Jorge Valencia

Capitol Reporter

Jorge Valencia joined North Carolina Public Radio's reporting team in 2013. 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 in 2012. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun. On Twitter: @jorgeavalencia.

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Politics & Government
9:02 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Wake Superior Court Judge Blocks Rules That Would Apply To ‘Moral Monday’ General Assembly Activists

More than 900 of 'Moral Monday' protesters were arrested while rallying at the General Assembly in 2013.
Credit NAACP

A Wake County Superior Court Judge issued an order blocking rules that say how visitors can behave in the state legislative building.

Judge Carl Fox will sign the order in response to a lawsuit filed by protesters. Hundreds have rallied on Mondays at the Legislative building in response to laws passed by the General Assembly.  

Fox says people should be able to voice their opinions in public places, including the General Assembly.

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Politics & Government
4:14 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

NC Senate Committee Recommends Candidate Who Could Tip Balance Of Worker’s Compensation Commission

A North Carolina Senate committee has recommended a conservative member for the state commission that hears worker’s compensation claims, a placement that critics say would make a majority of the board more likely to side with businesses.

In a 20-minute hearing Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Commerce Committee recommended Charlton Allen to the state Industrial Commission, a six-member board that is similar to a court and makes decisions when workers file compensation claims against their employers and on the state’s eugenics compensation fund.

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Politics & Government
8:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

NC General Assembly Summary: Tuesday, June 10

Photo: North Carolina's Old Capitol building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The House of Representatives has been busy working on a budget plan for the state and other large pieces of legislation. Here's a summary of the days news from the State Capitol:

The centerpiece of the spending plan lawmakers are adjusting is pay for public school teachers. A five percent raise is what House Speaker Thom Tillis and his colleagues are suggesting.

That’s almost the mid-point between the two existing budget outlines. The governor has suggested a two-percent raise, and the senate an 11-percent raise.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, June 9

North Carolina's Old State Capitol building.
Credit Flickr user Soggy6

The North Carolina General Assembly is entering its fourth full week in session, and the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the central task of the season: the state’s budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

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Politics & Government
8:09 am
Fri June 6, 2014

As NC Senate Considers Coal Ash Clean Up Options, State Environment Officials Defend Their Own Plan

Gov. Pay McCrory is pressuring the state Senate to come up with a coal ash cleanup plan.
Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

Members of the North Carolina Senate took up the issue of coal ash clean up Thursday. They heard the first public presentation of how the governor wants to address possible contamination from coal ash ponds across the state.

But before we get into the governor’s plan, here's the story of Sherry Gobble and why coal ash might be a problem.

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Politics & Government
8:36 am
Thu June 5, 2014

NC General Assembly Summary: Wednesday, June 4

Gov. Pat McCrory signing the Energy Modernization Act at NC State University's College of Engineering building.
Credit Jorge Valencia

It was a busy day in state government. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a much-anticipated and much-debated law that will allow natural gas mining companies to start drilling in the state next year, the Senate returned to the Capitol since finalizing the chamber’s budget proposal just past midnight on Saturday, and the national Common Core standards are continuing to unravel. Here’s a digest of the day in government:

Fracking In NC

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Politics & Government
6:41 am
Wed June 4, 2014

NC General Assembly Summary: Tuesday, June 4

North Carolina's Old Capitol building (background) and the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (foreground)
Credit Jorge Valencia

The State House of Representatives is putting together its budget proposal. Here's a summary of that story and others from the General Assembly on Tuesday:

Members of the House are focusing on their budget proposal for the fiscal year. Yesterday, they had their first formal public hearings on subjects like transportation, health care and education. They’ll likely be busy with these deliberations through next week.

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Politics & Government
7:59 am
Tue June 3, 2014

11 Protesters Cited For Trespassing Outside Gov. McCrory's Office

The 11 protesters who were cited for trespassing at the Old North Carolina State Capitol, and the NC-NAACP's Rev. William Barber (back center), gave speeches on the building's doorstep after they were released.
Credit Jorge Valencia

Eleven protesters who said they wanted to personally ask Gov. Pat McCrory to overturn Republican government policies received trespassing citations for refusing to leave the Old North Carolina State Capitol building after it closed on Monday afternoon.

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Mon June 2, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, June 2

The old North Carolina State Capitol building.
Credit Bill Dickinson via Flickr

The North Carolina legislature is set this week to begin the third step in preparing adjustments for the state's annual budget. Members of the House of Representatives are expected to prepare their proposal in subcommittees, members of the full Appropriations Committee may then go over it next week, and the full chamber may vote on it also next week, Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) told WRAL-TV.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

North Carolina Is One Step Closer To Lifting Its De-Facto Moratorium On Fracking

A drill rig in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly sent Gov. Pat McCrory a bill on Thursday night that would allow the state to issue permits for hydraulic fracturing as early as May 2015, effectively lifting the state’s de-facto moratorium on the controversial shale gas drilling method.

McCrory is a long-time supporter of hydraulic fracturing and is likely to sign the bill into law.

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