State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

Cedar Fork Elementary in Wake County would have to add three more kindergarten classrooms under the class-size change scheduled to go into effect in the fall.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Updated 3:15 p.m. Feb. 9, 2018

Republican legislation to phase in North Carolina's upcoming class-size mandate has passed one General Assembly chamber. Democrats complained it is loaded with other provisions targeting Gov. Roy Cooper and the state elections board.

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly signaled action later this week on environment, education and possibly elections administration legislation, ending a nearly monthlong hiatus as lawmakers returned to Raleigh.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Significant court rulings, the latest round of campaign finance reports and policies that might help combat the opioid epidemic were among the political topics that received attention this week.

Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, and Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, join WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about these and other topics in the week's political news.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Elected officials from both parties and at all levels of government are working on curbing the opioid crisis.

In 2017, President Donald Trump seated a commission to make recommendations on the issue, state lawmakers passed a measure changing prescribing guidelines, and municipalities mobilized more first responders to carry an opiate reversal agent.

Image of three different maps of North Carolina, with different districts.
Courtesy of Jonathan Mattingly

In the past few months, the courts have found fault with North Carolina’s state and congressional maps. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that state legislative districts are unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering, and last month a three-judge panel in federal court determined that there is partisan gerrymandering in the state’s congressional districts. 

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sits for an interview with WUNC in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Cooper addressed the opiod crisis affecting the state.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper is taking a leadership role in North Carolina - and in the country – in addressing the opioid crisis. He was one of six members of President Donald Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

Governor Roy Cooper tour areas of High Point, N.C., affected by the opioid epidemic during a ride-along with Chris Wilson, of the Guilford County Emergency Management Service on January 25, 2018.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

It’s a cold January morning in High Point as Governor Roy Cooper climbs into a white SUV. Guilford County EMS worker Chris Wilson drives through the city’s south side. On one side of the road there are two dingy motels. On the other a large cross and the message “God is love” on the ground.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Judicial musings and off-shore drilling were among the array of North Carolina political topics that received attention this week.

Mitch Kokai, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, review that recent news, and also weigh-in on a piece by the Wall Street Journal exploring an economic divide in the state. Not discussed on this week’s forum – but mentioned – is a piece from the New York Times, noting the wariness of southern lawmakers to pursue divisive social policy, at least for now.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Andrew Dunn is a Charlotte-based journalist who recently started a website focused on North Carolina politics.

Flickr Creative Commons/Stephen Melkisethian

By their own admission Republican lawmakers have purposefully drawn the state’s election maps in favor of their own party, sending 10 Republicans and just three Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives.

It appears that judicial redistricting is again stalled in the North Carolina General Assembly. That comes after a recent show of confidence from leading state Republicans that the issue might pick up momentum.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The House has approved a stopgap measure to fund the government through mid-February, but Senate Democrats seem dissatisfied. They want concessions including deportation protection for some young immigrants before giving their vote.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Thanks to winter weather, it was a slow work week for many in North Carolina. However, the political world trudged along with more redistricting and judicial developments.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Federal judges ruled yesterday that the state's congressional districts drawn by Republican lawmakers are too partisan. They described them as  drawn to “entrench Republican domination of the state’s congressional delegation.” This ruling marks the first time a federal court has struck down a congressional map on those grounds. 

Federal judges have ruled that North Carolina's congressional district map drawn by legislative Republicans is illegally gerrymandered because of excessive partisanship that gave the GOP a rock-solid advantage for most seats and must quickly be redone.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday for another session in which leaders say they'll act quickly on a slender agenda, but adjournment may be delayed for redistricting litigation and potential judicial changes.

Thomas Farr, with right hand raised, is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Thomas Farr is a Raleigh-based lawyer who has counseled North Carolina Republicans on a multitude of racially divisive cases.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

On this week's review of North Carolina politics, lawmakers again discussed what to do about GenX, the contaminant that has been discharged in the Cape Fear River. Also, lawmakers return to Raleigh next week, though their agenda remains unclear. And, 2018 is an election year that is expected to see a President Trump trickle down effect.

Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, and Mitch Kokai, of the John Locke Foundation, discuss those stories during this conversation.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Fans of the Carolina Panthers will watch their team in the Wildcard round of the NFL playoffs this Sunday in New Orleans. Soon those fans will wait to see what happens with the franchise.

mist rises off the Cape Fear River
Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Creative Commons

State lawmakers are expected to make addressing the water pollutant GenX a priority in their upcoming legislative session. Republican Rep. Ted Davis may introduce a draft bill as early as Jan. 4 that is expected to have bipartisan support. But as News & Observer reporter Will Doran points out, a lack of funding for its provisions will likely be a sticking point.
 

Host Frank Stasio talks to Doran about the latest on GenX. He also speaks with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about other items the state legislature has on its short-term and year-long agendas.

Rep. Daniel McComas served nine terms in the North Carolina House and retired from the Legislature in 2012.
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/2iXN3GK

Former North Carolina State Representative Daniel McComas (R-New Hanover) has resigned from the state Board of Transportation, one week after a former lobbyist accused him of harassment.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

On this week's review of North Carolina politics, a review of the year in North Carolina politics. There were bitter partisan squabbles between the legislature and Governor Roy Cooper; economic developments; and a conclusion (sort of) to House Bill 2.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

On the latest episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Gary Robertson sits down to discuss a tumultuous year in North Carolina politics.

The Associated Press statehouse reporter shares details from recent conversations with Governor Roy Cooper and Senate Leader Phil Berger, weighs in on "the story of the year," and shares his favorite Christmas song.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

WUNC and the NC Insider published two stories this week about the culture of harassment at the North Carolina General Assembly.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation with Gerry Cohen, who first ventured into the North Carolina General Assembly more than 45 years ago while working on his graduate thesis.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Revelations of sexual misconduct at the federal level have opened up inquiries into the culture in state houses around the country. At the North Carolina General Assembly, WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii uncovered two incidents of reported misconduct: one from 2007 involving former Representative David Almond (R-Stanly), who allegedly exposed himself to a legislative assistant and then masturbated on an office chair.

FILE- In this March 4, 2015, file photo, North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin delivers his State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the General Assembly.
Gerry Broome, File / AP

At the General Assembly in Raleigh, former lawmakers, lobbyists, staffers and others describe a workplace culture that is antiquated, handsy and flirtatious – a dynamic some say is rooted in power.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in North Carolina politics, legislators took a marginal step forward in judicial reform. A panel of state lawmakers heard a presentation on judicial selection - part of a larger effort to make significant changes to the judiciary.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation about the future of Obamacare. Members of Congress could soon make fundamental change to The Affordable Care Act as part of a major tax overhaul.

people marching with confederate flags in Washington, D.C.
Elvert Barnes / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/ye6c21

Alderman Ralph Hamlett wants symbols of hate and racism to be banned from parades in his town of Canton, North Carolina.

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