Politics & Government

Political news

James Guseh with NCCU students Desiree Lewis, Timeika White and Kaia Clarke
Leoneda Inge

Presidential politics in Africa and in the African Diaspora has flooded the news in the New Year. There is the stand-off in the Ivory Coast where nations around the world continue to beg a losing presidential candidate to cede power to the winner. And just recently – a former dictator of Haiti returned home – raising questions of his intentions as the country tries to rebuild. A professor at North Carolina Central University says he can’t change the world – but he can help change his home country of Liberia.  So he’s running for president.  

The North Carolina legislature has begun a new session at a historic time in its history. Republicans now hold a majority in both chambers of the General Assembly for the first time in more than a century. But it's going to be a difficult year. Lawmakers face a potential 3-point-7 billion dollar budget deficit. Jessica Jones reports they say they're ready to meet that challenge.

The 2011-2012 legislative session begins today.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance will hold a public comment session in Raleigh this morning on possible insurance rate increases. The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents all the insurance companies doing business in the state, filed a request to raise rates an average of 20.9 percent for this year. Kerry Hall is a spokeswoman for the Insurance Department.

The city of Raleigh is one step closer to banning smoking in public parks.

The City Council voted 6-to-2 to move towards a ban on smoking in city parks. The ban would apply to city parks like Pullen near NC State’s campus, but not to Moore and Nash Squares downtown, which are state parks.

Mayor Charles Meeker proposed the ban, saying it is a health and litter issue. The two council members who voted against it say it will be too difficult to enforce.

Raleigh will spend about $25,000 to put no smoking signs up at all city parks.

The US Food and Drug Administration will require certain tobacco products introduced or changed after February of 2007 to be reviewed by the agency. Tobacco companies will have until March 22nd to apply for products to be approved as “substantially equivalent.” That means the products pose no added risk to smokers than products already available in early 2007.

David Howard is a spokesman for the Winston-Salem-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company:

Ellmers Sworn In

Jan 5, 2011
Renee Ellmers
Ellmers campaign

North Carolina's newest Congresswoman, Renee Ellmers, was sworn in Wednesday along with the rest of the 112th Congress. Ellmers, who's a Republican, defeated longtime Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge in the 2nd district. This is the first elected office she's ever held. She says all the pomp and circumstance is great, but she's ready to get to work. Her first priority is repealing the President's healthcare reform bill.

Basnight Steps Down

Jan 4, 2011
Marc Basnight
Laura Leslie

The longest-serving Senate Leader in North Carolina history is stepping down later this month.

New Rules For Officials, ABCs In 2011

Jan 1, 2011
NC State House
NCGA

The New Year today brings some new state laws with it, including tighter ethics rules for public servants.

Starting today,  members of powerful state boards and commissions have to disclose campaign donations they made and any fundraising they did for the officials who appointed them.

New State Laws For 2011

Dec 31, 2010
NC State House
NCGA

The New Year tomorrow will bring with it some new consumer protection laws and tax credits.

As of tomorrow, state law will ban lenders from auctioning off the foreclosed homes of active duty servicemembers.  Insurance companies will be required to provide hearing aids for children.  And real estate appraisal management companies will come under stricter state oversight.

North Carolina joins other state and local governments in fighting fraud and crime thanks to technology developed at SAS Institute.

Governor Bev Perdue thanked SAS over and over for its expertise in advanced analytics technology.  She says in these tough economic times it saves the government money to be able to improve public safety and reduce fraud.

Perdue says she remembers taking her concerns about Medicaid fraud to SAS:

2010 Census Results

Dec 21, 2010

Today, the first round of 2010 U.S. Census results will be released. States are anxiously waiting to find out if they get a new congressional seat or not.

I guess you can say today is Apportionment Day. Apportionment is the process dividing the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states.

Wayne Hatcher is the Census Regional Director based in Charlotte.

" In 2000 the state of North Carolina gained one additional district, the 13th district for the state.  It’s a big deal to gain a district, it’s a big deal to lose a district as well."

The U.S. Senate may take up the DREAM Act tomorrow. The immigration reform bill aimed at students is likely to be opposed by both North Carolina senators.

The Dream Act is a bi-partisan bill first introduced in Congress in 2001. It passed the U.S. House last week  It allows the children of illegal immigrants to attend college or enter the military, with the opportunity to pursue a path to legal citizenship. 

Perdue Undecided On Video Gambling

Dec 16, 2010
Bev Perdue
Laura Leslie

Governor Bev Perdue says she has not yet ruled out the possibility of asking lawmakers to legalize and regulate internet gambling.

Perdue To GOP: Walk The Walk

Dec 16, 2010
Bev Perdue
Laura Leslie

The new Republican majority hasn’t even taken power in the statehouse yet, but Governor Bev Perdue is already asking them for favors.  At a hearing Wednesday, Perdue urged lawmakers to limit the length of their sessions, and set up an independent panel to handle redistricting.

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