Politics & Government

Political news

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.

GOP Seeks Current-Year Cuts

Dec 16, 2010
Thom Tillis
NC General Assembly

The state legislature isn’t back in session till January. But incoming Republican leaders are asking Governor Bev Perdue to start cutting spending now.

At a special budget meeting Wednesday, leaders of state agencies painted a grim fiscal picture, projecting that next year’s revenue will fall around $3.7 billion short.  That means lawmakers will either have to raise revenue or cut spending by about 20%.

Senate Dems Stay With Nesbitt

Dec 14, 2010
Sen. Martin Nesbitt
NCGA

Asheville Democrat Martin Nesbitt will be leading the Senate Democrats in their first session as a minority party in more than a century.

Senate Dems To Choose Leaders

Dec 14, 2010

State Senate Democrats will meet in Raleigh today to do something they haven’t done in more than a century – choose a minority leader. 

Current President Pro Tem Marc Basnight has led the Senate for 18 years -- the longest-serving legislative leader in state history. But last month’s elections put an end to his tenure. When the Senate convenes in January, Democrats will be in the minority for the first time since Reconstruction.

The wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards is being laid to rest today.  Hundreds of supporters and some protestors have vowed to gather outside the service.

Elizabeth Edwards is being remembered as a mother, wife author and role model for many across the country.   It’s her celebrity that is drawing a radical, anti gay protest from Kansas to Raleigh.  George Reed is the executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches. He says hundreds of people have joined the council in denouncing Westboro Baptist Church.

A coordinated effort among law enforcement, schools, and non-profits would help to combat the impact of gangs in Guilford County. That’s according to a study presented today by UNC Greensboro. Youth Focus, a non-profit for at-risk youth is one of the groups involved in that effort.

Executive Director Chuck Hodierne says he hopes the study will make the community more aware of the issue of gangs. He says gang activity is a very difficult problem to address directly:

Perdue, GOP Agree On Slimmer State Payroll

Dec 10, 2010
Gov. Perdue
Laura Leslie

Incoming Republican leaders are applauding a new plan by Governor Bev Perdue to streamline state government, cut state jobs, and save millions of dollars.

Black farmers in North Carolina and across the country are celebrating the signing of a bill authorizing payments to settle a racial bias lawsuit.

For decades – African American farmers have complained to the government about discrimination from the United States Department of Agriculture – or USDA.  With the stroke of a pen – President Barack Obama signed the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 – freeing up 1.15-billion dollars in settlement money. 

Tobacco workers employed by Lorillard plan to protest at an FDA meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning in Raleigh. The government is reviewing the safety of menthol cigarettes- Lorillard has a market share of about 35 percent of the product. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 317-T in Greensboro is organizing the event. Randy Fulk is the union's international representative. He worked for Lorillard Tobacco for more than 36 years:

Pres. Barack Obama at Forsyth Tech
Jennifer Rotenizer, Winston-Salem Journal

There have been encouraging signs the economy is no longer shrinking – but growing.   President Barack Obama told a crowd in Winston-Salem yesterday he will continue to fight for investments in education and innovation – a move he says will help continue the country’s economic recovery.   The president’s words were welcomed by students and staff at Forsyth Technical Community College where they’re in the business of re-invention and re-training.

Rep. Tim Moore
NC General Assembly

State Republicans plan to introduce a bill that would require voters in North Carolina to present identification… possibly photo identification… before casting votes. Republicans have tried to pass this sort of bill before. But they’ve been the minority party.  They will take over the House and Senate in January.

Election Turnout Doesn't Match Hype

Dec 3, 2010
Bob Hall
Democracy NC

Despite all the media coverage of last month’s elections, the majority of North Carolina voters did not cast a ballot.

44% of the state’s registered voters cast a ballot in this year’s midterm elections. That’s better than 37% in 2006, but Bob Hall with Democracy North Carolina says it’s still pretty low.

All Raleigh City taxi cabs now have flashing lights in case the driver experiences a threatening situation. Police want citizens to call 911 if they see amber lights flashing from a taxi cab's trunk or grille. A city law requires all drivers to have the silent alarm system. Officials adopted the law after an unusually high number of cab robberies in 2008.

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