The Republicans have come out showing their true colors in this short session of the NC Legislature. The first bill on the calendar for today, the first full day in session?
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT TO REPEAL THE GOVERNOR'S VISION CARE PROGRAM AND THE REQUIREMENT FOR A COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMINATION ENACTED UNDER THE GOVERNOR'S VISION CARE PROGRAM, AND TO PROVIDE THAT FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE RESERVE FOR THE GOVERNOR'S VISION CARE PROGRAM SHALL REVERT TO THE GENERAL FUND.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Section 10.59F of S.L. 2005‑276 is repealed.
SECTION 2. Funds in the Reserve for the Governor's Vision Care Program shall revert to the General Fund on June 30, 2006.
What is the Governor's Vision Care Program and why should we repeal it? Well, we're spending too much money in North Carolina and collecting too many taxes. Just look, we have a $2 Billion surplus. So, what do Republicans suggest we do? Cut programs for children.
Creates a purchase-of-medical care program to fund eye examinations and vision correction for
children in kindergarten through third grade. Funds will reimburse optometrists and
ophthalmologists for services. Children will be eligible for the program with a family income not
exceeding 250% of the federal poverty level, who do not have comparable health insurance, and
are not eligible for Health Choice, Medicaid, or other programs that pay for these services. There
will be Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care that will adopt rules to implement the program
and develop alternative ways for providing services to children who qualify for the Program when
appropriations for the program have been exhausted. Every child entering kindergarten in the
public schools shall obtain a comprehensive eye examination not more than six months prior to
* Funds eye exams and vision correction for children in kindergarten through third grade? Why, because we found out a lot of kids get behind the curve because they can't see.
* Funds those with family income up to 250% of the federal poverty level *who* a) do not have similar insurance, b) do not have CHIP, Medeicaid, or any other service for poor people that *already* pays for this service
* Program will determine how to pay for eye exams when the funds are gone.
So, what is the first thing Republicans want to do this year? Cut a program that makes sure every child can see so they have a chance to get ahead in this world. Why? So the state spending will go down and we can cut taxes.
Who is the lovely responsible for this legislation?
Representative Mark W. Hollo (Rep) of District 88. Guess what? We actually have a candidate.
I suggest that if Mr. Warren comes out strongly against Rep. Hollo, he deserves a few of our dollars. If he goes to the media and asks what kind of message it sends to cut vision services for poor children, whether it is the Christian thing to do? We give him some dollars.