Jorge Valencia

Capitol Reporter

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun. On Twitter: @jorgeavalencia.


8:39 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Proposal Would Revamp Rules For NC's 14 Abortion Clinics

Credit Flickr user takomabibelot

North Carolina health officials have proposed updating regulations governing clinics that provide abortions, in compliance with a 2013 law that requires them to be treated like outpatient surgery centers.

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Politics & Government
8:17 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Poaching A Venus Flytrap In North Carolina Could Now Get You Two Years In Prison

The Venus Flytrap is a carnivorous plant native to swamps near Wilmington.
Credit Flickr user Mark Freeth

Nine North Carolina state laws are set to go into effect today, including criminal defendants' ability to waive their right to a jury trial and a law that makes it a felony to poach the carnivorous Venus Flytrap plant.

Criminal Jury Trials

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Politics & Government
5:23 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Justice Cheri Beasley Unofficially Wins Re-Count In Race For NC Supreme Court

Justice Cheri Beasley
Credit Justice Cheri Beasley Committee

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley has won a re-count to keep her seat against  Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson, according to certified State Board of Elections results.

Beasley, endorsed by Democrats in the non-partisan race for the state’s highest court, gained a net of 17 votes in the re-count, keeping a narrow lead of 0.22 percent of ballots cast, the unofficial results show.

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Politics & Government
10:01 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Medicaid Expansion, Other Issues To Be Addressed By Nominee For NC House Speaker

Rep. Tim Moore (Center) was chosen by House Republicans as the chamber's next speaker. Joining him from left: Majority Whip Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne); Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Marilyn Avila (R-Wake); Speaker Pro-Tem Rep. Skip Stam (R-Wake); and Joint Caucus Leader Rep. Pat Hurley (R-Randolph).
Credit Jorge Valencia

North Carolina Republicans have nominated a new State House Speaker to succeed U.S. Senator-elect Thom Tillis. Tim Moore is an attorney and small business owner from Kings Mountain, a small town about 30 miles west of Charlotte. He's been in the House for six terms.

The Republicans in the House of Representatives chose Moore in a closed-door meeting. They locked themselves in a conference room at Randolph Community College. Moore needed at least half the votes plus one to win, and that was exactly what he got.

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Politics & Government
2:07 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

Tim Moore Chosen By NC GOP As Next State House Speaker

Rep. Tim Moore is the GOP's choice for Speaker of the House.
Credit NC General Assembly

North Carolina House Republicans selected Cleveland County Rep. Tim Moore as their choice for Speaker of the House of Representatives, making him the almost-certain successor to U.S. Senator-elect Thom Tillis in one of the state's three most powerful public offices.

Moore, 44, an attorney in rural King's Mountain and seven-term representative, received 37 votes in the first-round of voting - likely a comfortable victory in a race against five other candidates.

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Politics & Government
9:19 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Democrat Tom Bradshaw Concedes NC Senate Race To Republican John Alexander

Republican John Alexander, left, and Democrat Tom Bradshaw.
Credit Alexander for NC Senate, Tom Bradshaw for NC Senate

Wednesday afternoon former Raleigh Mayor Tom Bradshaw congratulated  opponent John Alexander on winning their race for the North Carolina Senate, after Wake County Board of Elections officials gave the final results of a re-count.

Bradshaw and Alexander’s race to represent a portion of northern Wake County -- the only one in the General Assembly to go to a re-count after this month’s election -- came down to 701 votes, or about .86 percent of the turn-out. The contest was one of a mere dozen or so that were competitive in the 170-seat body.

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Business & Economy
8:23 am
Wed November 19, 2014

How Will North Carolina Tax And Regulate Airbnb And Uber?

Credit North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina lawmakers are taking their first look at how to regulate networks of individuals who buy and sell services between each other, a billion-dollar global industry that already operates in dozens of cities across the state.

One of the peer-to-peer economy’s biggest exponents, Airbnb, accounts for about 2,700 residential rental listings across North Carolina, and drivers who pick up passengers with their personal cars using the application Uber operate in ten cities here.

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Politics & Government
8:33 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

This Is The One Race In The NC General Assembly That Will Go To A Re-Count

Republican John Alexander, left, and Democrat Tom Bradshaw have worked on community projects in Raleigh since the 1970s
Credit Alexander for NC Senate, Tom Bradshaw for NC Senate

Former Raleigh Mayor Tom Bradshaw requested a recount on Monday afternoon in his race for the North Carolina Senate against Republican John Alexander, with 701 votes separating them in the closest General Assembly contest this year.

Alexander led Bradshaw by .86 percent in a race with a turn-out of about 82,000 voters, according to certified Wake County Board of Elections results.

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Politics & Government
1:57 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

NC Gov. Pat McCrory Sues General Assembly Leaders Over Separation Of Powers

Gov. Pat McCrory
Credit Dave DeWitt

Governor Pat McCrory has filed a suit against House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger, saying he's trying to stop them from usurping executive powers.

The lawsuit, filed in Wake County Superior Court, alleges violations of the separation of powers, executive power, and appointments provisions of the state Constitution, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. Former governors Jim Hunt, a Democrat, and Jim Martin, a Republican, joined McCrory in the filing.

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Business & Economy
10:07 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

NC Businesses Will Not Have To Pay An Expected Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase

North Carolina leaders say businesses won't have to pay higher unemployment insurance taxes while the state still owes the federal government money.
Credit Wikimedia

The U.S. Department of Labor has waived an anticipated federal unemployment tax increase on North Carolina businesses, as the state continues to pay millions it borrowed from the federal government to pay for state insurance benefits. 

The waiver reduces employers’ tax hike for the 2014 tax year up to $65 per employee, or about $180 million collectively for employers across the state, officials said.

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