General Assembly

The State of Things
12:13 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

The North Carolina General Assembly Convenes For 2015

The North Carolina legislative office building.

Lawmakers returned to Raleigh today to begin preparation for their first legislative session of the year. 

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Education
8:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Driver’s Ed Funding Cuts Hurt Students, Wake Officials Say

Credit Dave DeWitt

Wake County school leaders said Thursday that the state’s decision to eliminate funding for driver’s education could put students at risk and lead to higher costs for families and taxpayers.

This summer, state lawmakers passed legislation to eliminate the $26 million school districts now receive to fund the program. That means starting next July, when the new fiscal year begins, districts will have to find other means to cover program costs.

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Education
12:33 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

U.S. Appeals Court To Hear Wake School Board Redistricting Case

Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

The U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments Wednesday on a lawsuit challenging Wake County’s school board election maps.

The Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice is challenging the 2013 redistricting on behalf of a handful of Wake County residents and two local organizations. They argue that the new districts drawn by the Republican-led General Assembly disfavor urban voters.

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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
7:26 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Long-Time Friends, Now Political Opponents Vie To Represent Northern Wake County

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

The friendship between Tom Bradshaw and John Alexander has lasted more than 40 years, and has revolved around YMCA gymnasiums.

Bradshaw has been dedicated to the Y since he went to youth camps growing up. And Alexander, whose father got involved decades ago, has spent much of his life at the YMCA.  

They’re both on the executive board of the YMCA of the Triangle and on other community boards.

This year they both want to be the state senator for the northern part of Wake County.

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Environment
8:34 am
Wed September 10, 2014

NC Governor Won't Block Coal Ash Bill... But He Won't Sign It Either

On Feb. 2, about 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled from a Duke Energy facility into the Dan River, north of Eden, N.C.
Credit Steven Alexander / USFWS

Governor Pat McCrory says he'll allow a coal ash management plan to become law without his signature.

The governor says Duke Energy needs to take action as soon as possible. It needs to take care of the coal ash that's in ponds across the state. But that doesn't mean the governor is happy with the plan.

"I am letting the bill become law without signing it because there are major deficiencies that need to be corrected," he said in a recorded statement.

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Politics & Government
8:40 am
Thu August 21, 2014

General Assembly Adjourns With Medicaid and Teacher Assistant Plans Unfinished

Credit Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC / www.flickr.com/photos/statelibrarync/8634329145/

  After a prolonged legislative session marked by delayed talks and Republican infighting, the General Assembly has finished its work and adjourned for the year.

The short session dragged on as lawmakers struggled to compromise over key issues, including teacher pay and coal ash. Legislators managed to strike a last-minute deal on Wednesday that would work to remove coal ash from 33 ponds across the state.

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The State of Things
11:12 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Meet the 'Encyclopedia to the Legislature' Gerry Cohen

Gerry Cohen, former Special Counsel to the North Carolina General Assembly in his office (2014).

  

Gerry Cohen is probably the most important North Carolina politician you don't know.

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Education
7:49 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Legislators Cut Buses, Again

Credit Dave DeWitt

Local school districts in North Carolina will have less state funding for school buses this year. The General Assembly cut $4.6 million from the budget for school transportation.

The cut comes one year after the Legislature upped the number of miles a school bus could stay on the roads.

"We do have a bit of an older fleet out there, not dramatically, but it is an older fleet now," says Derek Graham, the director of transportation services at the Department of Public Instruction. 

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Education
8:33 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Explaining NC's Teacher Pay Raises

Credit cybrarian77 / Creative Commons/Flickr

Governor Pat McCrory has signed a $21 billion dollar state budget that includes pay increases for teachers. He and other Republican leaders have been trying to send a loud and clear message that teachers will be getting a historic pay raise, the first major one in years.

They’ve been touting it as an average seven percent increase. But there’s been a lot of confusion over how that’ll actually pan out and whether all teachers will see a pay bump.

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