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« on: September 28, 2009, 10:09:03 am »

Not to clutter the Assembly floor, but could someone kindly provide a basic primer on how the Northeast Assembly changes our current regional process of passing law?
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 02:22:14 pm »

No one answered or addressed my question the first time, so allow me to repeat it (with some rephrasing): Are citizens still able to propose legislation with signatories, or are we now just a mini-fed?
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 07:41:43 am »

What is the rationale behind exempting schools with less than 400 students?

Further, I know that the Northeast has a lot of pro-life relics on the books from its halycon days. Since this bill deals with abortions and those under the age of 18, I ask: Do we have a parental notification law in place?
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2009, 09:16:09 am »

I tend to agree with my former Vice President.  Make this bill be about sex ed in schools, and not about what pregnant teens have to do.

I'd also like to amend the bill to ensure that school address homosexuality in a reality-based, non-moralistic way.  In my past sex-ed experience, homosexuality wasn't addressed at all, aside from an admission that it exists and a warning not to participate in anal sex.  (It was an uncomfortable mini-discussion, as you might imagine.)

(I'll figure out said amendment in the near future.)
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2009, 12:05:31 pm »

First: Motion to strike section A, subsection 2 in its entirity.

There's no need to limit this to schools with 401+ students.  If anything, it's the rural populations that need access to this information even more.

Second: Motion to strike section A, subsection 3 in its entirity, and replace it with:
2. The requirements included in this act take effect with the school year starting September 2011.


Certainly, districts will need to create a curriculum and text book publishers will need time to create materials to conform to the requirements of this act.  Once in place, there's no need to exclude people in the class of 2014, 13, and 12.

Motion to amend by insertion as Section B.6:
6. The course must address the issue of homosexuality and concerns specific to that portion of the student population, such as how same-sex partners can limit the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted disease, "coming out," and sexual discrimination.



Section B.5, motion to amend:
5.   The course must teach the common indicators of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, as well as how to check the body for irregularities that are common indicators.


Testicular cancer is a far greater risk to this age population, and can be detected much easier via self-examination.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2009, 12:10:27 pm »

Oh, and motion to strike Section D.4.  I'd gladly debate its merit as a separate bill, but it seems ill-placed in this one.
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2009, 01:42:17 pm »

In fact, almost every state that does not require solely abstinence-only sex education provides for some form of  parental opt-out.   And in my opinion, the law in the remaining handful of states is suspect.

Why shouldn't the Northeast law provide an opt-out?  It would put our law in line with almost all others.

Perhaps it's because the Northeast is more courageous on this issue?

I understand the want to cop out for "religious reasons," but the truth is that there's really nothing to be taught in the original that specifically conflicts with religion.  There's nothing in the bible that says that boys don't have penises, and there's nothing in the bible that says condoms don't prevent the spread of disease.

It's a clear priority of the class to mention that abstinence is the only way to prevent disease and pregnancy for sure.  If parents have concerns, they should supplement the class with their own teachings that, even though condoms are available, it's morally wrong to have sex before you're married, or that homosexuality is a sinful choice, or whatever.

This class does not lecture about morals, it simply provides factual information that, frankly, it's crucial people wind up hearing.  Opt-out is a relic of our conservative, puritan heritage.
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2009, 02:27:26 pm »

Many Christian churches teach that sex outside of wedlock is a sin, the ONLY permissible, 100% effective method of birth control is abstinence, and the use of condoms or other birth control methods is sinful.  It is in the Bible - spilling the seed and all that.  This class WILL lecture about morals - or more accurate, amorality - that using birth control is just a-okay, when many religious traditions teach otherwise.

If parents have concerns that the state will teach their children differently on moral matters, then they should be able to take them out of those classes without penalty.   Parents have the primary responsibility for the moral education of their children, not the state.

The course presumably does not teach that it is "okay" that people have sex outside of wedlock, and it does not teach that condoms are not a sin—simply the mechanics of how they work and how they prevent disease.

The idea is to present information without judgement.  Parents are free, like I said, to supplement the class by providing the lecture about morality.
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 11:45:14 pm »

Freedom of Conscience Amendment: Nay.



Motion to strike section A, subsection 2 in its entirity.: I believe this was accepted as friendly, but Aye, anyway.



Motion to strike section A, subsection 3 in its entirity, and replace it with: Again, this was accepted as friendly.  Aye.



