Fact or Fiction?

May 28, 2013

chucknorris

Chuck Norris can bowl in Lane 1 and get  a strike in Lane 30.  When you ask SIRI about Chuck Norris, the iPhone crashes. When Chuck Norris goes to a fast food place, his order is ready before he walks in. Interesting facts. Where did I learn all these “facts”?  On the internet, of course. Can you really believe everything you read on the internet that is presented as “facts”?

Lately I’ve seen some pretty interesting “facts” circulated around the internet dealing with this legislative session. Lots of “facts” stating that legislation was stopped or killed by leadership. Well, just like the Chuck Norris “facts”, I thought this might need some further investigation. At this link, you can see the names of those in leadership.

I looked at the top three leaders in the NC House and the bills in which they were lead sponsors. Speaker Thom Tillis was lead sponsor on four bills here. Three of those four bills haven’t passed the full House.

Speaker Pro Tem Paul “Skip” Stam is second in House leadership. He was lead sponsor on eight bills. Three of those eight haven’t passed the full House.

Representative Edgar Starnes is the House Majority Leader. He was the lead sponsor on five bills, two of which didn’t pass the full House to date.

We hear allegations of bills being killed by House leadership and complaints that bills died in committee. What does that even mean? Well, if a bill has not passed one of the two chambers by crossover, which this session was May 16, then the bill cannot be considered any further unless it is a finance or appropriations bill according to page 14, line 22-28 of the House Rules (Note: No bills were actually harmed in the making of legislation).

The “fact” that I have seen repeatedly on the internet is that House leadership has “killed” bills that other representatives wanted to go forward. The real fact is that bills are rolled into other bills and added as amendments with bills with similar content.  Others are never placed on the committee calendar to be recommended to the full House. It seems bills sponsored by legislators, even the leadership team, may not be passed and signed into law.

This begs the question, “Who kills bills?”  The answer is complex. Committee chairs set the calendar for each committee and decide which bills will be heard at each meeting. Outside lobbyists work to try to get their favored bills on committee calendars each week by talking with committee chairs.

There are many factors involved in each bill. Was there an outside group lobbying against passage of the bill? Were groups who shared similar interests not coordinating their lobbying efforts to help further the passage of a bill? Was there little public support for a particular bill? Any or all of those factors could be involved.

You see, the little known fact is that it’s not as simple as those internet rumors would have us believe.  The real fact is that no one gets all the bills passed that they would like to see passed.  It takes cooperation of both the NC House, the NC Senate and the Governor before a bill becomes law.  So the next time you see a “fact” on the internet about a particular person single handedly “killing” a bill, think about the Chuck Norris “facts” and do a little bit of investigating on your own.

 

Written By: Brenda Brown

Bio: Brenda is an educator with teaching experience in both public and private school settings. She currently home schools her children. She became involved in grassroots conservative activism to advocate for values such as parental rights.

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