Rusty Jacobs

Political Reporter

Rusty Jacobs
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Rusty Jacobs is a politics reporter for WUNC. Rusty previously worked at WUNC as a reporter and substitute host from 2001 until 2007 and now returns after a nine-year absence during which he went to law school at Carolina and then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Wake County.

As a reporter, he has covered a wide array of topics including military affairs, sports, government and damaging storms.

Ways to Connect

Devon Hall, Sr., is 62 and has lived in the Duplin County town of Warsaw all his life.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Hog country in eastern North Carolina can be beautiful and serene. Pastoral scenes with uncluttered horizons, neat farmhouses, corn fields swaying in the breeze, and livestock quietly grazing – the perfect place to sit on the back porch and sip some sweet tea. But if the wind shifts just right – and it often does – powerful odors from farms can force neighbors to take refuge indoors.

Cash
401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation in the state House could give local governments a new way of raising funds.

M&P .45
Daniel Weber's photo stream / Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Daniel Weber’s photostream

The House passed a controversial gun bill this week, but it's not clear the measure has enough support to become law.

Gun Free Zone
NC-ACE

Updated 10:26 a.m., June 2, 2017

A bill that would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed handgun has inched forward in the state House.

The Supreme Court has struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina because race played too large a role in their creation.
Rose Trinh / Flickr, Creative Commons

Updated 4:31 p.m., May 22, 2017

The Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina Monday because race played too large a role in their creation.

North Carolina state government gets most of its revenue from individual taxpayers
Gov. Roy Cooper's office

The Republican-led North Carolina Senate passed its budget proposal along party lines early Friday morning.

The $22.9 billion dollar plan would spend more than $500 million less than a plan offered by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.

Alabama's lethal injection chamber at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala., is pictured in this Oct. 7, 2002 file photo.
Associated Press

North Carolina has not executed a condemned prisoner since Samuel Flippen was put to death by lethal injection more than 10 years ago. Still, 16 convicted murderers have been sent to death row since then.

Some 147 prisoners, three of them women, sit on North Carolina's death row, awaiting a fate that might never come. All but 46 were convicted before 2001.

State Senator Phil Berger
Dave DeWitt

The new fiscal year begins July 1, and lawmakers could get a two-year budget plan in place by then if all goes as scheduled.

Photo: Mark Martin
Courtesy of Mark Martin

The chief justice of North Carolina's top court threw his support behind legislation to raise the age of juvenile offenders.

North Carolina is now the only state to automatically try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court. But Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin says it's time for that to change.

"Our own Department of Public Safety conducted surveys on this issue which reflected that over 90 percent of parents already thought that 18 was the age for adult jurisdiction," Martin said.

During a press conference to rally support for the bill, Martin highlighted that North Carolina is the only state that has not upped the age limit to try defendants as adults. He said that teenage mistakes can follow North Carolinians into their adulthood as they seek employment. In other states, an error in judgment made by a 17-year-old would have a smaller impact on his ability to find employment later in life.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Updated 11:50 a.m., 4/28/2017

Thursday's crossover deadline came and went with a bang. Debate got heated when House Minority Leader Darren Jackson (D-Wake) objected to a final vote on House Bill 113. The measure allows for private citizens to take their local governments and police departments to court for failing to comply with immigration law enforcement.

It was clear Jackson believed Republicans violated a bi-partisan agreement on which bills would get a final vote just ahead of the deadline--Jackson said HB 113 was not one of them. Nonetheless, Jackson backed down when it was clear he was being outmaneuvered by the GOP leadership. The bill survived crossover and moved on to the Senate.

school bus
Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr, Creative Commons

A bi-partisan bill would make it easier for charter schools in North Carolina to get disadvantaged students to class.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

A statewide non-profit and 10 North Carolina citizens are suing the Republican-led Legislature over a special session held last year to pass laws that eroded the governor's power.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The Republican-led General Assembly passed House Bill 239 Tuesday, a measure to reduce the size of the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 15 to 12 seats.

