Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top five articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families.
We would be very grateful if you could make a donation of $100, $50, $25, or $10 today towards our work producing these Friday Fives and fighting for your values on the public square!
1. WRAL: Cooper will let $30-billion NC budget become law following Senate approval
“North Carolina’s $30-billion budget, stuffed with Republican priorities but also containing a long-sought Democratic victory on Medicaid expansion, will become law without Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature, he announced shortly after the GOP-held Senate gave final legislative approval Friday morning. The budget, delayed by Republican disputes over expanded gambling in the state, comes months after the July 1 start of the fiscal year.”
Read more: https://www.wral.com/story/cooper-will-let-30-billion-nc-budget-become-law-following-senate-approval/21060779/
There are a number of things in the budget that we are especially excited about, such as funding for universal school vouchers and pregnancy care centers. All without including predatory gambling!
The General Assembly approved $17.15 million to help pregnant women in crisis, including $12.5 million for the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (CPCF), an organization which provides support to 75 pregnancy care centers in North Carolina. Pregnancy care centers are a vital resource supporting pregnant women and their babies. Seventy-six percent of women who had abortions say they would have chosen life if their situations were different, and this funding totaling $6.8 million per year will help women choose life.
North Carolina’s newly approved budget also expands Opportunity Scholarships to all families in NC, empowering parents to choose the school which best fits their children. Education funding will now allow every child to break away from our current one-size-fits-all approach to education, regardless of household income.
To learn more, check out our related press releases here and here.
2. NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Republicans reach budget deal after agreeing to drop major casino expansion
“GOP leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly announced Tuesday night they had reached a deal on the long-delayed state budget. The compromise budget will not include casino legislation, the subject of a monthslong controversy between the chambers that appeared to derail negotiations last week and continued to be a sticking point up until Tuesday afternoon.”
Read more: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article279536429.html
3. NEWS & OBSERVER: GOP budget backs universal private school vouchers, delays Parents’ Bill of Rights
“North Carolina is poised to join a small but growing number of states that are offering universal private school vouchers The budget calls for increasing funding for the voucher program to $520.5 million by the 2032-33 fiscal year. That’s compared to the $176.5 million spent this fiscal year. The increase in state funding would come with new rules that say any family could apply for a voucher to get taxpayer funding to attend a K-12 private school. This change would eliminate income eligibility rules that restricted wealthy families from getting a voucher.”
Read more at: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article279511364.html
4. CAROLINA JOURNAL: Full 4th Circuit tackles ‘very important case’ of State Health Plan transgender coverage
“Splits were evident among 14 judges of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, as they held a rare “en banc” hearing Thursday in a case involving North Carolina State Health Plan coverage for treatment sought by transgender people. Chief Judge Albert Diaz labeled the dispute, Kadel v. Folwell, ‘a very important case … obviously,’ as he wrapped up the 90-minute session in Richmond, Virginia. The full court had decided in April to rehear the case. That was before a three-judge panel that had considered the dispute in January had issued a ruling.”
Read more: https://www.carolinajournal.com/full-4th-circuit-tackles-very-important-case-of-state-health-plan-transgender-coverage/
5. FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: NC abortion bill is about protection, not chaos or danger
Check out this pro-life op-ed in the Fayetteville Observer by NC Values’ legal director, Mary Summa: “In their efforts to confuse the issue and instill fear in women, pro-abortion advocates continue to peddle half-truths and distortions about North Carolina’s pro-life bill, SB20.
Roberta Waddle’s Sept. 7, 2023 opinion piece entitled, ‘Fayetteville NOW Activist: Abortion Restrictions Leading to Chaos, Danger for Women’ is no exception.”
Read more: https://www.fayobserver.com/story/opinion/2023/09/18/nc-abortion-bill-distorted-by-opponents/70855103007/
Weekly Prayer: NC Officials
LORD, you also have instructed us to pray for our governing officials, and we come to you in the spirit of this petition. We pray for our state government and its executive, legislative, and judicial servants. May they indeed be servants unto the people, and govern in a manner that protects liberty and virtue. In the same spirit, we pray for public servants across our local governments. May they all heed your mandate in Romans 13:4 to be in positions of authority as “God’s servant” and for the “good” of the public. They govern in what we confess are difficult times. May they plead with you to give them wisdom, and may your grace to govern wisely be poured out on them.
Protect us from the oppression and loss of freedoms that other countries have experienced, and help us to value and preserve freedom, which we know comes only from You.
“I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free.” Acts 7:34
Will you chip in $100, $50, $25, or even $10 to help the NC Values Coalition continue to fight for your rights? You can donate by clicking here
Tami & Team