Politics & Government

The State of Things
12:05 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

NC Journalists Remember Tiananmen Square 25 Years Later

Scott Savitt

Chinese troops and a wall of tanks started advancing on protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 3, 1989.

By the next day, hundreds were dead and countless more wounded. They were students, professors, and other civilians fighting for government reform. And some were soldiers, who had been given permission to open fire on the thousands who had occupied the square for more than a month. 

In the 25 years since the conflict, China has experienced rapid growth under a government that the Communist Party still controls.

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Politics & Government
7:59 am
Tue June 3, 2014

11 Protesters Cited For Trespassing Outside Gov. McCrory's Office

The 11 protesters who were cited for trespassing at the Old North Carolina State Capitol, and the NC-NAACP's Rev. William Barber (back center), gave speeches on the building's doorstep after they were released.
Credit Jorge Valencia

Eleven protesters who said they wanted to personally ask Gov. Pat McCrory to overturn Republican government policies received trespassing citations for refusing to leave the Old North Carolina State Capitol building after it closed on Monday afternoon.

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Politics & Government
10:08 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Quiet Day at the General Assembly

Credit NC General Assembly

It was quiet at the state legislature Monday. That's because lawmakers in the Senate won't be back until Wednesday. They passed their 21.2 billion dollar budget proposal Friday night.

In the House, lawmakers gaveled in and out in a skeleton session without taking up any bills or resolutions. House lawmakers are beginning the process of putting their budget together. Meanwhile, Moral Monday protesters are rallying again in another of their series of weekly demonstrations.

 

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Mon June 2, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, June 2

The old North Carolina State Capitol building.
Credit Bill Dickinson via Flickr

The North Carolina legislature is set this week to begin the third step in preparing adjustments for the state's annual budget. Members of the House of Representatives are expected to prepare their proposal in subcommittees, members of the full Appropriations Committee may then go over it next week, and the full chamber may vote on it also next week, Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) told WRAL-TV.

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Politics & Government
8:10 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Senate Gives Final Approval To Budget Plan

Credit Dave DeWitt

The state Senate has passed a $21.2 billion dollar spending plan that offers big raises for teachers if they forego tenure protections. It also eliminates many teaching assistant positions. Last night, senators amended the budget to take out a provision recommending UNC study closing Elizabeth City State University. They also created a scholarship fund for teaching assistants. 

After nearly three and a half hours of debate that lasted into the evening, Senate President Phil Berger was adamant that his colleagues understand what his chamber’s budget proposal is all about.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

North Carolina Is One Step Closer To Lifting Its De-Facto Moratorium On Fracking

A drill rig in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly sent Gov. Pat McCrory a bill on Thursday night that would allow the state to issue permits for hydraulic fracturing as early as May 2015, effectively lifting the state’s de-facto moratorium on the controversial shale gas drilling method.

McCrory is a long-time supporter of hydraulic fracturing and is likely to sign the bill into law.

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Politics & Government
8:19 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Senate Budget Plan Would Mean Big Changes To Education And Medicaid

Credit Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC / www.flickr.com/photos/statelibrarync/8634329145/

Senate leaders have released their proposed budget for the next fiscal year. They’re looking to spend about 21 billion dollars. Their plan would make substantial changes to the Medicaid program - and would scale back several state agencies, including the Department of Justice. Senate leaders also proposed hefty pay raises for public school teachers. 

For months now, Senate leaders have made it very clear that they want to give teachers pay raises. But they’ve been pretty coy about the details until this week.

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Politics & Government
6:14 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Lawmakers Speed Through Thursday At The Legislature

Credit NCGA

State lawmakers in Raleigh were moving at lightning speed today. Senate budget writers explained their budget plan to lawmakers. A bill abolishing privilege taxes made its way to the governor (who has now signed it.) And the House gave final approval to a fracking bill.

Senate budget writers spent all morning explaining the finer points of their plan to a packed audience. It would give 11 percent raises to teachers who forego tenure protections, and cut teacher assistants in the second and third grades.

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Politics & Government
4:41 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Proposed Senate Budget Boosts Salaries For Teachers Without Tenure, Cuts Teaching Assistants

Credit Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers in the Senate have released their budget plan, which includes the finer details of how they would pay for an 11 percent salary increase for teachers who agree to forego tenure protections. But Senate budget writers would take about $390 million out of k-12 funding. That would cut the money for teacher assistants by nearly half.

Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman says the state would keep teacher assistants for kindergarten and first grades – but get rid of about 7400 assistants in second and third grades. 

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Politics & Government
4:36 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Governor McCrory Signs Bill Eliminating Privilege Taxes

The Governor tweeted this photo today. The tweet said 'It's that time again...time to sign some bills! #ncpol #ncgov '

Governor Pat McCrory has signed a bill that will eliminate  the privilege taxes municipalities can levy on businesses. On Thursday, the state House passed the Senate version of a far-reaching tax bill, which would completely eliminate privilege taxes beginning in July of 2015.

Normally, a bill that has been altered in both chambers would go to a conference committee, where lawmakers could hash out their differences and agree on a final version. But not this time, says Rep. Paul Luebke:

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