That would take away Democratic Governor Roy Cooper's chance to fill vacancies created by mandatory retirements and resignations.

Rachel Seibel walks past signage being put up in preparation for the NBA All Star Game festivities this weekend, in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Charlotte won't be a ghost town this weekend, but it sure won't be buzzing like many had hoped.
Gerald Herbert / AP

Civil and human rights groups are decrying the NBA’s decision to make Charlotte eligible again to host the league's All-Star game.

North Caorlina lawmakers debate a compromise to repeal House Bill 2 on March 30, 2017.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Updated 6:48 p.m. 3/30/2017

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed a compromise measure to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial law that limits protections for LGBT people.

a glass of beer from Durty Bull Brewing Company in Durham.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

A group of bipartisan state lawmakers is touting a bill they say would loosen alcohol laws and help the craft beer industry.  

Rep. Mark Meadows
United States Congress

President Donald Trump's defeat may be U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows's victory. The North Carolina Republican is enjoying an outpouring of support from conservatives in his home district.

Meadows represents the 11th Congressional District in western North Carolina. He is also head of the Freedom Caucus, the conservative bloc in Congress that scuttled the president's plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare.

HB2's Impact: Legal

Mar 23, 2017
In this photo taken Thursday, May 5, 2016 Joaquin Carcano is shown at his home in Carrboro, N.C. Carcano, a 27-year-old transgender man, works for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After HB2 passed, he found himself in a difficult position
Gerry Broome / AP

Politically, and economically, the question swirling around HB2 is when. When—or will—the legislature reach consensus and repeal the controversial law? Legally, however, the question is: what now?


Inside the General Assembly
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly appear poised to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s first veto.

The North Carolina House of Representatives voted Wednesday to override the governor, who last week vetoed a bill that would reinstate partisan judicial elections.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Optometrists and ophthalmologists don’t see eye to eye on this proposal.

The bill under consideration in the state house would allow optometrists to perform certain kinds eye surgery, including procedures that only medically trained ophthalmologists may treat under current law.

Orange and Durham County leaders agreed Friday to accelerate efforts to update plans for a 17-mile light rail line that would stretch from UNC Hospitals to NC Central University.

Image of bathroom sign
The LEAF Project / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina plaintiffs fighting House Bill 2 in federal court face more legal uncertainty after Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Michael Regan (left) is introduced by Governor Roy Cooper as his nominee to be the next Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Michael Regan developed a love of the environment as a child. He grew up in Goldsboro, but spent a lot of time on a family farm down east in Bladen County.

"Hunting and fishing and bonding with my father and grandfather," Regan said.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper has put the HB2 ball back squarely in the legislature’s court, or so he hopes.

Composite photo of House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
NC General Assembly

Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger are blasting a three-judge panel's granting of a temporary restraining order blocking the senate from proceeding with confirmation hearings on Governor Roy Cooper's cabinet nominees.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Just a month into his first term as governor, Democrat Roy Cooper already sounds a little exasperated when talking about the legislature’s Republican leadership.

U.S. Representative David Price held a press conference on Monday, January 30, 2017 to denounce President Trump's executive order. Holding a sign is Mimi Fatuma, 50, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo who arrived in the U.S. in early 2015.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Upated 1:11 p.m., February 2, 2017.

North Carolina Congressman David Price said on Monday he will introduce legislation to immediately rescind President Donald Trump’s travel ban on refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Voter stickers
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Voter registration in the state is up and turnout for the 2016 election was high, according to an analysis by Democracy North Carolina. North Carolina ranked 11th in the nation for turnout among eligible voters in 2016, with 69 percent of the state’s 6.9 million registered voters casting ballots in November.

Princeville, Flooding, Race, Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Victims of Hurricane Matthew are getting much needed relief. Governor Roy Cooper announced the state would be getting $198 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Legislators filed  dozens of bills on the first day back since session officially opened, including a proposal to develop a plan to change how the state funds public schools.