State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

​North Carolina's House Bill 2 and the state budget dominated the headlines during this year's legislative short session. But the bills that got less attention could also have a huge impact across the state.

One of them places regulations on the footage caught by police body cameras, and declares those tapes are not public records. That same bill also establishes the first statewide needle exchange program.

Phil Berger Jr.
Phil Berger for Judge Campaign

A familiar name in state politics could have a prime spot on this fall's ballot because of a proposal passed by state lawmakers.

Phil Berger Jr. is the son of Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), one of the most powerful officials in North Carolina. The younger Berger is a former district attorney who again is seeking public office after losing a bid for the state's 6th Congressional District seat in 2014.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Lawmakers adjourned for the year early Saturday morning following a short session at the General Assembly marked with limited acrimony, plenty of debate over House Bill 2 and the departure of several long-serving members.

State Senator Tom Apodaca
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The General Assembly adjourned late Friday and lawmakers headed home.

They passed a $22.3 billion budget before they left, giving state employees a small raise and setting aside more money for the rainy day fund. They also made a small tweak to House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill.

Composite photo of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
U.S. Embassy and Gage Skidmore / flickr

Updated July 6 at 7:06 a.m.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump fired up supporters at two separate rallies in North Carolina Tuesday, as both presumptive presidential candidates sought to gain a lead in the battleground state.

photo of NC Legislature
creative commons

State lawmakers completed a chaotic final day of the legislative session in Raleigh on Friday, giving final approval to a $22.34 billion dollar state budget before sending it on to the Governor.

Image of bathroom sign
The LEAF Project / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina lawmakers tweaked the controversial law known as House Bill 2 in the last hours of the state’s legislative session on Friday night, restoring the right to sue in state court for discriminatory firings.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

It’s first new WUNCPolitics podcast of the fiscal year. As the budget is passed, we look at what’s most significant and what’s under the radar. Also, the behind-the-scenes wrangling over changes to HB2.

Managing Editor For News Dave DeWitt is joined by Capitol Bureau Jeff Tiberii, Capitol Reporter Jorge Valencia, and Jess Clark, Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The United States Supreme Court issued decisions this week in several high profile cases related to abortion restrictions and immigration regulations.

The high court also agreed to hear North Carolina's redistricting suit. Their decisions could affect voters in November.

Photo: North Carolina's Old State Capitol building.
Soggy6 / Flickr

Lawmakers convened in Raleigh nearly a month ago for a short session to address the state's budget. But legislators have proposed measures on other items including bills on coal ash, light rail and sanctuary cities.

Also this week, Senator Fletcher Hartsell, a Republican from Concord, was indicted on charges of illegal campaign expenditures. The long-serving member in the Senate says he will not resign.

coal ash
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Republican lawmakers and Governor Pat McCrory have reached a compromise over coal ash avoiding another round in the courts.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest.
Wikimedia Commons

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the most recent action from the state Legislature.  

Republican lawmakers in the state Senate have passed a provision that would allow the state to withhold school and road funding from cities, towns and counties that don't comply with state immigration laws. The change would also prohibit local governments from issuing their own identification cards to people who are in the country without papers.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the most recent action from the state Legislature.

State Senators approved a budget Tuesday night following more than an hour of review and debate.

Photo: The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Jorge Valencia

Republican leaders at the General Assembly are working to wrap up the short session.

Today the Senate is considering a flurry of bills, including some of the most controversial legi slation of the session. One proposal could change the way police officers do their work and another could reorganize the Asheville City Council.

Durham, Durham Rescue Mission, Golden Belt Historic District
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Despite opposition, it’s looking more like the Golden Belt Local Historic District will include a controversial block of property owned by the Durham Rescue Mission.

Durham’s Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission support protecting the last of the old mill houses near the historic Golden Belt manufacturing factories.

A body camera on a North Charleston police officer.
Ryan Johnson / Creative Commons

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House have voted in favor of a bill that would keep police body camera video out of the public record. Under the provision, the footage wouldn't be personnel records either.

Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory
File photo / WUNC

Incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory and his challenger Democrat Roy Cooper appeared together on stage for the first time in their heated race for the Governorship.

PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Raleigh

Jun 22, 2016
Hillary Clinton speaks in Raleigh
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made her first campaign stop in North Carolina since the end of the primary season.

She told several thousand supporters at the Exposition Center at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh that if elected, she would launch a job creation plan during her first hundred days in office.

Child with flag
jvoves on Flickr

North Carolina Republican leaders are fast-tracking a plan to withhold state funding for schools and highways from cities and counties that enact ordinances that are friendly to undocumented immigrants.

Ann Atwater, Durham, Civil Rights, Ku Klux Klan
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Durham Civil Rights activist Ann Atwater – best known for the relationship she forged with her biggest enemy, a member of the Ku Klux Klan – has died. She was 80.

Atwater's fight for justice began at home where she lived in dilapidated housing with no electricity. She tirelessly fought for better housing for blacks in Durham.

photo of a gun show in Houston
M&R Glasgow / Flickr

Democrats in the Senate hold the floor in a 14-hour filibuster designed to force a vote on gun regulations. The measures, expected for votes next week, would restrict gun purchases for suspected terrorists and expand background checks. But the likelihood of passage seems low as the parties disagree on how to enforce the measures.

Photo of Claudia Ruíz Massieu and North Carolina legislators
Consulado General de Mexico en Raleigh

More than 35 million of the nation’s immigrant population comes from neighboring Mexico.

And America’s relationship with Mexico is at the top of political headlines, particularly when the GOP presidential candidate advocates building a wall along the 2,000 mile border.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruíz Massieu.

A sign indicates food stamps are accepted.
Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

The North Carolina House is considering a bill that would increase disqualification periods for food stamp recipients who don't meet their work requirements. Able-bodied adults without children have to work or train for 20 hours a week in order to qualify for food stamps.

Trump supporters outside the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Thousands of people gathered at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Tuesday night to hear a speech from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Some people, including BJ Green, dedicated the entire day to the event. Green and his nine-year-old son, Jackson, arrived at noon from a small town in Virginia.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

On this week's WUNCPolitics Podcast: Backroom budget negotiations are in full swing, we know a little more about who will be representing North Carolina in Congress and the presidential campaign is already reaching its tentacles into North Carolina.

Flag of the United States of America, backlit, windy day.
Jnn13 / Wikipedia

Note: This program is a rebroadcast.

The divide between America's top earners and the rest of the population is wide and getting wider. 

Many experts point to the way in which the so-called "one percent" have used their economic power to tighten their grip on privilege as one reason for the widening gap.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

North Carolina held its second primary of the year Tuesday and voters cast their ballots for representatives in Congress and a seat on the state's highest judiciary.

U.S. Representative Alma Adams
U.S. Representative Alma Adams

Alma Adams is the Democratic nominee to represent North Carolina’s 12th District in Congress.

Adams is the incumbent in the 12th District, but it wasn’t a given that she would sail to victory.

Ted Budd at the ProShots firearms complex
Bud for Congress

Ted Budd, a gun shop owner from Davie County and a first-time political candidate, took the Republican party’s nomination for the 13th Congressional District on Tuesday night. He emerges from a field of 17 candidates for a seat that will favor the GOP nominee in the November general election.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
United States Government

It was supposed to be a tough race for U.S. Rep. Walter Jones. But the state's longest-serving sitting congressman cruised to victory last night in the 3rd Congressional District's Republican primary.

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