Politics & Government

Politics & Government
7:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Governor Pat McCrory Discusses His First Two Years, Teacher Pay, And Higher Education

Credit NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory is relatively new to Raleigh but is an old hand at politics.

He was first elected to the Charlotte City Council in 1989. He went on to serve for fourteen years as the mayor of North Carolina’s largest city.  McCrory first ran for governor against Beverly Perdue, but lost in 2008. 

Four years later, he ran again, and won. It was the first time since Reconstruction that North Carolina had both a Republican governor and GOP majorities in both houses. 

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Governor Pat McCrory Discusses Coal Ash, Moral Mondays, And What's Next

Credit NC Governor's Office

Thursday afternoon, Capitol Bureau Chief Jessica Jones sat down with Governor Pat McCrory for a one-on-one interview.

The governor continued to advocate for teacher raises, but says he has some differences with the General Assembly on how to get that done.

Those differences will have to get worked out soon if lawmakers hope to meet the July 1st deadline for the next fiscal year.

But as the governor discussed with Jessica Jones, the budget is not the only issue facing his administration.

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Politics & Government
5:28 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

State Lottery Director Says Budget Restrictions Would Decrease Revenue

NC Education lottery at the a North Carolina Food Mart
Credit Laura Candler

The North Carolina state House’s budget plan includes a provision that would double the amount of money the state lottery can use to advertise. Proponents say that would encourage people to buy more tickets and boost revenues to the tune of $106 million, which would be used for teacher raises. But this morning, the state lottery director told lawmakers that restrictions on advertising (that are also written into the House budget proposal) would result in bringing in far less money. 

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The State of Things
12:24 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

State Senate Files Coal Ash Regulation Bill

Coal ash pond
Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

  

The state Senate is pushing a proposal that would close all of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds in North Carolina. 

The plan lays out a timeline for Duke Energy to close the ponds, adds more oversight positions, and puts some restrictions on rate increases. 

It is part of an ongoing discussion about new regulations for utilities that use the ponds since 39,000 tons of ash spilled into the Dan River earlier this year.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capital reporter Jorge Valencia about the latest coal ash legislation.

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Politics & Government
8:25 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Undocumented College Students Walk From Charlotte To Raleigh Asking For In-State Tuition

Elver Barrios (center) and a few dozen other students held a mock graduation for undocumented immigrants behind the Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh.
Credit Jorge Valencia

Five students walked 140 miles from Charlotte to Raleigh over the last 10 days to ask state lawmakers for in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.

Elver Barrios, a computer engineering student at Johnson C. Smith University, and one of the advocates, says that when the group left last week, momentum seemed on their side.

"We were really excited on the first day of walking," he says.

But walking 15 miles a day means blisters on the feet and lots of sun on the face. It turns out there’s not much shade between Charlotte and Raleigh.

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Politics & Government
10:20 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Lawmakers Review House Budget

Credit Credit NC General Assembly

Lawmakers at the General Assembly have begun the process of reviewing both chambers' budgets as they look ahead to crafting a final spending plan.

Tuesday morning, Senate appropriations committees met to discuss the House's budget, which was approved last week. Some committees reviewed the differences between the two chambers' spending plans.

A bill that would force Duke Energy to shut down its coal ash ponds in the state passed the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee unanimously today and heads to the Finance Committee.

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The State of Things
10:09 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Sales Tax For Education

North Carolina General Assembly
Credit creative commons

    

North Carolina counties are bracing themselves for statewide education cuts under consideration by the General Assembly. Guilford County schools stand to lose between $6 million and $21 million from the state. 

In an effort to mitigate the loss, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is considering a referendum on increasing the sales tax rate. Host Frank Stasio talks with News & Record reporter Kelly Poe.

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Politics & Government
7:49 am
Tue June 17, 2014

NC Senate Leaders Want Duke Energy To Close Its Coal Ash Ponds Within 15 Years

Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

At the North Carolina General Assembly, key members of the Senate will take their first vote today on a coal ash proposal. Lawmakers have been grappling all year with possible contamination from 33 coal ash ponds Duke Energy has across the state.

The problem is not new. North Carolina has been accumulating coal ash for most of the past century. Power companies burn coal to generate electricity, cool off the remaining ash with water and then pour it into ponds and keep it there.

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Politics & Government
7:42 am
Mon June 16, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, June 16

Photo: The North Carolina Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh
Credit Jorge Valencia

North Carolina’s General Assembly leadership is expected to begin negotiations this week to reconcile two proposals for the state’s $21.1 billion budget, a legislation that touches many aspects of government, but has centered on how to give pay raises to public school teachers.

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Politics & Government
9:02 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Wake Superior Court Judge Blocks Rules That Would Apply To ‘Moral Monday’ General Assembly Activists

More than 900 of 'Moral Monday' protesters were arrested while rallying at the General Assembly in 2013.
Credit NAACP

A Wake County Superior Court Judge issued an order blocking rules that say how visitors can behave in the state legislative building.

Judge Carl Fox will sign the order in response to a lawsuit filed by protesters. Hundreds have rallied on Mondays at the Legislative building in response to laws passed by the General Assembly.  

Fox says people should be able to voice their opinions in public places, including the General Assembly.

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