Gov. Perdue vetoed the new Republican majority's anti-abortion bill, a.k.a., "Insult a Woman by Treating Her Like a Child Act of 2011." The Republicans will have to round up another vote each in both the House and the Senate to override the veto, which they probably will attempt when they come back to town in mid-July.
This evening at the Watauga County Commission meeting, the Board of Education requested the release of some $360,000 in budgeted contingency (set-aside) funds to alleviate the punishment inflicted on public education by the new Republican majority in the General Assembly. According to School Board Chair Deborah Miller, the additional money will keep the school system from being forced to fire teachers and teacher assistants. The schools will lose positions through attrition (retirements & relocations) but can shelter others from being laid off with the additional money. Commissioner Vince Gable seemed genuinely confused by this. He said that he had talked to state Sen. Dan Soucek this past weekend, and Sen. Soucek had assured him that the state's budget had not cut any teaching jobs. Mr. Gable was (once again) schooled in the nature of the pass-down cuts from the state that fall very heavily on every local school district. Mr. Gable fell silent, and the commissioners passed a motion to hand over another $360,000 to the schools that Dan Soucek keeps telling everyone couldn't possibly be needed because he hasn't got a clue (evidently) what the budget he voted for actually does to the schools.
There's no unanimity among NC observers about the impact of the New York state gay marriage law on the Dan Soucek-sponsored constitutional amendment in NC to deny equal rights to gay couples seeking marriage. Some think the Soucek tribe of troglodytes will be more impassioned and will manage to get a referendum about gay marriage on the Nov. 2012 NC ballot, thus helping sweep all bigots back into office. Others think that New York's legalizing of gay marriage sends a powerful message that this particular war on marriage equality is lost ... which it is. But don't look for Dan Soucek to get that message.
Another sign of the time RE the new Republican General Assembly's current talent at cutting the state budget while really off-loading essential programs onto local governments: Also tonight at the Watauga County Commission meeting, the Commissioners agreed to take $30,000 from the administrative contingency fund to keep alive a drug rehabilitation program that Soucek and Jonathan Jordan and their cohorts cut from the state's budget. We were treated to an assistant district attorney, serving under uber-Republican District Attorney Jerry Wilson, pleading with the commissioners to keep the program alive while its administrators seek alternative grant funding. And Commission Chair Nathan Miller, a defense attorney, had to admit that he had seen clients of his benefit from the program and get their lives on track toward becoming responsible and contributing citizens.
Let's see: In just one night, it cost Watauga County a combined $390,000 to correct just some of the societal harm inflicted by the new Republican majority in the NC General Assembly. Only a foretaste of what's to come?