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
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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Politics & Government
3:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Medicaid Audit Reveals Overspending

Beth A. Wood, State Auditor
Credit www.ncauditor.net

A state audit of North Carolina's Medicaid system has found that it spends much more on administration costs than other states of a similar size. State auditor Beth Wood says the seventy-page audit of the Department of Health and Human Services details how the state has overspent its Medicaid budget by more than 1.4 billion dollars. 

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Politics & Government
10:57 am
Thu January 31, 2013

State Lawmakers Begin Legislative Session

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly
Credit www.ncleg.net

Aside from a few lobbyists checking their cell phones, the halls of the General Assembly were quiet and free of protestors Wednesday. But in the House, legislators wasted no time getting down to business. An unemployment insurance bill many are watching closely will be discussed in a committee meeting today. It seeks to lower unemployment benefits so employers won't have to shoulder insurance increases.

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Politics & Government
5:14 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Progress Energy Wants to Cut Solar Rebates

Progress Energy Carolinas wants to cut its rebates for customers who install solar panels at their homes. Right now, Progress gives rebates of one dollar per watt, up to a maximum amount of ten thousand dollars. But the company plans to cut those rebates in half. Jeff Brooks is a spokesman for Progress Energy Carolinas.

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Politics & Government
5:32 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Deputy Budget Director Distances Himself From Tax Code Idea

It’s clear that North Carolina’s political leaders want to make big changes to the state’s tax code, but exactly what route they’ll choose to follow has been called into question. At a journalist roundtable yesterday, deputy budget director Art Pope distanced himself from an idea put forward by state Senate leaders to potentially eliminate North Carolina personal and corporate income taxes and increase sales taxes.

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Politics & Government
6:09 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

State's Deputy Budget Director Has Concerns About Eliminating State Income Taxes

Governor Pat McCrory's deputy budget director says he has concerns about some Republican legislative leaders' idea to possibly eliminate North Carolina personal and corporate income taxes. Art Pope told a reporters' roundtable at UNC yesterday that he personally believes shifting the burden to consumption taxes would be regressive. And he says the governor is searching for logical ways to reform the tax code.

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Politics & Government
10:45 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Governor McCrory Sworn In Publicly

North Carolina’s new governor, Republican Pat McCrory, was sworn in this weekend as the state’s highest office holder. The former mayor of Charlotte took the oath of office publicly on Saturday, though he took the oath privately the weekend before. The ceremony- which also included the swearing-in of ten Council of State members- was held on the grounds of North Carolina’s historic Old Capitol building.

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Politics & Government
3:58 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

State Lawmakers Elect Leaders

State lawmakers convened in Raleigh today for the official first day of the 2013 legislative session. In the Senate, lawmakers re-elected Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger for another two years. In the House, Speaker Thom Tillis- also a Republican- will also serve for two more years. He told lawmakers he's looking forward to this session.

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Health
8:00 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Group Home Residents Need Place to Live, New NC Secretary Promises Help

North Carolina's new Secretary of Health and Human Services says she's committed to helping residents of group homes find a place to live at the end of the month. About 14 hundred people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities are no longer eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for personal care services.

The outgoing Governor, Bev Perdue, allocated one million dollars from a rental assistance fund to keep remaining group home residents in place until the end of January. But everyone's aware that money will run out, says Secretary Aldona Vos.

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Politics & Government
3:30 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

McCrory Dissolves State Judicial Commission

Governor Pat McCrory has signed his first executive order on his first weekday in office. He held the first news conference of his term this morning.

Pat McCrory: "My first order actually rescinds the judicial nominating commission. We're going back to the original constitutional authority granted to the governor, giving the governor the authority to appoint vacancies on the bench."

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