NC General Assembly

Politics & Government
5:28 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Senate Tentatively Passes Medicaid Overhaul Bill

Credit NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state Senate have tentatively approved a bill that would overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid system. The measure would create an independent agency to oversee the state's health care system for low-income residents. The bill would also contract out Medicaid to managed care and provider-led organizations. They would receive a set amount of money per patient to provide care. Republican Senator Ralph Hise is a sponsor of the bill. He says it's necessary to help control ballooning Medicaid costs.

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Politics & Government
9:31 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

NC Senate Tentatively Approves Bill That Would Limit Wake County, Cap Sales Tax At 7.5 percent

The North Carolina senate has tentatively approved a plan to limit the sales tax to 7.25 percent in most of the state.
Credit Luz Bratcher via Flickr

North Carolina's sales tax would be capped at 7.25 percent in most of the state under a plan tentatively approved by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.

The proposal would make it easier for most counties to raise sales taxes to the limit. It would also pull back the ability some counties currently have to implement raises above that limit.

The purpose is to even out sales taxes and create fairness between populous and not-so populous areas, bill supporters say.  

Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), says many people in rural places don't spend their money there.

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Politics & Government
3:56 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

State Lawmakers Plod Along Without Budget In Sight

Credit NC General Assembly

Senate lawmakers considered a number of items today, while many House lawmakers took the time to pay homage to the late Republican Representative Jim Fulghum.

There's still no official word on whether budget writers might be close to an agreement on a spending plan for this fiscal year. So in the meantime, lawmakers are publicly pursuing other measures.

In the morning, a Senate Rules Committee approved a bill that would restore Fayetteville's red-light cameras, but the committee shelved another that would have allowed license-plate scanners on highways.

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Politics & Government
7:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, July 21

The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The state House and Senate are entering their fifth week of negotiations over the state’s $21 billion budget. The Senate is scheduled on Monday night to take on at least one other major piece of legislation and two bills intended to beef up policing in North Carolina.

Medicaid Overhaul

The point of this legislative session is for the General Assembly to make adjustments to the state’s budget. But talks are moving so slowly, that Senate leaders last week said they might as well take up an overhaul of the Medicaid system.

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Politics & Government
12:13 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Rep. Jim Fulghum Of Wake County Dies

Wake County state representative Jim Fulghum, M.D.
Credit NC General Assembly

Wake County state representative Jim Fulghum who was undergoing treatment for cancer has died.  House Speaker Thom Tillis confirmed Fulghum's passing in a statement on the speaker's website.  

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Politics & Government
4:51 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan Criticizes State Legislature

Kay Hagan at the news conference 7/18/14
Credit Katelyn Ferral

Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan was in Raleigh Friday afternoon to discuss a bill she and others have introduced in the U.S. Senate that seeks to restore womens' access to employer-covered contraception. The bill was defeated this week but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he plans to bring it up later this year.

When Hagan was asked what she thinks of the North Carolina General Assembly's late efforts to put together a budget for this fiscal year, she was quick to bring up her own record as a former state senator:

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Politics & Government
7:28 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Police In NC Could Start Tracking License Plates On State Highways

The North Carolina Department of Transportation could give law enforcement agencies photos of license plates on state highways under a new proposal tentatively approved by the state Senate.
Credit Flickr user Tom

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a bill that would allow police to use photo cameras on state roads to track license plates.

The idea is that the cameras would take pictures of license plates, and police could use them to, for example, find a fugitive. Sen. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford) says that could have helped Guilford County investigators on a recent case.

"Had this technology been available, at a right of way, it would've been possible to track down the individual who had committed the crime," Robinson says.

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Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

N.C. Senate Lawmakers Unveil Details Of Medicaid Plan

Credit Dave DeWitt

Lawmakers in the North Carolina Senate have proposed a plan that sheds more light on how they’d like to manage the state's Medicaid program. But it differs significantly from plans put forward by the House and by Governor Pat McCrory. The Senate’s proposal would allow hospital and doctor-led health plans to see Medicaid patients as well as managed care plans run by insurance companies.

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Politics & Government
10:19 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Moped Drivers: Should They Be Requried To Register Their Mopeds And Buy Insurance?

Credit Lars Elmo via Flickr

A North Carolina Senate committee wants to require moped owners to register their mopeds and buy insurance.

In North Carolina, mopeds owners can travel on roads without registering their vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicle, owning insurance or having a valid driver's license.

Some members of the General Assembly have been trying for years to change that. Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Hendersonville), told the senate finance committee on Tuesday morning that there's no financial liability for a moped driver if he crashes into a car.

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Politics & Government
6:11 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Senate Budget Writers Make Concessions, Come Closer To A Deal

Credit Dave DeWitt

Leaders in the state Senate have offered an eight percent pay raise for teachers as they inch closer to putting together a budget.

Senate leaders unveiled their offer to House budget negotiators late Tuesday afternoon. Senators had previously wanted to give educators raises of 11 percent, but House leaders said such a large increase would require cutting too many other areas.

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