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New state seal?

Translation: "To be backward, rather than to seem backward."

This bit of opinionated fun is courtesy of political blogger (and longtime N.C. politico) Gary Pearce.

Meanwhile, his fellow blogger at Talking About Politics -- on the political flip side -- Carter Wrenn weighs in with an analysis on just what this past, contentious session added up to.

Here's how Wrenn begins his piece: :

But what kind of devilment went on in the legislature before the peace of August southern afternoons was restored?

Not exactly what you’d think.

One group of politicians has been howling that legislators (of the Republican stripe) laid waste to the ‘old ways’ of North Carolina – that, like Viking helmeted Vandals, Republicans descended on Raleigh in hordes and sowed mayhem on the poor, children and women – on everybody but old rich white men and corporations.

Answering the howlers, the other group of politicians say after a long hegira in the wilderness they’ve restored North Carolina’s true path, revived our struggling fortunes, and, now, we are walking down the road to the Promised Land.

Planned Parenthood starts two-day protest across from governor's mansion

Planned Parenthood supporters will stand opposite Gov. Pat McCrory’s Blount Street mansion Monday and Tuesday to protest his intent to sign a restrictive abortion bill.

In a press conference on Friday, McCrory said he would sign House Bill 353, which would limit insurance coverage for abortion and place stricter regulations on clinics providing the procedure. Planned Parenthood – a nationwide sexual and reproductive health care provider – and other abortion-rights groups and activists have demonstrated against the bill for the past several weeks, reminding the governor that he promised while campaigning not to sign any legislation further restricting abortion.

“I think it’s probably highly unlikely he will keep his word (and veto the bill), but I want him to know women are going to hold him accountable,” said Melissa Reed, the vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood.

People who claim McCrory would be restricting access by signing the bill "are more interested in the politics of abortion than the health and safety of North Carolina’s women," said Kim Genardo, the governor’s communications director.

Morning Memo: It's all in McCrory's hands now

Lawmakers have gone home but the protestors are still coming — and their focus is Gov. Pat McCrory.

Planned Parenthood has organized a "stand with women" veto vigil for Monday and Tuesday outside the Governor's mansion on Blount Street. McCrory has said he will sign a bill passed in the final days of the legislature that opponents say will restrict access to safe and legal abortions. McCrory says the bill provides safeguards, not restrictions.

Good morning and welcome to the "It's-all-over-but-the-shouting" version of Dome's Morning Memo.

Two-day abortion bill vigil planned at governor's mansion

Following Gov. Pat McCrory’s confirmation on Friday that he will sign the omnibus abortion bill the Legislature sent him last week, abortion-rights advocates are planning a two-day vigil outside of the executive mansion in Raleigh on Monday and Tuesday.

The Planned Parenthood protest is expected to last at least 12 hours each day – from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – to make a statement and serve as a last-ditch effort to convince McCrory to change his mind. Organizers contend McCrory would be going back on his word if he signs the bill because he made a campaign promise that he would approve no new restrictions on abortions. He contends the bill provides safeguards, not restrictions.

The legislation would require the state to develop new, stricter regulations of abortion clinics, which some contend could put them out of business. It would also deny insurance coverage for abortions for those participating in the coming state health insurance exchange, or for city and county employees; prohibit abortion for sex selection; and allow some additional medical personnel to refuse to participate in abortion procedures as a matter of conscience.

Also, the final “Moral Monday” mass protest will happen this week, even though the General Assembly left town on Friday.

Senate approves abortion bill; sends it to governor

Waiting until the last full day of the session, the state Senate on Thursday evening approved the abortion bill that it has been sitting on for nearly two weeks.

The Senate debated the bill for about an hour before voting 32-13 along party lines to approve a House-written version of the sweeping bill. It would impose stricter regulations on abortion clinics, require more contact between abortion clinic doctors and patients, and limit insurance coverage for the procedure.

SB353 was a House rewrite of the Senate’s original bill that took into account concerns raised by the state Department of Health and Human Services. Gov. Pat McCrory said he would sign the House version but not the Senate’s version, over concerns that the Senate’s bill imposed undue obstacles to abortions rather than acceptable health safeguards.

Senate GOP legislators had said recently that they would take up the bill before the session was out. But advocates on both sides of the issue have grown increasingly anxious this week as each day passed without action.

Moments after the vote, Planned Parenthood issued a statement urging McCrory to veto the bill.

Morning Memo: House, Senate leaders claim victories in budget deal

BUDGET DEAL UNVEILED: House and Senate leaders released the compromise $20.6 billion budget plan Sunday evening. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger can claim wins. Eugenics compensation and vouchers are priorities for Tillis, a candidate for U.S. Senate. Berger has tried for more than a year to end teacher tenure. The two men's victories speak volumes about their political leanings and strategy and how a potential race between them would look. Berger will decide by the end of the month whether he will challenge Tillis in the GOP primary.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The 12th "Moral Monday" demonstration at the legislature will focus on a new voter ID measure. More than 800 protesters have been arrested so far with more expected Monday.

