Letters to the Editor: responses to vetoes, report of legislative success

Letters to the Editor: responses to vetoes, report of legislative success
June 04
00:00 2015

House, Senate
leaders seek to void
private property veto

To the Editor:

North Carolina House and Senate leaders responded Friday, May 29, to Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of HB-405: Property Protection Act.

I am extremely disappointed in Gov. McCrory’s decision to veto a bill that defends private property rights and puts teeth into our trespass laws – and one that received broad, bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

I plan to do all I can to encourage my legislative colleagues to override the veto and ensure this important bill is enacted into law.”

Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee co-chairman Brent Jackson
(R-Sampson), who guided the bill through the Senate

To the Editor:

Property protection is a serious issue that faces North Carolina companies of all sizes, every single day. It can take many different forms: patient records, financial information, consumer data, merchandise and intellectual property; and currently, weak laws in our State put businesses and the privacy of their customers at serious risk.

The Property Protection Act, a result of careful bi-partisan negotiations, balances the rights of business owners with the rights of their employees to strengthen North Carolina trespass laws. The bill protects property owners against those who gain access to non-public areas of the owner’s property and then engage in activities that go beyond the permission given by the owner. The bill is narrowly focused on illegal activities not on infringing on the liberties of whistleblowers or press.

I encourage my colleagues in the House to override this veto, because North Carolina businesses cannot afford another day without protection.

Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland), primary bill sponsor

Bipartisan effort
will help protect
law enforcement

The lawmakers below successfully presented a budget appropriation amendment on Thursday, May 28, that provides grant funding in the amount of $5 million for body-worn video cameras for law enforcement agencies.

To The Editor:

This bipartisan effort will inspire confidence in our communities and in our officers to work cooperatively in promoting safe and thriving living environments.

Our law enforcement officers rightfully ask us to trust them as the experts on community protection and internal policy associated with the function.

We filed the original bill and this amendment understanding that the legitimacy of the necessary and needed interaction between the general public and officers must be protected from attack.  Advances in technology allow us to monitor and learn from these interactions in previously unimaginable ways.

Police departments across the State have implemented body camera pilot programs in response to requests for more transparency.   The results speak for themselves. Officers feel validated in their excellent training and community policing practices.  As a result complaints against officers have been dramatically reduced as are potential hostile interactions and costly/divisive litigation.  
N.C. Rep. Edward Hanes Jr. (D – Forsyth) 

To The Editor:

We’re excited for our law enforcement agencies and our broader civilian communities. We’ve had some truly horrific incidents over the last few years that have left our nation looking for answers.  This was an opportunity to protect law enforcement and community relationships and we took that opportunity.

Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg)

over veto

In response to Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision veto Senate Bill 2 on Thursday, NC NAAP president Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II has issued the following statement:

To the Editor:

The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement applaud Gov. McCrory’s decision to veto Senate Bill 2, a bill that would allow North Carolinians to practice discrimination in the public sphere based on privately held religious beliefs.

There has been speculation around two primary factors in the governor’s decision to veto SB 2: one constitutional and the other economic. While we support Gov. McCrory’s veto of SB 2, we wish that he would give equal consideration to the Constitution and North Carolina’s economic prosperity when it comes to other issues that affect African-Americans, minorities, and the poor.

Why, for example, did the governor sign a voter suppression bill despite the 15th Amendment and North Carolina Constitution’s mandates that the right to vote be unabridged?

If Gov. McCrory wants to ensure healthy business activity in North Carolina, why has he refused to expand Medicaid, which would boost business in every county across the state?

We support the governor in his decision to veto SB 2, but we hope he will apply consistency to the way in which he governs. So far, he has not considered the Constitution and the economic well-being of North Carolinians as thoroughly as he has with this veto.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
N.C. NAACP President

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