Politics & Government

Political news

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker gave his annual State of the City address today. Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting, Meeker summarized some of the city’s recent successes, including hosting the NHL All-Star game. He also laid out goals to continue expanding efforts at sustainability and transportation. Meeker says with unemployment rates dropping and sales stabilizing, it’s time to look ahead.


Duke Energy Corporation is providing a $10 million line of credit for next year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The credit was required by the Democratic National Committee as part of the agreement to bring the convention to the Queen City. The contract also says the convention's host committee must raise more than $36 million to cover production expenses. 

State senators have tentatively agreed to allow building new jetties along the Outer Banks.

State lawmakers tried to override two measures the governor has already vetoed during this legislative session.

North Carolina is facing one of the largest potential budget shortfalls in its history. Right now it amounts to 2.4 billion dollars, but that number could change. Two years ago, the Democratic-controlled legislature enacted temporary tax increases- including a one cent sales tax increase- to help balance the state budget. But Republican leaders who’re now in control say they don’t need the tax increase this time.

Governor Perdue plans to move nearly five hundred million dollars into the state's general fund to help pay tax refunds.

The governor says reserves are running low and that's why she needs to borrow from about a dozen different pots of money in order to pay North Carolinians their tax refunds. Republicans have cried foul, saying the governor has chosen to use money they'd like to access to ease the state's impending budget shortfall. Thom Tillis is the Speaker of the House:

Governor Bev Perdue plans to borrow five hundred million dollars from several state accounts to help pay tax refunds.

Governor Perdue says there's not enough money in the state's rainy day fund to cover the cost of all the tax refunds the state has begun to process. But she says there is enough money in about a dozen other funds that she can use.

Michael Zirkle Photography, Raleigh Historic Districts Commission, National Park Service

An old water line no one knew about has delayed the reopening of Raleigh’s Pullen Park. Renovations have been taking place for several years and planners hoped the park would be open this summer. But the water line combined with cold weather have pushed back the reopening. David Shouse is a senior park planner with the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department.

State lawmakers have passed a bill that would drop four end-of-course tests currently required for students in high school.

A bill that would limit the amount of monetary damages for patients harmed by doctors has passed the State Senate. The measure would limit awards to $500,000. It would also make it more difficult to sue emergency room doctors.

Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville says the bill would help lower malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and therefore bring more physicians to the state. He told fellow lawmakers he's been working on the measure for years.

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan (D) is taking the lead in calling for changes to No Child Left Behind. The education legislation is due for reauthorization this year.

Hagan joined other senate democrats at a school in Washington DC in calling for reforming No Child Left Behind.

Future Of Earned Income Tax Credit In Doubt

Mar 2, 2011

Advocates for women's and children's issues gathered at the General Assembly yesterday. One bill they oppose is a change to the state's earned income tax credit.

A Senate bill saying residents would be presumed to have properly used deadly force in the case of a home, car or workplace invasion has tentatively passed the state Senate. State law currently only deals with home invasions. Democratic Senator Dan Blue of Raleigh voted against the measure, because it expands the definition of a home and a workplace to include tents. Blue says a number of homeless people live in tents they erect in downtown Raleigh.

State senators have tentatively approved a bill that would eliminate North Carolina's current cap on charter schools. The schools receive public money, but they function independently of local districts. Right now only one hundred charters are allowed to operate in the state at any given time. Democrats introduced a number of amendments on the Senate floor they said would help more at-risk children attend charters. But they were outvoted by the Republican majority.

Democrat Gladys Robinson is from Greensboro:

Governor Bev Perdue has vetoed the first bill approved by the new Republican majority at the legislature.