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
6:35 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Governor And Lawmakers Air Their Differences

Governor Perdue and the Republican-led legislature are entering what may be the public beginning of a contentious relationship.

At the beginning of this year's legislative session, the governor and Republican leaders pledged to work together in the spirit of cooperation. But the governor says she's tired of seeing lawmakers introduce and debate bills that have nothing to do with an enormous looming budget deficit of around 2 billion dollars.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Voters Could Decide On Term Limits For Legislative Leaders

Lawmakers in the state House want voters to decide on a constitutional amendment restricting the terms of the leaders of the General Assembly.

The Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate are currently allowed to serve as many two-year terms as they are able- as long as they keep winning the support of their chambers. But House Bill 61 would change that. Republican representative John Blust is from Greensboro, and says

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Politics & Government
5:55 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Voter ID Bill Moves Through Legislature

A voter ID bill that would require residents to show photo identification cards at the polls continues to move through the legislature.

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Law
6:00 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Bill Would Block Retirement Benefits For Felons

A bill in the North Carolina house would prohibit state employees from receiving retirement benefits if they are convicted of a felony. The measure would apply only to those who are convicted of a crime that took place while working for the state. The crime would also have to be directly related to the individual's office or employment. Republican Representative Julia Howard of Mocksville is one of the bill's sponsors. She says she and others hope a penalty would prevent some crimes from being committed:

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Education
5:45 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Bill Would Allow Community Colleges To Opt Out Of Some Loans

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow community colleges to opt out of offering low interest federal loans to students. Legislation enacted last year would require all community colleges to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. It allows students to borrow directly from the federal government. But some community college presidents say if too many students fail to repay these loans it may jeopardize the institutions' ability to provide other federal financial aid.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Fri April 1, 2011

House Passes Municipal Annexation Bills

State lawmakers have tentatively voted to block two municipal annexations and postpone a third. The group of House bills are part of a broader effort to reform involuntary annexations on the books for more than 50 years. The trend is spurred by constituents who don't like paying higher taxes and city fees when their county properties are annexed by neighboring municipalities.

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Politics & Government
5:36 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

House OKs Concealed Guns In Restaurants, Parks

A bill passed in the state House would allow residents with concealed handgun permits to carry them into more public places. The measure would allow people with "concealed carry" handgun permits to bring their weapons into restaurants. This includes establishments that serve alcohol.

Republican representative Mark Hilton of Conover says the bill isn't unusual:

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Politics & Government
5:30 am
Wed March 30, 2011

Redistricting Meetings Start Today

State lawmakers charged with redistricting will meet for the first time today.  State lawmakers redraw congressional and state legislative districts every ten years, after the US Census releases new data on population changes.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Bill in Legislature Would Change State Health Plan

State employees may have to pay more for their health care next year. A bill in the legislature seeks to plug a budget hole of more than 500 million dollars in the state health plan by requiring all state workers to pay monthly premiums. The measure would also move oversight of the system from the General Assembly to the state treasurer’s office.

Mary O’Neill and Jonathan Stevenson are old hands at lobbying legislators. Last week at the General Assembly, they were ruffling through a directory of legislators’ offices, figuring out where to go next:

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Politics & Government
4:35 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

Senators Re-Work State Health Plan

A bill that would move the oversight of the state health plan to the treasurer's office tentatively passed the Senate today.

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