The Senate worked Friday and left the House quite a to-do list. The House calendar today includes bills pertaining to private school vouchers, a massive rewrite of state regulations, drug testing and background checks for public assistance recipients, fracking and charter schools. A bill to further delay Jordan Lake water quality standards is also on the agenda. The Senate won't take any votes Monday -- allowing Senate leader Phil Berger to attend the Republican State Leadership Committee meeting in California. He is chairman of the organization's campaign committee.

***Get more on the state state budget and a North Carolina political news roundup to start the final week of the legislative session below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning and evening protests of abortion bill

Show up early if you want seat at Tuesday's House committee meeting where members will consider a sweeping bill that would restrict access to abortions.

Groups on both sides of the abortion debate are lining up people to pack the committee room. Last Wednesday, about 500 abortion-rights supporters showed up at the Legislative Building on about 12 hours notice to protest the bill. The Senate passed it along party lines.

Planned Parenthood Health Systems in North Carolina is calling on supporters to be at the so-called Moral Monday protest tonight and at the Legislative Building at 9 a.m. tomorrow before a House committee meeting on House Bill 695. The bill woud make clincs meet standards silmilar to those for outpatient surgery clinics and make it more difficult for doctors to administer pills that induce abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina is promoting the Tuesday rally and suggesting people pack the committee room for the 10 a.m. meeting.

N.C. Values Coaltion, which supports the bill, is asking its supporters to attend tomorrow's committee meeting and stay until 2 p.m., in case the bill goes right to the House floor. N.C. Values Coalition asked supporters to call Speaker Thom Tillis and their legislators.

Morning Memo: Controversial bills bubble up, Wos again in the spotlight

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: As the final two days of the self-imposed crossover deadline begin, it's crunch time. You can tell from the lobbyists working the halls, either trying to get a bill to move or asking committee chairman to "pray on it" for a little while longer. And the controversial bills are coming the surface. A House committee will consider a bill to extend "protections of conscience" to more medical professionals and cover more things, such as providing contraception. In the same committee, another measure dubbed the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" is sure to recall attempts earlier this session to declare the state's ability to establish an official religion.

The full House - which convenes near 2 p.m. -- will also consider a bill to soften rules on where local governments must post public notices. A controversial amendment would tell newspapers how much they could charge for such advertisements. The Senate this afternoon will consider measures to amend environmental regulations and repeal local smoking bans. Gov. Pat McCrory is spending another day in New Orleans at a Republican Governor's Association event.

WOS ROADSHOW CONTINUES: A week after a major gaffe by Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, her statewide tour to tout Medicaid reforms continues. She visits Durham on Wednesday where she will encounter members of the Medical Professionals for Expanded Health Access who expect to question her about the state's decision to reject a Medicaid expansion. Wos blamed Democratic Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin for the decision -- even though it was ultimately made by her boss, Gov. Pat McCrory. The event starts at 4 p.m.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- a roundup of North Carolina political news and notes. Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.***

Abortion wars to heat up in Raleigh on Wednesday

To protest legislation tighten restrictions on abortions, a number of groups plan to hold what they are calling a “Not In Her Shoes Rally” behind the Legislative Building.

The groups plan will gather Wednesday at noon on the Halifax Mall and distribute shoes to local women's organizations to symbolize to political leaders that they should stay out of women's personal health decisions because they do not “walk in every woman's shoes.''

The really is being sponsored by women's health advocates, ACLU, Ipas, Lillian's List, NARAL, Pro-Choice NC, NC Now, NC Women Matter, NC Women United, Planned Parenthood Health Systems and Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.

A bill was filed last week that would tighten restrictions on abortions by requiring that the doctor performing the operation be present for the entire procedure and remain at the site until the patient has recovered enough to leave. It would also require physicians that perform the abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the places where the procedure is performed.

Last session, the legislature passed a law requiring women seeking abortions to submit to an ultrasound examination and be told what the ultrasound shows.

Liberal group's spending in 2012 campaigns reported

On Sunday, Dome reported some of the big corporate contributors to a national GOP group that helped finance N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby’s re-election.

On the other side of the ledger, the first post-election federal report from the North Carolina liberal umbrella group Common Sense Matters has also been filed.

It reports spending about $774,000 on about a dozen campaigns, including that of Newby’s challenger, appellate Judge Sam Ervin IV, mostly on direct mail.

Its last-minute contributors include the Teamster’s DRIVE Committee, which gave $40,000 total for the year; N.C. Futures Action Fund (Democratic activist Dean Debnam’s project), $295,000 total; the N.C. League of Conservation Voters, $80,000, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, $21,000.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which spent $13.3 million nationally, sent $1 million to the effort to re-elect Newby.

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