Our state legislature’s unwillingness to work across the aisle has once again bled into the everyday lives of North Carolina residents. This time, the seeds of unrest come from the North Carolina Senate, which has stalled on the process of creating commemorative license plates for the Venus flytrap.
Last Wednesday, the North Carolina Botanical Association Foundation sent a plea to its supporters, asking them to push to get this license plate bill out of the senate committee and into law. The bill, which passed unanimously in the house in May, is currently stuck in the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations.
“Over 800 NC citizens followed the rigorous process and prepaid for a Home of the Venus flytrap plate, and proceeds from the plate benefit the Garden’s conservation work,” the group said in a press release. “We need you to take action to get bill HB435 out of the Rules and onto the Senate floor for a vote.
The bill includes the creation of license plates for “A Pet is Family,” electric vehicles, and the N.C. Association of Fire Chiefs, and the N.C. Special Olympics. Some revenue from the fees of each special plate would go toward specific charities; for the Venus flytrap plate, money will go to the North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation and Friends of Plant Conservation.
The United States is home to 66 types of carnivorous plants, and 36 of those are found in our state.
Although this gives us a lot of contenders for the State Carnivorous Plant, the Venus flytrap holds that title. It is only native to parts of the Carolina coastline and is found in about 15 North Carolina counties. It’s also considered a “vulnerable” species and could end up on the U.S. endangered species list. It is already illegal to poach Venus flytraps in five N.C. counties.
It’s one thing if the state legislature can’t manage to expand Medicaid or school funding; it’s another if it can’t even agree on some license plates. Supporters can call their state representatives or sign the petition from the N.C. Botanical Garden Foundation by August 31.
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