This week the Governor signed three anti-women’s health bills. There is still one more awaiting action in the Senate – SB 2368. It has passed both the House and Senate, but there is disagreement over an amendment. As a result, the bill has been assigned to a conference committee and a meeting of that committee is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd at 8am. Let’s keep our momentum going regarding our disagreement with all that the legislature has done by filling that hearing room. The actual room location is not posted yet.
More on SB 2368: A 20 week abortion ban. Contains a limited exception for the life of the mother but imposes severe criminal and civil penalties on physicians for providing women with abortions necessary to preserve their health. The bill also has a gag order that limits options for anyone who holds a position differing from the radical anti-choice zealots. The gag order restricts school districts and higher education from contracting or otherwise supporting organizations and individuals who so much as refer someone for an abortion. The effort is an attempt to stop comprehensive sex education in ND, but the consequences are much more drastic. This bill has the potential to defund every hospital in the state that offers comprehensive obstetrical care, because sometimes pregnancy terminations are medically necessary.
“no funds of this state or any agency, county, municipality, school district, or any other subdivision thereof, or institution under the control of
the state board of higher education, and no federal funds passing through the state treasury or a state agency may be used…To contract with or provide financial assistance or other support to individuals, organizations, or entities performing, inducing, referring for, our counseling in favor of abortions.”
In other troubling news, despite the posturing of enacting all of these laws in the name of children, bills providing support for children have been stripped of funding. I provide a quote from Representative Marie Strinden from yesterday:
The North Dakota House just passed an amendment to an early childhood education bill for children with disabilities. The amendment stripped the bill of $300,000.
North Dakota has a childcare crisis, and the voters repeatedly ask us to make affordable childcare a priority. Rep. Hawken reported on the House floor that we have passed only one bill for childcare with any money attached to it ($100,000 for Ronald McDonald House).
When will the legislature take the demands of the people seriously? The state needs child care funding and solutions, real property tax relief, infrastructure for the Bakken (especially housing!)
STOP STRIPPING FUNDING FROM THE BILLS THAT WILL SOLVE NORTH DAKOTA'S PROBLEMS!
I also provide a link to a blog from Representative Jessica Haak on childcare: http://jessicasjaunts.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/child-care-early-childhood-education/
HB 1422 was a bill that would have appropriated $15 million to provide assistance to stabilize child care operations, recruit and retain a qualified workforce, and advance quality child care practices through the implementation. This bill was stripped to $2 million to assist with technical assistance. It passed the House.
Today in the House we voted on SB 2244. This bill would have appropriated $300,000 to for early childhood services to provide assistance to special needs providers, who currently receive very limited funding. It would also have appropriated $400,000 to provide child care for children with disabilities or developmental delays and training for child care providers. In the House Education committee, all of the funds were removed and the bill was turned into a study. The study passed the House.
Another bill is SB 2229. This bill allows a school district to establish an early childhood education program, which would be a program if the local school decided they wanted to provide it. The terms would be up to the local school whether it’s all students, low-income, etc. Support for that program could have come from four different revenues. The first was local tax revenues besides the necessary funds to support K-12 programs, state money appropriated for the program, federal funds for the program or gifts and grants. The amount put aside from the state was originally $4.6 million for the next two years. All of that money was stripped in the House Education committee, so there will be no matching funds.
All this is evidence that the bills restriction abortion access are really anti-women bills, because they haven’t exhibited any real concern for children.
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