Jessica Jones


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.


Politics & Government
10:26 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

State Elections Officials Investigating Possible Double Voting

Credit YardsaleDan on Flickr

State elections officials say they're investigating 765 cases of voters who could have gone to the polls in two states, including North Carolina. The numbers come from a national crosscheck of voters that compares records in 28 states. State lawmakers mandated participation in the program last year. Kim Strach is the executive director of the state Board of Elections.

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Politics & Government
7:03 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

DHHS Says Its Food Stamp Backlog Is No More

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they have met a federal deadline as of yesterday to clear its backlog of food stamp applications. Earlier this year, the US Department of Agriculture threatened to pull 88 million dollars in funding if deadlines were not met.

Sherri Bradsher is the deputy secretary for human services at DHHS. She says the number of households that still need food stamps fall within the USDA's parameters of meeting the deadline.

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Politics & Government
4:36 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

State Officials Expect Medicaid Shortfall This Fiscal Year

Credit Dave DeWitt

State officials say they expect a funding shortfall for the state’s Medicaid program this fiscal year.

Pam Kilpatrick is with the Office of State Budget and Management. She told state lawmakers what her office’s estimate was at a Health and Human Services oversight meeting this morning:

“The 120 to 140 million dollars would be the sum total of all the moving parts. That will be attributed as the department walks through the specifics,  and their methodologies, and they’re using more than one methodology to come up with this shortfall range.”

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

State's Proposal To Overhaul Medicaid Has Advocates Hopeful

Credit NC General Assembly

Members of the General Assembly’s Health and Human Services committee are scheduled to meet today in Raleigh. One of the biggest tasks the committee faces is reforming Medicaid- the program that provides health care for people in poverty.

Earlier this year, state officials seemed to be advocating for a move to managed care. But a new proposal recently put forth by state health officials would build on the state’s current system of treating Medicaid patients.

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Politics & Government
5:38 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Lawmakers Study Affordable Care Act, First Speaker Is A Critic

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Some state lawmakers met today to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act may affect North Carolina.

Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger- both Republicans- created the Joint Study Committee on the Affordable Care Act and Implementation Issues back in January. Its purpose is to discuss the impact of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Today marked the first meeting of the committee.

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Politics & Government
7:40 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Remembering Senator Martin Nesbitt

Credit NCGA

State Senator Martin Nesbitt will be laid to rest today near his hometown of Asheville.  The Democratic leader of the Senate died last week of stomach cancer after more than three decades in the legislature. WUNC's Capitol Bureau Chief Jessica Jones and WCQS news director David Hurrand joined Eric Hodge to talk about Sen. Nesbitt's legacy.

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Politics & Government
4:28 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Memorial Service Planned For Senator Martin Nesbitt

Sen. Martin Nesbitt
Credit NCGA

Democratic state Senator Martin Nesbitt's memorial service will take place Tuesday.

Senator Nesbitt died last week of stomach cancer. He stepped down from his post as Minority Leader of the Senate just two days before he died at his home. An ambulance drove him there from UNC hospital. Until Nesbitt's death, the public did not know just how sick he was.

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Politics & Government
5:40 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Democratic Minority Leader And State Senator Martin Nesbitt: A Remembrance

Credit NCGA

Democratic state Senator Martin Nesbitt has died. He passed away only two days after he stepped down as Senate minority leader, citing an illness. The public didn't know that the veteran lawmaker from Buncombe County had been diagnosed the previous week with stomach cancer.

Senator Nesbitt was a true public servant who was deeply respected by both Democrats and Republicans.
As Senate Minority Leader, Martin Nesbitt could always be counted on for a colorful quote, whether it was about the recent shrinking of the state’s Rural Economic Development Center:

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Politics & Government
3:43 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

U.S. Senator Mike Lee Endorses Greg Brannon In NC Senate Race

Republican U.S. Senator Mike Lee from Utah
Credit U.S. Senator Mike Lee

A senator with Tea Party credentials has endorsed the primary campaign of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon.

Utah Senator Mike Lee was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. The Tea Party favorite gained enough support in that state's primary nominating convention to block a long-serving establishment candidate, then-Senator Bob Bennett, from getting on the ballot.

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Politics & Government
11:56 am
Thu February 27, 2014

NC State Health Officials Propose New Plan To Overhaul Medicaid

A child builds a lego tower in a doctor's waiting room.
Credit kellyhogaboom via Flickr/Creative Commons

Governor Pat McCrory’s administration has presented a new plan to the public to overhaul the state’s Medicaid system.

This plan would coordinate services through what are called accountable care organizations, rather than big managed care companies. State health officials had previously leaned toward a managed care model.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos says the accountable care model is what hospitals and health providers want.

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