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.

Pages

Politics & Government
6:10 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Senate Committee Passes Fracking Bill

A controversial bill that would allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state passed an important legislative committee yesterday. Fracking uses horizontal drilling methods to access trapped pockets of natural gas. The bill’s sponsors say it will bring much-needed money and jobs into the state, but opponents of the measure say there aren’t enough safeguards.

Read more
Environment
4:05 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Legislative Committee Passes Fracking Bill

A bill that could allow natural gas "fracking" to proceed in two years in the state is on its way to the Senate floor. It would allow a controversial method of horizontal drilling for natural gas. The Clean Energy and Economic Security Act passed the Senate Commerce Committee earlier today, despite the presence of protesters who spilled outside the committee room where the bill was being heard. Bill Weatherspoon, who heads the North Carolina Petroleum Council, says fracking will help residents become more independent of foreign energy sources.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:50 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Gaming Bill Tentatively Passes House

A bill that would introduce Las Vegas-style live gambling to the Eastern Cherokee reservation has tentatively passed the House. Governor Bev Perdue struck a deal with leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, but lawmakers must change state law in order for the arrangement to move forward. Republican Thomas West is a sponsor of the bill.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:05 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

State House Committee Approves Budget Plan

House lawmakers have recommended budget changes that would ease funding reductions for public schools and give state employees a small bonus. The House Appropriations committee approved the more than 20 billion dollar proposed budget adjustment earlier today. Republican representative Harold Brubaker chairs the House appropriations committee.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

House Budget Writers Roll Out Draft Reports

State lawmakers have begun to roll out their preliminary recommendations for this year's budget.

Read more
Education
5:25 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Senate Leader Explains Education Plan

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger introduced an education reform package to lawmakers today. Capitol Bureau Chief Jessica Jones reports if passed, it would cost 440 million dollars over five years.

Jessica Jones: Berger explained the legislation earlier today in a committee meeting. It has attracted controversy because it would end teacher tenure, to the chagrin of some educators. Berger says bad teachers should be weeded out. The measure would also require evaluations of all entering kindergarten students.

Read more
Health
5:25 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

WakeMed And UNC Hospitals Call A Truce

WakeMed Hospital has withdrawn its takeover bid of UNC-owned Rex Healthcare. The cross-town rivals are putting an end to their public battle that escalated when WakeMed issued an unsuccessful bid to buy Rex last year for 750 million dollars. The announcement comes after state lawmakers helped broker an agreement between the two institutions' officials. Bill Atkinson is the CEO of WakeMed.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:10 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Governor Creates Fracking Task Force

Governor Bev Perdue has issued an executive order creating a task force to develop regulation for the controversial natural gas drilling practice known as fracking.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:50 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Lawmakers Advance Two Annexation Bills

State senators gave tentative approval today to two bills that would make it harder for cities to annex land outside their previous limits.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:10 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Budget To Dominate Busy Short Session

Lawmakers are moving quickly as they begin their short legislative session. Their primary task is to make adjustments to the state's two-year budget. The governor has already sent lawmakers a 20.9 billion dollar budget proposal. Republicans are expected to come out with their version soon. The first day of the session began with great fanfare.

Read more

Pages