor debates that lasted past 10 p.m. Tuesday, trying to ensure as much legislation as possible clears one chamber before the deadline, allowing those bills to remain alive for the rest of the two-year legislative session. Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, repeatedly objected to House Speaker Tim Moore 's attempts to add bills to the calendar, but the Republican majority went ahead and added them anyway. "The members deserve to be able to read the bills and talk with their constituents about them," Jackson said.

MICKEY MICHAUX BLASTS "ECONOMIC TERRORISM" BILL, WHICH DIES IN COMMITTEE: “This bill that you have here is a piece of abomination that should be confined to the streets of hell forever,” said Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat. Michaux spoke about his involvement in the civil rights movement and suggested that the bill would have further criminalized the boycotts and lunch-counter sit-ins he joined in the 1960s. “I have been guilty of everything that you have charged in this document,” he added. The bill failed in a 6-5 vote as Republican Reps. Chuck McGrady and Dana Bumgardner joined Democrats in opposition. The vote means the legislation is likely dead for this legislative session.

RICHARD BURR TRIES TO DISTRACT RUSSIA PROBE WITH NORTH KOREA FEAR-MONGERING: Burr, a Republican, is the chairman of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee. He told a small group in Youngsville last week that North Korea’s failed missile test – also last week – was cause for concern despite its failure. He cited the behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who took over from his late father Kim Jong Il in 2012. “When you do things like he does, you automatically assume he’s crazy,” Burr said of Kim Jong Un. “The pace of missile development between his father’s term and his term has increased the testing about twenty-fold.”

TRUMP'S PLAN TO DEFUND "SANCTUARY CITIES" TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY JUDGE: A federal judge on Tuesday blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending. U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits — one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County — against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation. The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.