Motion to amend by insertion as Section B.6:
6. The course must address the issue of homosexuality and concerns specific to that portion of the student population, such as how same-sex partners can limit the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted disease, "coming out," and sexual discrimination.


Aye.  Whether or not you agree that homosexuality is moral and acceptable, you have to realize that there currently are and always will be sexually active homosexual teens.  As such, it is crucial to provide information to this population regarding sexually transmitted diseases, especially considering that they are especially vulnerable to HIV transmission and are contracting the disease at a startlingly increasing rate.



Section B.5, motion to amend: Again, this was friendly.  Aye.
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2009, 08:11:18 am »

Personally, I believe that Section D, subsection 4 should be included in whatever act presently legalises abortion, however in absense of an amending Act, I am satisfied with including it here. I would ideally like to see an Act to Amend both this Act and the Act legalising abortion to include this subsection in that Act and to remove it from this Act.

If we're going to discuss abortion in this bill, then I'm going to want to insert some stuff on parental notification.  Frankly, I strongly suggest it get removed and re-introduced as a separate bill, or we're going to get bogged down on this bill for quite some time.  It's going to prove to be a distraction.
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 12:54:34 pm »

We're not going to get bogged down on this bill for some time unless we amend the SOPA.  An up or down vote on the bill with all friendly and passed amendments is next.  There's no further opportunity for amendment.

Oh.  All the more reason to drop that section, then.
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 03:02:29 pm »

Before voting begins, please allow me to make one last plea for my Freedom of Conscience Amendment.

As many of you know, the Atlasian Supreme Court recently decided a controversial case called Peter v. Atlasia, striking down an Act that would have otherwise prohibited minors from attending places that try to make someone who thinks they are gay not be gay.  Justice Sam Spade struck down that Act in part because it "violate[d] a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of his children in the manner he sees fit."

Without my amendment, the Safe Sex Education Bill suffers from a similar flaw and is Constitutionally suspect.  The Northeast Assembly's first act ought not to be to pass a constitutionally suspect law.

Thank you.

For what it's worth, I'd be willing to defend this one in front of any court.

Parents do have some level of direction in choosing what their children are taught, it's true.  But this is expressed through representative government and laws passed by this legislature.  Parents do not have a fundamental right to refuse their child be taught math, or to refuse their child participate in a history class on World War I.

It's the legislature that designs core curricula for students.  This sexual education proposal is a new addition to that core curriculum.

In Peter v. Atlasia, you have a question of religious freedom.  Though I disagree with the ruling, you can see how the court attempted to extend "trying to make your child not be gay" as a religious "freedom."

The classroom is not teaching or preaching morality, nor is it preventing it from being taught elsewhere.  It is not saying that students should engage in sex (indeed, it says that abstinence is the only way to guarantee protection from pregnancy and disease).  It says that all students are required to obtain a basic level of knowledge in the realm of public health for the good of the whole.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no religion that says that boys and girls do not have sexual organs, there is no religion that disputes the mechanical workings of different birth control methods, there is no religion that states that gays simply do not exist.  It is a fact-based, not morality-based class.

Frankly, "religion" is used in this debate only as an excuse to mask adults being uncomfortable with someone talking to their kids about sex.  It's understandable that parents want some level of control in this arena, but we're talking about post-puberty kids here.  If their parents don't want to take this on, it does everyone a disservice in the form of higher rates of disease transmission and unwanted pregnancies.  You don't need a study to tell you that kids eventually figure out what goes where even if schools and parents stay silent.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 10:27:32 pm »

All non votes are counted as nay?  What planet is this?
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2009, 11:54:34 pm »

Now hold on.  Before we can vote, the Lt. Governor needs to resolve our ties.  Unsure
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 07:21:32 am »

Now hold on.  Before we can vote, the Lt. Governor needs to resolve our ties.  Unsure
If you include Alexander Hamilton's votes, there should be no ties.  Hamilton's vote should be counted, either because the vote should have been held open until 2:49AM or because Hamilton got it in within 24 hours of the Lt. Governor opening the vote at 12:07AM yesterday.

I wasn't counting Hamilton's votes, because it was stated that the vote was to be closed at 12:00 and Hamilton got his in after that.  So, which is it: 12:00, 12:07, or 2:49?  Frankly this seems all too arbitrary for my taste, like we're making stuff up as we go along.

