The progressive prescription | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The progressive prescription 

How the General Assembly can cure the state's biggest ills

See also: The progressive prescription | Expensive insurance for serious health problems | Big-money campaign contributions | Oil addiction | Holes in the Latino safety net | 10 more to watch | No ordinary day for 'HK on J'

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DEREK ANDERSON

Last week, Utilities Commissioner Bobby Owens appeared to doze (or maybe he was resting his eyes) during an important public hearing on Duke Energy. Whether you're appointed to a plum post by the governor, elected to a seat in the legislature, or just watching from the peanut gallery, you'll find that democracy is often tedious, usually messy, occasionally pettyand always necessary. Don't sleep through it.

The alarm clock rang Wednesday at high noon on the 2007 legislative session, which ends when its business is finished at an undetermined time this summer. This early phase of the session feels like New Year's Day, when a refreshed General Assembly resolves never again to ensnare itself in the lottery scandals or campaign finance shenanigans of the past. This year, by golly, they'll represent the people of North Carolina. This session, yessir, they will pass laws to improve schools, benefit taxpayers and build the state's economy.

If only it were that easy.

North Carolina has a spotty record on passing legislation to address the needs of the overlooked or maligned: health care for children, the poor and chronically ill, including those with mental illness; rights for Latino immigrants; rehabilitation for juveniles in prison; protection for our environment; affordable housing for low-income residents; and a moratorium on state-sponsored killing for those on death row.

There is hope that presumed Speaker of the House Joe Hackney, viewed as one of the state's most progressive lawmakers, will lead at least the House toward an agenda that provides not only for the haves, but for the have-nots, as well. But Hackney can't do it alone. The only way for all legislators to represent the citizenry is to untie themselves from the special interests that bankroll their campaigns and hitch their wagons to their constituents. This session, let's hope the legislature has the courage to set a progressive agenda. Plenty of people will be watching.

  • North Carolina has a spotty record on passing legislation to address the needs of the overlooked or maligned...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature

Twitter Activity


I live in New Jersey and now have Aqua Water scamming our Spartan Village community. I am disabled and live …

by Bella Emme Elizabeth on Why Aqua NC customers are furious about their service (News Feature)

Mr Cabanas, Thank you for publishing the facts and refuting the emotional and misleading cut and paste propaganda on LRT …

by where's the beef? on The Durham-Orange County Light Rail Line Is on the Ropes Again. That Might Be a Good Thing. (News Feature)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation