Jessica Jones

Reporter

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Governor Says Lawmakers Have Budget Differences

Credit Dave DeWitt

Gov. Pat McCrory says he and budget negotiators in the state House and Senate have serious differences over Medicaid budget forecasts and education spending. He spoke with reporters on Monday, saying he was taking precautions in case lawmakers aren't able to put together a budget before July 1st. 

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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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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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Politics & Government
2:15 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

House Lawmakers Pass Budget Proposal

Credit Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have given final approval to their $21 billion spending plan. The measure passed 77 to 35 Friday morning. It gives teachers an average five percent raise, but relies on money from the lottery to help pay for that. Nelson Dollar heads the House Appropriations Committee.  

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Politics & Government
7:53 am
Fri June 13, 2014

House Lawmakers Tentatively Pass Budget Plan

Credit house.gov

Lawmakers in the state House have tentatively passed a 21 billion dollar budget plan. It would give teachers average 5-percent raises and state employees flat $1,000 raises, plus benefits.

Last night, lawmakers amended their budget plan with a provision that would provide grants to the film industry. And they continued debating the wisdom of relying on money from the lottery for funding.

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Politics & Government
5:11 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

State House Discusses Budget Plan

Credit Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have been going through their budget proposal on the floor since early Thursday afternoon. Republican Representative Nelson Dollar introduced the bill.

"The budget before you today for your consideration has a five percent increase for teachers in our state. It contains a thousand dollar flat raise for most state employees, plus benefits, that's roughly a 2.3 percent increase, and an additional five days of leave time for state employees," said Dollar.

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Politics & Government
6:05 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

House Leaders Discuss Budget Proposal

Credit NC General Assembly

Members of the House Appropriations Committee met for hours today to discuss provisions in that chamber’s proposed budget.

Today’s legislative day was dominated by hours of a House committee meeting to give final approval to that chamber’s budget proposal released yesterday. The House plan would give teachers average five percent raises and state employees raises of a thousand dollars plus benefits. It's likely the budget plan will go to the floor tomorrow.

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Politics & Government
4:16 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

State House Leaders Unveil 21.1 Billion Dollar Budget Proposal

Credit NC General Assembly

Leaders of the state House have unveiled a 21.1 billion dollar budget proposal that differs sharply from the Senate’s plan that passed a week and a half ago. Under the House’s plan, public school teachers would get five percent raises. Teacher assistants would keep their jobs, and state employees would receive pay increases of 1,000 dollars.

Speaker of the House Thom Tillis laid out his chamber’s budget proposal at a news conference in the General Assembly’s press room. As he spoke at the podium, about thirty of his colleagues in the House stood behind him in a long row.
 

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