In any case, I don't think I have much use for this bill anymore.  I'll give my decision later today.
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2009, 11:33:05 am »

Sorry, I might get lost

When will we end with amendments debate and vote on the bill?

You're already lost.  I believe we're voting on final passage right now.

This body is in desperate need of new governing rules.
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 01:25:55 pm »

Nay.

I will say that I support what this bill is trying to do.  In truth, I am disappointed that it did not go far enough.

But though I support this idea behind it, I do not believe the Assembly followed appropriate procedure regarding this bill.  As was pointed out, my motion to strike D.4 was never brought to a vote.  This entire process was a confusing mess, with people being told they could vote in a way inconsistent with the standing rules of the body.

Without following proper procedure, this law will be rightfully rejected by the courts as illegitimate.  I have no interest in being a party to a vote for an unenforceable law such as this.

I encourage the sponsors of the bill to reintroduce the bill.  I will be glad to support it should it be presented to the Assembly in a fair way consistent with the rules.
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2009, 01:40:55 pm »

This entire process was a confusing mess, with people being told they could vote in a way inconsistent with the standing rules of the body.

And by your vote you are making it even more so.

How so?  An aye vote is the one that propagates the mess.

Why should we expect the public to follow our rules when we don't even follow our own?
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2009, 03:21:03 pm »

I call for an emergency vote to revisit the SOAP to address its unconstitutionality.

The SOAP provides a mechanism for overriding the Governor's veto.  However, by Article IV, Section xi, the Legislature is constitutionally prohibited from doing so.  Once legislation has been vetoed, it is dead for good.

In addition to the constitutional issue, I have amended to remove the set-in-stone time requirement to give the LG more discretion for starting votes, so that votes need not be opened or closed in the middle of the night.  It further allows for him to, at his discretion, allow debate to continue past the firm 72-hour mark.

As such, I motion to amend as shown in red:




Standing Order on Assembly Procedure

1. Proposed Legislation Thread
(a) The Lt. Governor shall open a new Northeast Assembly proposed legislation thread at the start of each Northeast Assembly term.
(b) Representatives, the Governor and any concerned Northeast citizen shall post the full text of any proposed legislation in a response to the Northeast Assembly proposed legislation thread for the current term.  Each response shall contain only one piece of proposed legislation. 
(c) Nothing shall be posted to the Northeast Assembly proposed legislation thread except proposed legislation or a Northeast citizen's signature for proposed citizen legislation.

2. Movement of Legislation to the Northeast Assembly Floor
(a) Except as provided in subsections (c), (d), and (e) and (f), the Lt. Governor shall place legislation from the Northeast Assembly proposed legislation thread on the Northeast Assembly floor (on behalf and stating the name of the sponsor) in chronological order, starting with the earliest piece of proposed legislation, except that the Lt. Governor shall not place more than two (2) pieces of legislation from the same Representative, initial sponsoring citizen, or the Governor before placing legislation from other Representatives or the Governor that has been proposed before the date such third piece of proposed legislation would have otherwise been brought to the Northeast Assembly floor.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (e) and (f), only one piece of legislation shall be placed on the Northeast Assembly floor at a time.
(c)  Any Representative may make a motion to suspend section 2(a) of this Standing Order to move a piece proposed legislation to the top of the queue.  The motion shall be immediately put to a vote on the Northeast Assembly floor.  Such vote shall be open for 24 hours.  If the motion passes by a vote of the majority of all Representatives (with abstentions and absences counted as nay votes), the Lt. Governor shall place such piece of proposed legislation on the Northeast Assembly floor immediately after any legislation then currently on the Northeast Assembly floor is voted upon or tabled.
(d) Any Representative may make a motion to suspend section 2(b) of this Standing Order to place more than one piece of legislation on the Northeast Assembly floor at any given time.  The motion shall be immediately put to a vote on the Northeast Assembly floor.  Such vote shall be open for 24 hours.  If the motion passes by a vote of the majority of all Representatives (with abstentions and absences counted as nay votes), the Lt. Governor shall place such additional pieces of proposed legislation on the Northeast Assembly floor immediately at the end of the voting period.
(e) Except as provided in subsection (a), the Lt. Governor shall place legislation successfully proposed by citizens on the Northeast Assembly floor immediately after any current legislation then on the Northeast Assembly floor is finally voted upon or tabled.
(f) The Lt. Governor shall place any legislation that is vetoed by the Governor on the Northeast Assembly floor immediately after such veto.  Veto override votes may occur while other legislation is on the Northeast Assembly floor.
(f g) Nothing in this Section 2 shall allow the Lt. Governor to do anything but place proposed legislation on the Northeast Assembly floor on behalf of the sponsor of such legislation.

