Rep. Mark Hollo, the chairman of the NC House Committee on Health and Human Services, canceled the meeting last night in which the Hope 4 Haley bill would have been considered. Rep. Hollo had repeatedly refused to meet with families of children with intractable epilepsy, even when they showed up in his office. Needless to say, the parents of these suffering children were extremely discouraged last night, and could not be comforted by assurances that the bill would be taken up in the long session next year. Every day is precious for a child with constant seizures.
Unexpectedly, the bill (House Bill 1220) was added to tonight’s committee meeting, and our neighbor, Steve Carlin, was in time to speak to the legislators. By the time he was finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and the bill passed unanimously! What a turnaround in twenty-four hours!
Rep. Pat McElraft, the sponsor of the bill, expects that it will pass a committee meeting tomorrow morning, since many of the bill’s co-sponsors are on the committee, and then will make it to the full House by tomorrow afternoon. If all goes smoothly, it should reach the NC Senate by next week. Many thanks to Representative McElraft for her tireless work for these families.
Here’s the rub: The Senate does not want to hear the bill. They are still not educated about cannabidiol and believe that the bill is too controversial. It is an election year, and I suppose winning elections is more important to some of them than saving children’s lives. It is up to us to show them that the people of North Carolina have better values than that. Please find out how to contact your state senator here and let him or her hear from you by Monday. Think how many lives could be saved by just a phone call or an email!
Pray, pray, and then pray some more.