• 68°

D.G. Martin: This bill definitely has my vote

Maybe you did not notice. Last week the governor signed House Bill 799, a bill that makes it easier for military spouses to get the certification they need to work in North Carolina if they have been licensed for their occupation in another state. For service men and women who have been trained by the military, the new law also gives credit for that training when they apply for an occupational license in North Carolina.
When the governor signed the bill, she said, “This bill helps streamline the procedures, so military spouses in North Carolina can get the certification they need to work. We owe it to them, to provide this kind of support. As one of the most military-friendly states in the nation, I am proud to sign this bill.”
On the bill’s final votes in the state’s Senate and House, no legislator voted against it. Seems like a no-brainer doesn’t it?
So why should I write about it now? A couple of reasons. I will tell you about the main one in a minute.
First though, the passage of this common sense bill is a textbook example of how difficult it is to push though the legislature even the most sensible legislation. You can follow the path of this bill on the North Carolina General Assembly website. Go to www.ncleg.net, look up House Bill 799, and check its history.
HB 799 had to go through almost 40 different steps from the time it was introduced on April 6 of last year until it became law 15 months later. After introduction in the House, it traveled to the Committee on Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs and then to the Finance Committee. On the House floor, it was amended twice and had to survive four separate votes. At each stop, the bill’s sponsors had to have a ready answer to every question or risk having the bill derailed.
The bill had an even more difficult time in the Senate. More committees, amendments, a “committee substitute” and a rush at the end of the session to keep the bill from being lost in the shuffle. And finally, the House had to vote to agree with the changes made in the Senate.
Now that the civics lesson is over, here is the main reason I am writing about HB 799: I am the proud father of the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Grier Martin. Although he gives much credit to his cosponsor, Rep. Rick Killian, another Army Reserve officer, and Sen. Pete Brunstetter, a Navy veteran, it was “Grier’s bill.”
HB 799 is not the only or even the most important legislation Grier pushed through. It was, however, his last. When the new redistricting plan put him with an admired colleague in the same district, he declined to run against her.
Since my son is not a candidate this fall, I can finally tell you how proud I am of him for his eight years of effective service in the Legislature and for his continuing work as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and his prior active duty in Afghanistan. As proud as I am of these things, there is much more to praise—his judgment and commitment to things more important than politics.
Several years ago, influential people tried to persuade him to run for higher office. After he and his wife took a careful look at the pressures of service in Washington, they decided it was not the right thing to do.
I was amazed at his decision. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” I told him. “You will never get a another chance like this — to have the nomination to the U.S. Senate handed to you.”
“Well, Dad,” he said, “I will never have another chance to have a 5-year-old daughter again, either.”
How right he was.
• • •
D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV.

Comments

Comments closed.

Elections

GOP elections board members resign over absentee settlement

Crime

Drive-by shooting injures 24-year-old Salisbury man

Crime

Highway Patrol: Vehicle fled after striking, killing pedestrian on Camp Road

Local

Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Business

Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events

Nation/World

Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

Education

Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event

Education

Shoutouts

Elections

Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race

Business

Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign

Education

School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation

Education

Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children

Education

Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester

Nation/World

NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash

Nation/World

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 positives reported at Piedmont Correctional

Crime

Blotter: Police respond to shots fired call outside of Salisbury home

Coronavirus

Rowan tied for fifth among counties for most COVID-19 deaths

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate