NC General Assembly

Education
10:33 am
Tue June 10, 2014

'The Teacher Couch Summit,' Tweet By Tweet

Senate Leader Phil Berger takes an impromptu meeting with Moral Monday protesters.
Credit Reema Khrais

Monday night, 15 Moral Monday protesters sat in front of Senate Leader Phil Berger’s door.  Berger wasn't in his office, so the protesters sat there until the Senate session ended. Soon, State Capitol Police began to usher everyone out. They said that the building was closing, everyone had to leave. Reporter Dave DeWitt was with the protesters. He wrote about what happened next this way:

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Politics & Government
7:59 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Lawmakers Kick Off The Work Week With A Light Load And A Friendly Chat

Credit Dave DeWitt

Lawmakers began their work week with a Moral Monday protest and a light legislative schedule.

The House convened briefly in a skeleton session, while the Senate met later in the evening.

Senators passed a bill that would create a public-private economic development enterprise. It would contract with the Department of Commerce to attract companies and promote trade and tourism. The Senate's version of the bill would also start a program giving grants to film, TV, and video projects in the state. A tax incentive program expires at the end of the year.

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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
4:41 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Economic Development Partnership Bill Advances In Legislature

Credit house.gov

A bill that would create a public-private economic development enterprise tentatively passed the House today. The measure would create a nonprofit corporation that would contract with the state Department of Commerce to attract companies and promote trade and tourism.

Republican Representative Marilyn Avila  addressed the bill's sponsor, Republican representative Tom Murry, saying she thinks the idea will help grow North Carolina's economy.

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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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Education
10:04 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

School Leaders Say Possible Cuts To DPI Could Hurt Classrooms

Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

School leaders across the state say proposed cuts to the Department of Public Instruction would hurt North Carolina classrooms.

The Senate’s spending plan would slash DPI’s budget by 30-percent. Several school administrators say they rely on the department to help run their schools. It helps out with recruiting and evaluating teachers, and offering professional development.

Mike Dunsmore, superintendent of Tyrell County, says his district is the smallest in the state. It serves about 550 students.

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Politics & Government
4:37 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Governor Expresses Dissatisfaction with Senate Budget Writers' Medicaid Plan

Governor Pat McCrory surrounded by physicians at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh.

Governor Pat McCrory held a news conference yesterday at the executive mansion to talk about one thing in particular he doesn’t like in the Senate budget proposal- turning Medicaid services over to a managed care organization. The governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, hospital organizations and physicians are against the idea.

Governor McCrory held the news conference in a secluded garden at the executive mansion. Dozens of doctors wearing their long white coats gathered on the brick steps behind him.

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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
4:35 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

House Lawmakers Pass Bill To Discourage Patent Trolls

Credit Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that seeks to deter the practice of bringing unfounded patent claims against companies in order to win settlements.

House Bill 1032 passed unanimously Tuesday afternoon. Republican representative Tom Murry is the measure's primary sponsor.

"[The bill] will add a new section to the unfair and deceptive trade practices statute in North Carolina to go after what we call patent trolls," says Murry.

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