Politics & Government

Politics & Government
5:55 am
Fri June 17, 2011

House Votes to Nullify Racial Justice Act

Lawmakers in the House have voted to nullify a 2009 law that allows death row prisoners to contest their sentences on the basis of racial bias. The law, called the Racial Justice Act, allows a judge to commute a condemned prisoner's sentence to life in prison if he or she determines the case was tainted by race. Republican representative Justin Burr says the law has forced prosecutors to spend too much time reviewing old cases.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Thu June 16, 2011

Voter ID Bill Passes Senate

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

State senators passed the bill as expected last night, but not before more than an hour of spirited debate. Republican Buck Newton told lawmakers requiring voters to bring ID with them to the polls will help combat instances of fraud.
 

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Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

Senate Overrides Veto, Budget is Law

Lawmakers in North Carolina's legislature have officially overturned Governor Perdue's veto of a Republican-penned 19-point-7 billion dollar budget. The Senate voted to reject the governor's veto this afternoon. House lawmakers voted to override after midnight early this morning. Republican Senator Richard Stevens is a lead budget writer.

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Politics & Government
5:05 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

Stricter Rules for Teen Drivers Considered

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would require drivers under 18 to log 120 hours behind the wheel before getting a license. A parent or other qualified adult would have to sign off on the log. However teens could wait and get their licenses without taking driver's education classes when they turn 18. Lawmakers say the bill comes from recommendations by a task force charged with reducing teen highway deaths. State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Greer Beaty says the agency supports parents' involvement in teaching their children how to drive safely.

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Politics & Government
6:10 am
Wed June 15, 2011

House Lawmakers Override Budget Veto

House lawmakers voted early this morning to override Governor Perdue's veto of a Republican-penned 19.7 billion dollar budget.

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Politics & Government
6:05 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Fracking Bill Advances

House lawmakers have approved a bill that would bring North Carolina closer to allowing a controversial natural gas extraction practice known as "fracking." Senate Bill 709 would also approve studying the potential of drilling for natural gas both on land and offshore. The measure would also require officials to set up the regulatory framework needed to produce the resource. Proponents of the bill say it would make the state more independent of foreign oil. But Democratic Minority Leader Joe Hackney says this measure would move too fast.

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Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Mon June 13, 2011

President Calls for Engineer Training in Triangle Visit

President Obama at Cree
Credit Brent Kitchen

Business and political leaders gathered in Durham this afternoon for a visit by Barack Obama. He spoke at CREE manufacturing, a company that specializes in L-E-D lighting. Mr Obama announced a plan to train 10 Thousand new American engineers every year. The president's Jobs and Competitiveness Council took tours and met with business leaders earlier today. According to North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, the president's plan is a step in the right direction.

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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Perdue Vetoes Budget

Governor Bev Perdue has vetoed the budget sent to her by the North Carolina General Assembly. The decision comes a week after the Republican-led House and Senate passed the bill, sending it to Perdue's desk. It's the first time in state history that a governor has vetoed a budget passed by the Legislature. Speaking from the Capitol's old Senate chamber yesterday, Perdue said the bill would hurt public education, the environment and health care.

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Politics & Government
1:42 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

Legislative Update

Governor Bev Perdue
Credit governor.state.nc.us

Host Frank Stasio talks with the WUNC Capitol Bureau reporter, Jessica Jones, about the latest political action.

There's been a flurry of activity at the legislature this week as lawmakers work to get their measures approved in time to be considered. The Republicans control both the House and the Senate, and they are taking significant steps toward shifting North Carolina policy to the right. Meanwhile, Gov. Bev Perdue considers the budget, which calls for steep cuts to public education.

Politics & Government
7:00 am
Fri June 10, 2011

Controversial Medical Malpractice Bill Passes

Lawmakers have approved a controversial bill that would limit the amount of monetary damages for patients harmed by emergency room doctors' malpractice.

In most cases, the bill would cap a physician's malpractice responsibility at five hundred thousand dollars for death, disfigurement, permanent injury or loss of a body part. Republican sponsor Johnathan Rhyne says the measure is the result of a bipartisan effort between lawmakers. 

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