Bob Rucho

North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina lawmakers met a Friday deadline to complete a court-ordered rewrite of the state's congressional voting maps. They also postponed the congressional primary until June 7. 

The new plans will move forward after the U.S. Supreme Court late Friday declined Republican lawmakers' request to stay the lower court order. Here are some of the key takeaways from the redesign:

Why did the General Assembly re-draw the maps?

Photo: Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Mecklenburg County
Jorge Valencia

Republican legislative leaders proposed a new outline for North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts on Wednesday, moving two incumbents out of districts they represent and likely pushing the primary elections for congress past the scheduled March 15 date.

Lawmakers, responding to a federal court ruling that said they had racially gerrymandered some congressional districts in 2011 and ordering them to draw new ones, presented maps that would rearrange almost all of the state’s voting lines. The proposal would keep the delegation’s 10-3 Republican majority.

Photo: Federal judges have struck down North Carolina's 1st and 12th Congressional districts.
Wikipedia

North Carolina lawmakers heard from dozens of citizens on Monday, as they await a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether they will be required to immediately re-draw some of the state’s congressional district lines.

About 80 people signed up to speak to lawmakers during a five-hour meeting heard at the General Assembly building and five satellite locations from the mountains to the coast. Some did not answer when their names were called and inclement weather forced the cancelation of a site in Guilford County.

Litigation, legal, gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal appellate court declared North Carolina's 1st and 12th Congressional Districts unconstitutional because they were gerrymandered on race. The court ordered legislators to redraw the districts within two weeks.

The ruling puts many issues surrounding the March 15 primary, including early voting and absentee ballots, in question.

U.S. Representative Alma Adams
U.S. Representative Alma Adams

Federal judges have struck down the maps of two congressional districts in North Carolina.

The Screen Gems Studios is the largest facility of its kind in the U.S., east of Los Angeles.
Jeff Tiberii

For more than 30 years, the Wilmington area has been a hub for the filming of movies, TV shows and commercials.  Dawson’s Creek and Iron Man 3 are among the hundreds of productions cast in the region.

But earlier this year, a tax credit designed to incentivize the industry expired. Now business owners say with only a few productions remaining, the economic effects are significant.

Port City Signs is a small shop situated along a busy road in this coastal community. It has been around since the 1940s, printing signs, vehicle wraps or decals, and other art.

Unemployment lines
Wikimedia

The North Carolina Senate has approved a proposal that would change a panel that hears appeals for unemployment insurance, but Governor Pat McCrory vetoed a similar bill last year.

The plan would shorten the amount of time board members serve on the panel and stagger the terms between each member. It would also require people getting unemployment benefits to contact five instead of three potential employers every week.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

As the legislative wheels turn, the Voter Identification Verification Act was introduced, debated, and passed at light speed. It was late July - the last week of the General Assembly’s session - when Republican leaders introduced the sweeping voting changes.

NC General Assembly, Senator Rucho
NC General Assembly

The co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee has resigned from that group to protest changes to his legislative body's tax reform plan.

Senator Bob Rucho submitted his resignation letter to Senate President Phil Berger earlier this week. Rucho was the main architect of a Senate tax reform proposal that would have expanded the sales tax while lowering personal and corporate income tax rates.

But Berger put forth an alternate plan that would repeal corporate taxes without expanding the sales tax base as extensively. Rucho says he was disappointed by the move.