Politics & Government

Political news

A ruling by a State Superior court judge has revived the battle over the state budget.

Members of Congress from North Carolina are weighing in on the talks in Washington about the debt ceiling. The country could default on its debt after August 2nd if a deal isn't reached between Congress and the White House. Much of the impasse centers around taxes. Second district Representative Renee Ellmers says she is with her Republican colleagues who say tax increases are off the table.

The Bonner Bridge connects Bodie and Hatteras Islands on the Outer Banks

State officials are accepting bids today for construction of the new Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks. The span will be built just to the west of the current bridge over the Oregon Inlet. Victor Barber works for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. He says three companies will submit bids with the winner being chosen by late this afternoon.

The town of Chapel Hill is cracking down on residents who illegally park their cars in their front yards. Town officials say citation officers will start giving out tickets for those who violate the town ordinance at the beginning of next month. The issue came to light after residents reported widespread violations in the Pine Knolls and Northside neighborhoods. Rae Buckley of the Chapel Hill planning department says those areas are popular among UNC students who rent houses. But she says lawn parking causes concern for permanent residents.

A bison on RG Hammonds' farm in Lumberton roams close to his golf cart
Leoneda Inge

There’s a section of eastern North Carolina where the Lumbee Indians call home.  The Lumbee have a long history of farming and ranching.  But just like African American and women farmers, they were discriminated against by the federal government.   And just like those groups – Native Americans filed a class-action lawsuit – and won. This week – lawyers are back in Pembroke, North Carolina helping the Lumbees file their claims for long-awaited compensation. 

Map Draws Ire, Praise

Jul 8, 2011

Every ten years, a state legislative committee draws up new maps for Congressional districts, as well as for state senate and representative.
And every ten years, those who draw up the maps call them fair, while their political opponents cry gerrymandering. It seems to happen here more than anywhere. Many analysts and political watchers call North Carolina the most gerrymandered state in the country.

A Raleigh task force has recommended a $300 million light rail route for the downtown area. It's part of a proposal from Triangle Transit Authority to complete commuter train and light rail systems from Orange to Wake Counties by 2025. Eric Lamb is Raleigh's transportation planning director. He says the proposed route leaves the existing tracks at Morgan Street and splits into two tracks that wrap around the Capitol Building at Wilmington and Salisbury Streets.

People across the state will have a chance to speak out on the latest Congressional redistricting map. Public hearings are being held today in 7 locations.

Since it was released late Friday, the map has generated more than a little partisan political bickering. Republicans are calling it fair; Democrats say it’s gerrymandering at its worst. State Senator Bob Rucho is the chair of the legislative committee that drew the map. He says this redistricting process has been much more open than in years past.

Preparations are being made to pay thousands of dollars to Native American farmers and ranchers who were discriminated against by the U-S-D-A.

Voters in Durham County will decide on a half-cent sales tax designed to increase revenue for a future rail line in the Triangle. Commissioners voted unanimously last week to place a referendum on November's ballot. It would raise more than $18 million to fund Triangle Transit Authority's proposal for a train network connecting Chapel Hill to Garner. Wake and Orange Counties decided to put off referendums until next year. Durham commissioner Ellen Reckhow says it makes sense for the county to take the lead on the project due to its central location in the Triangle.

North Carolina's newly proposed Republican-drawn congressional districts would make it challenging for several Democratic incumbents to keep their seats.

Governor Bev Perdue has now made decisions on all the bills on her desk. Perdue vetoed four bills before last night's midnight deadline.

If you're keeping score, that's 15 vetoes for the Governor this legislative session. The latest group includes a bill that would have allowed more exploration of offshore oil drilling. It also would have allowed hydraulic fracking, a controversial method of natural gas extraction.

A state audit has revealed further details of financial mismanagement at NC Central University. The report shows that the director of the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium diverted more than a million dollars to a secret fund only she controlled.

The proposed move of a federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office in Cary is raising hackles among some residents. ICE officials want to move from a Cary business park to another location. One of the sites being considered is in a shopping center where a supermarket was housed. Susan Moran is a spokesperson for the town of Cary.

Susan Moran: "If the ICE facility were to relocate there and be more than 12 thousand square feet, and that building is 59 thousand square feet, it would absolutely violate the zoning conditions for that area."

Governor Perdue has vetoed a bill that would have required women seeking abortions to receive extensive counseling and an ultrasound before the procedure.