General Assembly http://wunc.org en General Assembly Adjourns With Medicaid and Teacher Assistant Plans Unfinished http://wunc.org/post/general-assembly-adjourns-medicaid-and-teacher-assistant-plans-unfinished <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>After a prolonged legislative session marked by delayed talks and Republican infighting, the General Assembly has finished its work and adjourned for the year.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The short session dragged on as lawmakers struggled to compromise over key issues, including teacher pay and coal ash. Legislators managed to strike a last-minute deal on Wednesday that would work to remove coal ash from 33 ponds across the state.</span></p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:40:26 +0000 Reema Khrais 41044 at http://wunc.org General Assembly Adjourns With Medicaid and Teacher Assistant Plans Unfinished Meet the 'Encyclopedia to the Legislature' Gerry Cohen http://wunc.org/post/meet-encyclopedia-legislature-gerry-cohen <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gerry Cohen is probably the most important North Carolina politician you don't know.</span></p><p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:12:49 +0000 Hady Mawajdeh & Frank Stasio 40888 at http://wunc.org Meet the 'Encyclopedia to the Legislature' Gerry Cohen Legislators Cut Buses, Again http://wunc.org/post/legislators-cut-buses-again <p>Local school districts in North Carolina will have less state funding for school buses this year. The General Assembly cut $4.6 million from the budget for school transportation.</p><p>The cut comes one year after the Legislature upped the number of miles a school bus could stay on the roads.</p><p>"We do have a bit of an older fleet out there, not dramatically, but it is an older fleet now," says&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Derek Graham, the director of transportation services at the Department of Public Instruction.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:49:05 +0000 Dave DeWitt 40381 at http://wunc.org Legislators Cut Buses, Again Explaining NC's Teacher Pay Raises http://wunc.org/post/explaining-ncs-teacher-pay-raises <p></p><p>Governor Pat McCrory has signed a $21 billion dollar state budget that includes pay increases for teachers. He and other Republican leaders have been trying to send a loud and clear message that teachers will be getting a historic pay raise, the first major one in years.</p><p>They’ve been touting it as an average seven percent increase. But there’s been a lot of confusion over how that’ll actually pan out and whether all teachers will see a pay bump.</p><p></p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:33:30 +0000 Reema Khrais 40368 at http://wunc.org Explaining NC's Teacher Pay Raises Gov. McCrory Signs $21B State Budget Deal http://wunc.org/post/gov-mccrory-signs-21b-state-budget-deal <p>Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law the state’s $21.1 billion budget bill that was approved by the legislature last week.</p><p>The signing comes five weeks after the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1<span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 17.5px;">st</span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 17.5px;">, a deadline lawmakers did not meet because of stalled negotiations and debate largely over teacher pay and Medicaid funding.&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:36:41 +0000 Reema Khrais 40324 at http://wunc.org Gov. McCrory Signs $21B State Budget Deal School Budget Cuts Come Into Sharper Focus http://wunc.org/post/school-budget-cuts-come-sharper-focus <p>Many of the smaller changes that came out of last week's state budget could have a sizable impact on local schools. One of the changes, added late in the negotiating process, cuts $9 million from programs aimed at helping at-risk students.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The cut was one of the many smaller pots of money that Republican budget writers used to pay for teacher raises.</span></p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:09:31 +0000 Dave DeWitt 40294 at http://wunc.org School Budget Cuts Come Into Sharper Focus Wake Commissioners Reject Sales Tax Increase To Raise Teacher Pay http://wunc.org/post/wake-commissioners-reject-sales-tax-increase-raise-teacher-pay <p>Wake commissioners voted Monday against a referendum that could have raised the county's sales tax by a quarter-cent to generate about $28 million to go toward public schools.</p><p>Some Wake Commissioners wanted to hold the vote because the General Assembly might limit their ability to raise sales taxes. Lawmakers want to cap the local sales tax rate to 2.5 percent. The measure would allow some of the large urban counties, including Wake, to bypass that requirement if they levy a quarter percent tax this November.</p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 12:21:10 +0000 Reema Khrais 40184 at http://wunc.org Wake Commissioners Reject Sales Tax Increase To Raise Teacher Pay House Tentatively Passes 21 Billion Dollar Budget http://wunc.org/post/house-tentatively-passes-21-billion-dollar-budget <p>Lawmakers in the state House have tentatively passed a 21 billion dollar budget adjustment for this fiscal year. It would give teachers average 7 percent raises at a cost of 282 million dollars. Republicans say the spending plan is sustainable. But Democrats in the House are asking whether the combination of pay raises and this year’s lower tax rates will be sustainable over the long term.&nbsp;</p><p>Leaders in the House began debating the budget conference report at 10 a.m. today. Appropriations Chair Nelson Dollar began by presenting what the bill stands for.</p> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:55:03 +0000 Jessica Jones 40052 at http://wunc.org House Tentatively Passes 21 Billion Dollar Budget Gov. McCrory: 'I Do Not Need To Veto This Budget, I'll Sign It' http://wunc.org/post/gov-mccrory-i-do-not-need-veto-budget-ill-sign-it <p>Governor Pat McCrory says he approves of the legislature's spending plan for state and will sign the bill.</p><p>The Senate already passed the $21 billion budget bill today and the House will likely approve it Saturday morning.</p><p>Governor Pat McCrory touted the budget proposal at a press conference on Friday.</p><p>“We've got a 2.2 percent increase in the general fund budget with no tax increase, with teacher pay raises, no elimination of teachers assistants and we've kept the integrity of our Medicaid, I'm proud of it,” he said.</p> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:46:13 +0000 Reema Khrais 40056 at http://wunc.org Gov. McCrory: 'I Do Not Need To Veto This Budget, I'll Sign It' Senators Pass Budget, But Will Return For Coal Ash, Medicaid http://wunc.org/post/senators-pass-budget-will-return-coal-ash-medicaid <p></p><p>After a 15-hour day at the legislature, Senators voted this morning to pass the $21.3 billion state spending plan.&nbsp;</p><p>Senators didn't leave the legislative building until about 1 a.m. They were determined to make a final vote on the budget and wrap up any loose ends before heading home.&nbsp;</p><p>But they'll be back soon enough. They're expected to return in a couple of weeks to take up any possible vetoes from the Governor. Then, they'll be back in November to pick up at least two bills they didn't finish.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:31:45 +0000 Reema Khrais & Jorge Valencia 39990 at http://wunc.org Senators Pass Budget, But Will Return For Coal Ash, Medicaid