Politics & Government

Politics & Government
8:55 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

NC House Members May Consider Lowering Local Business Tax, Classifying E-Cigs As Non Tobacco

Mack MckLamb, president of Dunn-based grocery chain Carlie C’s, testified before lawmakers this year saying the Local Privilege License Tax unpredictable across the state. 'We operate sixteen stores in 12 different cities that have 12 different methods to do it,' he said.
Credit Charlie C's

Some North Carolina lawmakers want to limit a tax cities can charge local businesses.

State lawmakers have been trying to resolve this for more than 10 years: A tax that businesses have to pay cities to set up shop there.

On Thursday, a committee sent a bill to the House of Representatives limiting the tax to $100.

But some cities say that cuts an important source of revenue. Charlotte, for instance, would lose more than $8 million.

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Politics & Government
3:25 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

State Lawmakers Adopt New Rules Affecting Protesters

Credit Matthew Lenard

State legislators have redefined the rules laying out how people may gather in protest at the General Assembly.

They were approved by the Legislative Services Commission on Thursday. The measures are a rewrite of rules last changed in 1987. The updates prohibit activities that cause an "imminent disturbance," and they more clearly define what kinds of signs can be used.

Republican Tim Moore chairs the committee:

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Politics & Government
8:37 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Governor Pat McCrory Releases His Budget Proposal

Governor Pat McCrory has released his budget proposal.
Credit Jessica Jones

Governor Pat McCrory released his budget proposal yesterday, on the first day of the General Assembly’s short session. The $21 billion proposal includes raises for teachers and state employees as well new positions and equipment designed to oversee coal ash disposal. But it cuts about $49 million that would go to the University of North Carolina system.

As legislators walked into the General Assembly for the first day of this year’s short session, protesters- including a group of women called the Raging Grannies- were ready to greet them.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

What Does The NC Senate Want To Do About The State’s Toxic Coal Ash Ponds?

A 2012 photo of a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee.
Credit Appalachian Voices / via Creative Commons/Flickr

The first piece of legislation leaders of the North Carolina Senate introduced in this summer’s legislative session looks at Duke Energy’s 33 coal ash ponds across the state.

That means that on Wednesday, their first day in session this year, the senate’s Republican leadership sent a clear signal that it’s a priority for them to resolve the state’s issue of toxic coal ash dumps. What they didn't send was a clear picture of how they want to resolve it.

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Politics & Government
9:52 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Protesters Greet NC Lawmakers With Pots And Pans On First Day Of Legislative Session

A group of grandmothers who call themselves the 'Raging Grannies' were among demonstrators outside of the North Carolina General Assembly's offices on Wednesday.
Credit Jessica Jones

Dozens of demonstrators clinked and banged pots, pans and spoons outside of the North Carolina General Assembly’s offices in Raleigh on Wednesday morning, protesting recent state laws, as senators and representatives met for their first day in session this year.

The demonstration, in which people held signs protesting issues such as a Voter ID law passed last year, low teacher pay, and low unemployment benefits, served as a prelude for a series of demonstrations set for Mondays while lawmakers are in session.

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Politics & Government
6:07 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Tillis Sets Legislative Goals While Under The Media Microscope

House Speaker Thom Tillis is being scrutinized while leading the short General Assembly session.
Credit http://thomtillis.com/

House Speaker Thom Tillis laid out his goals for this year's General Assembly short session Wednesday.  He said the ultimate accomplishment for lawmakers will be making adjustments to the state budget in a timely manner. 

Tillis said he and other legislative leaders hope their actions over the next several weeks will support the governor in his efforts to put some long awaited raises into effect.

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Politics & Government
5:34 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Governor McCrory Unveils Budget Proposal

Credit Dave DeWitt

Governor McCrory has unveiled a $21 billion budget proposal that includes raises for teachers and state employees, promotes more oversight of coal ash ponds, and adds $50 million to the state's rainy day fund. But it also includes a $49 million cut to the University of North Carolina system.

"We’ve had to make some very very difficult decisions. Which we think will have a positive impact on the future. This budget proposal has already been shared with top budget legislators in the House and the Senate, and therefore nothing should come as a surprise," says McCrory.

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The State of Things
12:20 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

General Assembly Reconvenes

The General Assembly convenes today for the short session.
Credit NC General Assembly

WUNC reporters Jorge Valencia and Reema Khrais live from the Capitol

The short session of the North Carolina General Assembly begins today. Environmental issues on the table are coal ash disposal and fracking. Meanwhile, teacher pay remains a hot topic. Legislators will discuss Governor McCrory's proposals to update the teacher pay model. They'll also consider a bill that seeks to repeal Common Core.

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Politics & Government
8:25 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Ex-Idol Clay Aiken Officially Secures Democratic Nomination For Congress

Clay Aiken, the former American Idol singer, secured the Democratic nomination for North Carolina’s second congressional district Tuesday, officially receiving enough votes to avert a runoff in his party’s primary elections.

Aiken received 40.9% of the vote, over his closest opponent, former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who got 39.4% of the vote, according to the State Board of Election’s official results released today.

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Politics & Government
5:41 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Former State Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco Dies

Former state Commerce secretary Keith Crisco has died. The Democrat faced American Idol contestant Clay Aiken in the Second Congressional District.  

Last week, Crisco said in a statement that he was waiting to see final vote tallies in the primary. It wasn't clear then  whether the race was close enough for him to request a recount or whether there would be a runoff.

Crisco was behind Aiken by a few hundred votes, according to unofficial totals. A Democratic strategist says Crisco was planning to concede the race to Aiken today.

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