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 August 9, 2013

Attorney General Roy Cooper Asks Governor To Veto Voting Bill

Credit N.C. Democratic Party

North Carolina's Attorney General, Roy Cooper, is taking a very public stance to urge Governor Pat McCrory to veto a recently passed elections law bill.

Among other things, the bill would shorten early voting by one week and require residents to show approved photo identification at the polls.

Cooper's campaign has sent out a mass email to ask people to sign an online petition requesting the governor veto House Bill 589. He says if passed, the legislation would cause expensive litigation and potential confusion.

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Environment
5:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Nature Conservancy Buys Land To Rebuild Woodpecker Habitat

A red-cockaded woodpecker outside her nest.
John Maxwell USFWS

The Nature Conservancy has acquired a 459-acre stretch of property in Pender County that will help expand habitat for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The U.S. Navy covered half the purchase price in order to create a buffer for nearby Camp LeJeune.

Debbie Crane is the communications director for the state chapter of the Nature Conservancy. She says the property is the perfect place for longleaf pine, which the woodpeckers love. But what has endangered the birds is the destruction of so many longleaf pine groves.

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Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

What Comes Next For Law That Regulates Clinics Providing Abortions?

An abortion rights protester at a Moral Mondays protest
Credit Matthew Lenard

Earlier this week, Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill that would impose stricter regulations on clinics that provide abortions.

Among other things, the law requires state health officials to develop more regulations that will govern the clinics. It also contains a clause in which health officials may issue temporary rules during that rule making process.

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Politics & Government
7:21 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Moral Monday Demonstrators Protest Education Cuts, New Abortion Rules

Monday night's Moral Monday protest
Credit Jessica Jones

Organizers of the "Moral Monday" protests held one of their largest marches at the legislature Monday.

Police watching the rally estimated there were between 4,000 and 5,000 protesters there. Many were teachers, who were wearing red clothing.

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Politics & Government
4:33 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

State Lawmakers Work To Finish A Budget

Credit W Edward Callis III

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate are busy negotiating over a budget.

It's July 19th and state legislators know the clock is ticking. They're traditionally expected to come out with a budget for North Carolina by July first, when the new fiscal year starts.

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Politics & Government
6:18 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Senate Lawmakers Unveil Voter ID Bill

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers in the state Senate have released a new version of a measure that would require residents to present photo IDs at the polls.

The bill was posted on the legislature's website this morning. It would require residents to use one of only seven qualifying forms of photo IDs in order to vote. It does not include university IDs.

The House's version of the bill, which passed three months ago, would allow UNC system and community college students to use their campus ID cards, though it excludes students at private colleges.

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Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

State Lawmakers Pass Tax Reform Bill

Credit Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers have formally approved a tax reform package that would lower the personal and corporate income tax rates and end the estate tax.

Republican leaders and Governor McCrory have hailed the bill as one that will help bring more jobs to the state. Democrats say the tax cuts will cause great damage to education and health care.

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Politics & Government
4:39 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Tax Plan Tentatively Passes House and Senate

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A tax plan agreed upon by legislative leaders and the governor has tentatively passed the state Senate, just hours after tentatively passing the House.

The plan would reduce personal and corporate income tax rates, but, unlike an earlier proposal, it does not significantly broaden the sales tax base.

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Politics & Government
7:18 am
Tue July 16, 2013

House Leaders Agree On Tax Plan

Governor McCrory, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, and Senate President Phil Berger unveil their tax proposal.
Credit Jessica Jones

Governor Pat McCrory and leaders of the state House and Senate have come to a long-awaited agreement on what they say is fiscally responsible tax reform.

The plan would replace the state’s tiered personal income tax rate with a flat 5.8 percent in 2014, and the corporate tax rate would fall as well. The sales tax would be broadened only slightly.

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Politics & Government
7:37 am
Fri July 12, 2013

House Lawmakers Pass Bill To Regulate Clinics Providing Abortions

Credit NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state House have passed a bill that would place more requirements on clinics that provide abortions in North Carolina.

While some legislators say the measure is not as restrictive as a similar bill passed in the Senate last week, abortion-rights advocates say this measure could seriously restrict womens’ access to the procedure.

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