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Stam and Dollar: Where they stand

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This November, state House Minority Leader Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam and Rep. Nelson Dollar face Democratic challengers who say the Republican incumbents are far to the right of their Wake County constituents, and that their partisanship prevents them from looking after the needs of their districts.

Here is a sample of the incumbents' positions on a variety of bills before the state legislature in the 2007-08 session. For a full list of sponsored bills and votes, visit the North Carolina General Assembly's profiles of Stam and Dollar.

Hazardous materials task force recommendations (HB 36)
Prompted by the Apex chemical fire in 2006, this bill reforms and modernizes the way hazardous materials are monitored. Dollar was the primary sponsor, along with three Democratic members of Wake County's House delegation. Stam was a co-sponsor.
Status: Signed into law in 2007.

Parental notification to treat minors (HB 103)
Dollar was a primary sponsor of a bill that would have allowed doctors to contact the parents of minors being treated for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, drug or alcohol abuse or "emotional disturbance," without the patient's permission.
Status: In committee since February 2007.

Establish a high-risk health insurance pool (HB 265)
Dollar co-sponsored this bill, which was introduced by health care champion, Orange County's Rep. Verla Insko. Stam voted in favor when it passed the House unanimously.
Status: Signed into law in 2007.

North Carolina Racial Justice Act (HB 1291)
This bill would make it illegal for prosecutors to use race as a factor for seeking the death penalty. Both staunch defenders of the death penalty, Stam and Dollar voted against.
Status: Passed the House; in Senate committee since May 2007.

Anti-bullying: the School Violence Prevention Act (HB 1366)
Stam was outspoken in his rejection of language that would have included sexual orientation in the list of characteristics commonly targeted for harassment at school. (Other characteristics include race and religion.) On the House floor, Stam equated gays and lesbians with pedophiles, effectively making the case for protecting gay kids from prejudice. Dollar also opposed the language and voted against several versions of the bill. Thanks to conservative opposition, language identifying sexual orientation was removed from the bill.
Status: The bill ultimately did not pass the General Assembly.

North Carolina Voter Owned Elections Pilot (HB 1517)
This act established a pilot program for the public financing of elections for certain Council of State offices, making a pool of public money available to candidates who agree to strict fundraising and spending rules. The purpose is to reduce special-interest campaign contributions and make running for office less expensive. Stam and Dollar voted against.
Status: Signed into law in 2007.

Ultrasound before abortion (HB 1782)
Stam co-sponsored a bill that would have required physicians to show a woman ultrasound images of an embryo or fetus, obtain a signature from the woman that she has seen the images, and wait for at least an hour before performing an abortion.
Status: In committee since April 2007.

Moratorium on Involuntary Annexation (HB 2367)
Dollar was a primary sponsor of this bill, along with two House Democrats and another Republican. Annexation is a contentious issue for rural communities that find themselves in the path of growing municipalities. Stam voted in favor.
Status: Passed the House; referred to a Senate committee in July 2008.

"Defense of Marriage" (HB 2803)
Stam and Dollar co-sponsored this perennial favorite of the right wing, which would amend the state's constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, thereby legally nullifying unions between same-sex couples.
Status: In committee since July 2008.

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