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Bill would add new course to curriculum

Both state representatives from Rowan County are co-sponsoring a House bill to add a required course for high school students.
The ěFounding Principles Act,î co-sponsored by N.C. Reps. Fred Steen and Harry Warren, would require high school students to take and pass either a semester course or a full-year course focusing on ěthe philosophical foundations of our form of government.î
This would include ěthe principles underlying the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers and the writings of the Founders, which are principles of government for a free people and are known as the ëFoundersí Principles.íî
The bill also would require statewide tests beginning with the 2012-13 academic year to include related questions.
Warren and Steen also are co-sponsors of legislation to amend the North Carolina Constitution to add, ěMarriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. No other relationship shall be recognized as a valid marriage by the state.î
The amendment would be submitted to voters in the statewide general election on Nov. 6, 2012. If approved, it would become effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Wednesday was the last day to file public bills in the House ó the Senate has until this Tuesday ó creating a flurry of activity this week.

Steen is a primary sponsor of bills to:
Make manufacture of any article or product while using stolen or misappropriated information technology an unfair practice.
Require health care providers and health care facilities to release pathological materials and records to patients or their designated representatives, upon written request.
Authorize a study of the long-term future energy needs of the state and to develop a long-term plan that addresses the sources of energy that are able to meet those needs. Warren is a co-sponsor.
Ensure that the rules, policies and determinations in the North Carolina State Medical Facilities Plan apply equally to all applications – including those from academic medical center teaching hospitals – for a particular type of health service. Warren is a co-sponsor of the legislation, and Brock is co-sponsoring an equivalent bill in the Senate.
Make various amendments to the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act to increase consumer access and credit market parity.
Strengthen the laws regarding criminal history checks for child care providers.
Steen is co-sponsoring legislation to:
Replace the current electronic monitoring service and equipment used to monitor convicted sex offenders with a new system that provides exclusion zones around all of the stateís K-12 school campuses.
Warren is a primary sponsor of legislation to:
Require applicants for unemployment insurance benefits to undergo periodic drug testing.
Promote job growth in the state through regulatory reform. Steen is a co-sponsor of the legislation, known as the ěNorth Carolina Jobs Bill.î
Require photo identification on the supplemental food and nutrition program (SNAP or ěfood stampsî) debit cards and increase the cost of second and subsequent replacement cards to $25 each.

Warren is co-sponsoring legislation to:
Amend the North Carolina Constitution to establish a nine-member independent redistricting commission to operate after the 2020 Census. The bill also would strike some current requirements for redistricting in favor of new goals.
Shorten the early voting period by allowing it to start on the second Thursday before an election instead of the third.
Increase the income tax deduction for firefighters and rescue squad workers from $250 to $400.
Clarify that any infant born alive is included in the stateís definition of a person, regardless of whether the birth occurs ěas a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section or induced abortion.î The bill is known as the ěBorn Alive Infant Protection Act.î
No longer allow statistics about a prosecutor or the stateís death penalty history as evidence of violation of the Racial Justice Act, which bars people from being subject to or sentenced to death on account of race.

N.C. Sen. Andrew Brock is a primary sponsor of legislation filed this week to:
Restrict voter registration forms and ballots to the English language except as required by federal law.

Brock is co-sponsoring bills to:
Require all 11th-grade students to take the ACT test unless the student has already taken a comparable test and scored at or above a level set by the N.C. Board of Education. The bill also would require diagnostic tests in the eighth and 10th grades that align to the ACT test.
The state board would continue to participate in the development of the Common Core State Standards and implement assessments it deems appropriate.
Require the department of commerce to maintain an online public database measuring job creation, retention and wage attainment in the state resulting from state and local government economic development incentives.
Eliminate second primary elections.
Prohibit the involuntary annexation of farms.

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