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
4:10 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

State Budget Negotiators Still At Odds Over Teacher Pay

Credit Dave DeWitt

Budget negotiators in the North Carolina General Assembly are still at odds over how much to raise teacher pay for this fiscal year. Leaders in the House canceled what was meant to be an open conference committee meeting this morning because Senate negotiators declined to attend.

House leaders have offered to grant teachers raises of 6%, up from an earlier proposal of 5%. But Senate leaders say they still prefer pay increases of 11%.

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Politics & Government
4:19 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

State Lawmakers Still At Impasse

Credit Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers are still at odds over putting together a budget for the fiscal year that has already begun.

On Thursday House budget negotiators raised their proposal for teacher pay increases from five to six percent. But Senate leaders say they won't accept that offer. They'd like to give educators an 11 percent raise, a number that was laid out in their budget proposal released weeks ago. Phil Berger is the President Pro Tem of the Senate.

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Politics & Government
6:08 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Budget Writers Working, But End Not In Sight Yet

Credit Dave Crosby http://www.flickr.com/photos/wikidave / flickr

  Budget writers in the General Assembly are moving forward with their negotiations, but it's still not clear when they might finish putting together a spending plan adjustment for the fiscal year that has already begun.

In an open conference committee Tuesday afternoon, legislators didn't reach an agreement on the size of teacher raises, though Senate budget writers have agreed to allow teachers to receive raises without forgoing career status protections. 

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Politics & Government
7:43 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Lawmakers Set To Negotiate Budget Agreement

Credit NC General Assembly

State lawmakers involved in budget negotiations have an important week ahead.

Budget negotiators are expected to meet this week to hammer out the details of a spending plan adjustment for the fiscal year that has already started.

The House will be holding skeleton sessions. The Senate is expected to hold some regular floor sessions, though leaders say they plan to focus on getting a budget done.

It remains to be seen whether lawmakers will work out a few remaining issues, including coal ash, film incentives, and common core education standards.

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Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Lawmakers Finish Big Week

Credit Jorge Valencia

State lawmakers wrapped up a busy week today before the July Fourth holiday.

This week, lawmakers finally broke the logjam in budget negotiations, with an unusual open conference committee meeting in which House and Senate legislators came to an agreement on Medicaid shortfall numbers.

In the meantime, lawmakers pushed through other measures, including one House bill earlier in the week that would study removing law enforcement officers' personal information from online records.

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Politics & Government
8:10 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Lawmakers Remember The Civil Rights Act

Credit NC General Assembly

It was a busy day at the legislature today.  Lawmakers made progress on a number of issues. In the House, lawmakers unanimously approved a bill that supports the governor's vision to manage Medicaid using an accountable care model.

On the Senate floor, Democratic Senator Floyd McKissick marked the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago today. McKissick credited protesters, the media who covered them, and politicians who were committed to equal rights.
 

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

State Legislators Embroiled In Budget Stalemate

Credit bestclipartblog.com

Today is the first day of the new fiscal year, but there’s no state budget adjustment in sight. That’s because legislators can’t agree on two big issues: Medicaid funding and teacher raises. Last week, the House passed a partial spending plan that would’ve given teachers average raises of five percent despite the absence of a larger budget deal, but last night the Senate rejected the measure.

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Politics & Government
5:27 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

State Lawmakers Clash Over Medicaid Projections

Credit Jessica Jones

Governor McCrory and leaders in the state House are trying to speed up budget negotiations, but without much success so far. They’ve introduced a bill that’s a kind of mini-budget to give teachers 5 percent raises in case House and Senate leaders can’t agree on a comprehensive spending plan. But the biggest sticking point in the negotiations is over Medicaid. Thursday morning, State Budget Director Art Pope appeared before a Senate Finance Committee to answer senators’ questions.

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Politics & Government
8:44 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Governor And House Leaders Endorse Secondary Budget

Credit Jorge Valencia

Governor Pat McCrory and leaders in the state House have released a bill that would serve as a scaled-down budget proposal. The move is meant to shake up a slow budget process.

House Budget Appropriations Chair Nelson Dollar explained Senate Bill 3 to a packed conference room earlier today. Dollar said among other things, the measure would give teachers an average five-percent pay raise and state employees a $1,000 raise plus benefits.
 

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Politics & Government
5:33 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Lawmakers Honor Late Senator, Advance Other Measures

Credit creative commons

A number of measures advanced today in the General Assembly, including a resolution that passed honoring the late Democratic Senator Martin Nesbitt, who died earlier this year.

Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate praised the late senator, who was from Asheville. Nesbitt died suddenly after being diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this year. He was respected on both sides of the aisle and was known as a strong advocate for education.

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