3. Legislative Debates and Voting
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (h), all proposed legislation other than veto override votes shall be open for debate for no less than until seventy-two (72) hours after the Lt. Governor places it on the Northeast Assembly floor.
(b) During debate, Representatives may suggest amendments to proposed legislation.  If the sponsor of the proposed legislation publicly deems the amendment friendly, no vote on the amendment shall be required.  If the sponsor of the proposed legislation does not publicly deem the amendment friendly, a vote on the amendment shall be taken at the end of the debate period.
(c) The sponsor of a proposed amendment may remove it from the Assembly floor by tabling it at any time before the end of the debate period.
(d) A vote will be held on all proposed amendments not deemed friendly at the end of the debate period.  Such vote shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours.  An amendment shall pass if a majority of Representatives vote in favor of it (with abstentions and absences not counted as votes).
(e) The sponsor of a piece of proposed legislation may remove it from the Assembly floor by tabling it at any time before a final vote is taken on the proposed legislation.
(f) A final vote on the proposed legislation shall take place immediately after the Lt. Governor certifies the vote on any proposed amendments (or, if there are no such amendments, at the end of the debate period).  A final vote on veto overrides shall take place immediately after the Lt. Governor places it on the Northeast Assembly floor.  Such votes shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours.  A piece of proposed legislation or veto override shall pass if a majority of Representatives vote in favor of it (with abstentions and absences not counted as votes).
(g) The Lt. Governor shall certify the results of any vote within twenty-four (24) hours of the end of the voting period.
(h) Any Representative may make a motion to suspend sections 3(a), 3(d) or 3(f) of this Standing Order to increase or decrease the time of the debate or voting period.  The motion shall be immediately put to a vote on the Northeast Assembly floor.  Such vote shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours.  If the motion passes by a vote of the majority of all Representatives (with abstentions and absences counted as nay votes), the relevant period shall be changed.

4. Terminology
(a) All legislation regarding the rules of the Northeast Assembly shall be called Standing Orders.
(b) All proposed legislation that requires the signature of the Governor shall be called a Bill until signed and thereafter an Act.
(c) The Lt. Governor shall maintain a public list of Standing Orders, unsuccessful bills actually voted upon, and Acts in the Atlasia Wiki for the Northeast, with a link to the text of such legislation.



Based on my understanding, we are now to vote immediately on whether or not to allow a suspension of the rules and allow debate to reopen on the need for modification of the SOAP.
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2009, 04:27:21 pm »

Well, instead of me trying to interpret that sentence, let me put it this way instead: It's an issue of separation of powers.  There is nothing in the Northeastern Constitution that provides for a veto override.
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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2009, 07:34:22 am »

Aye to suspend the override vote, however, I am amenable to having debate open and continue on the Economic Recovery Act.

I would also like to make known my support for the two proposed amendments to the SOAP by Rep. AntonioV and Rep. Cinyc.
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« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2009, 08:01:45 am »

I have just introduced legislation in the New Legislation thread calling for an amendment to the constitution to address what I believe to be a major constitutional gap regarding veto overrides.  If possible, I would like to further suspend the rules to allow the Assembly to address the amendment, concurrent with debate on the SOAP, to expedite the process and allow its placement on the October ballot.
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« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2009, 07:03:46 am »

Veto override?  We don't have the power to do that yet. We scrubbed the SOAP and the constitution is silent until the amendment gets a vote.

Abstain.
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« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2009, 11:56:29 am »

Doesn't seem like urgent legislation or anything, but I definitely agree with it.  You have my support.
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« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2009, 07:58:40 am »

This is terrible. At 16 kids are still in high school. Do they go home from school and then do porn at night?

I don't want to speak for everyone, but when I was 16, yes, pretty much every moment was spent with pornography.  I mean, hello, we're talking about sixteen-year-olds.
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