by Kenneth Fine
Hats off to you, North Carolina. You've put yourself on the map for all the wrong reasons once again. No, we're not talking about the absurd bill filed yesterday to make gay marriage illegal (Supreme Court, Shmupreme Court, amirite?), or the industry-protecting hog-farm bill moving quickly through the legislature, or even the faux-HB 2 repeal Governor Cooper signed a few weeks ago.3) Gay marriage ban dead in NC House, speaker says.
Today's topic is juvenile justice—specifically, the treatment of teenagers under the age of eighteen in the criminal justice system. Until recently, North Carolina was one of just two states in the country (along with New York) to prosecute all sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds as adults. It's a practice juvenile justice advocates have long argued is not just ineffective but also costly and counterproductive—and one that actually increases the likelihood that youthful offenders will wind up back in the criminal justice system.
But here’s the thing about that: New York lifted its restriction on Sunday, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation effectively raising the age of criminal prosecution for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. Now, North Carolina is the last state in the country to funnel sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds through the adult criminal justice system.
House Bill 780 was filed Tuesday and says the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country “is null and void in the State of North Carolina.” The sponsors argue in the bill language that it’s “clear that laws concerning marriage are for each state to establish and maintain severally and independently.”Must be tired from all the effort expounded trying to protect the pork industry from lawsuits.
House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican, said Wednesday that he won’t allow the bill to move forward this session.
Some state legislators want to look at how to split North Carolina school systems into smaller districts, a preliminary step that could make it possible to break up large systems such as Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg.Well, have a great days, folks. Thanks to Mr. Pittman, it should be an interesting day around the water cooler.
House Bill 704 filed this week would create a joint legislative study committee to look into whether legislation should be introduced to allow for the breakup of previously merged school systems. The committee would also consider how to divide school districts and whether a local referendum or petition would be needed before a district could be split.