Pro-Family Bills Become Law
Special Report - July 1, 2011
Two long-awaited pro-family bills became law yesterday after the Governor signed a license plate bill that authorizes a “Choose Life” license plate and allowed an education tax credit for parents of special-needs children to go into effect without her signature. HB 289Authorize Various Special Plates and HB 344Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities were among the last bills to be passed by the General Assembly before adjournment. Governor Beverly Perdue had until midnight on June 30 to decide whether to sign the bills into law, veto them, or allow them to become law without her signature.
With the passage of HB 289, North Carolina joins the 26 others states that have made a pro-life “Choose Life” plate available to motorists. In addition to the “Choose Life” plate, the new law adds 17 specialty license plates to the list of more than 120 specialty plates currently allowed in North Carolina. Proceeds from the sale of “Choose Life” plates will be directed “to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, which shall distribute the money annually to nongovernmental, not for profit agencies that provide pregnancy services that are limited to counseling and/or meeting the physical needs of pregnant women.” The funds cannot be given to groups that provide, promote, counsel, or refer for abortions or that charge for their services. Pro-life motorists have waited nearly a decade for the “Choose Life” plate to be considered and approved. The Division of Motor Vehicles must receive 300 applications for “Choose Life” plates before the plates will be available.
Also on Thursday, the Governor allowed HB 344 to become law without her signature. This law establishes an education tax credit for students whose needs cannot be met in the public school system. Under the law, students who leave the public school system to attend a tuition-based public or private school because of special learning needs are eligible for a tax credit up to $3,000 per semester. General Assembly staff estimated that the bill will save taxpayers roughly $26 million each year, based on the higher level of state and local spending allotted for special needs students.
June 30 was the final day for Governor Perdue to make decisions on whether to sign or veto legislation passed by the first Republican-controlled legislature in North Carolina in more than a century. She vetoed a total of 15 bills this sessiona record for any North Carolina governor. The 2010 session of the General Assembly resulted in the passage of 400 new laws.
“Among the many historic happenings this legislative session was a refreshing pro-family agenda that saw several excellent pieces of legislation that have been stifled for years receive not only consideration, but gain passage,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “After nearly a decade, pro-life motorists can now help support women facing difficult pregnancies by helping to fund the organizations that exist to provide tangible support to those women.”
He went on, “Government is also coming back to the realization that parents make the best decisions when it comes to their children, and so measures like the special needs tax credit and eliminating the cap on charter schools will result in government providing more options and support to parents, so that parents are empowered and not hindered in their ability to choose the best educational environment for their children.”
2011 Legislative Review - June 22, 2011
Standing for Life as Session Ends - June 18, 2011
Education Day at the Legislature - June 10, 2011
Committee Approves Tax Credit Bill - June 6, 2011
Choose Life Plates to Get House Vote - June 3, 2011
Unequal Treatment - FNC -Summer, 2009
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.