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
6:39 am
Tue February 19, 2013

State Of The State: McCrory Calls For Tax And Education Changes

Gov. Pat McCrory focused on the economy, education and tax reform in Monday night's State of the State address.
Credit Governor's Office

Jessica Jones reviews Gov. Pat McCrory's State of the State address

Republican Governor Pat McCrory delivered his first State of the State speech to North Carolinians Monday night. He promised to make state government more efficient through a series of cost-cutting measures.  He also pledged to improve North Carolina's economy and its educational system.

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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

McCrory's First State Of The State Address Is Tonight

Credit Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory will lay out his vision for North Carolina in his State of the State speech this evening. It will be the governor's first opportunity to tell North Carolinians how he plans to govern the state.

In his inaugural address, Governor McCrory said he'd like to overhaul state government and North Carolina's educational system, but he hasn't filled in the details. He's expected to tick through a number of topics, from education to off-shore energy exploration. And he's sure to have a big audience.

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Politics & Government
4:56 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

House Lawmakers Pass Bill To Block Medicaid Expansion

Credit Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would block an expansion of North Carolina's Medicaid program. It passed on third reading Thursday. Republican lawmakers are opposed to enlarging Medicaid to help cover about 500,000 uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. Representative John Blust says the state would end up covering too many costs.

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Politics & Government
10:17 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

State Lawmakers Begin Budget Process

Budget subcommittees will begin meeting in Raleigh on Tuesday as state legislators begin their work to put together a roughly 20 billion dollar budget. A number of appropriations subcommittees are scheduled to meet this morning as the official public beginning of the budget-making process.

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Politics & Government
5:14 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Bill Would Encourage Technical Education

The state Senate has passed a bill that would designate high school diplomas as college-ready, career-ready, or both. Senate Bill 14 passed unanimously yesterday and will now head to the House. The measure would ensure that all high school diplomas in North Carolina designate what a student intends to do after high school. Republican Senator Jerry Tillman is a sponsor of the measure. He says he's glad the bill is heading to the House.

"It will be hopefully be passed over there, in committee and on the floor and go to the governor, and he's anxious to sign it."

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Politics & Government
6:12 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Bill That Retools Boards And Commissions Advances

A bill that would immediately fire members of some of the most important state boards and commissions has advanced in the state Senate. Senate Bill 10 would sack members of the Utilities, Environmental Management, Industrial, and Wildlife Resources Commissions, among others. Democrats call it a blatant power grab, but Republicans say it will streamline state government.

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Politics & Government
4:32 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bill Would Eliminate And Retool State Boards And Commissions

A bill approved today by the Senate Rules Committee would eliminate and retool a number of key state boards and commissions. It would end members' terms on the Utilities Commission, Industrial Commission, and Coastal Resources Commission, among others. The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Rabon, says it will allow several key boards to be run by political appointees. Democratic Senator Josh Stein says the measure is a power grab.

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Politics & Government
10:57 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

House Lawmakers Pass Unemployment Overhaul

North Carolina House lawmakers have tentatively passed a bill largely along party lines that would lower benefits for unemployed workers. The measure would reduce the maximum weekly allowed benefit from $500 to $350. It would also reduce the maximum amount of time a laid-off worker could receive benefits from 26 weeks to between 12 and 20 weeks. Democratic Representative Paul Luebke said this is the wrong bill to be passing at a time when unemployment in the state is high.

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Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

State Lawmakers Consider Changing Unemployment Benefits

State lawmakers in the House plan to take up a bill this evening that would reduce unemployment benefits for laid-off workers.  House Bill 4 is expected to reach the floor for lawmakers to consider tonight. The measure would speed up repayment of North Carolina’s 2.57 billion dollar debt to the federal government. The state borrowed that money to help pay unemployment benefits to a rapidly growing number of people who lost their jobs during the recession.

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Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Bill Would Make Baring Female Breasts In Public A Felony

A bill filed at the state legislature would make baring female breasts in public a felony. The bill comes as some lawmakers have received complaints about a topless rally in Asheville last summer. Many attorneys say it's fair to infer from state statutes and court decisions that bare breasts are like other so-called "private parts" of the body- and if they're revealed, charges of indecent exposure could be filed.

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