NC Legislature

House Speaker Thom Tillis
N.C. General Assembly

State legislators have invited groups of educators to visit Raleigh this week in order to get more input on measures that would affect the state's schools. House Speaker Thom Tillis says he and other leaders want to know what educators consider their most pressing issues.

North Carolina's newest Congressional districts are among those up for debate in Wake County Superior Court Monday and Tuesday.
NC Legislature /

A panel of judges is set to hear arguments Monday about whether to uphold or reject North Carolina's newest legislative and congressional districts.

N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would block an expansion of North Carolina's Medicaid program. It passed on third reading Thursday. Republican lawmakers are opposed to enlarging Medicaid to help cover about 500,000 uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. Representative John Blust says the state would end up covering too many costs.

State officials say they plan to reform the health department ahead of their budget proposal to the General Assembly.  Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers yesterday her priorities are to overhaul the state's Medicaid program and improve her office's computer system.  Wos said in committee testimony aired on that she's cleaning up a department whose employees have filled out incomprehensible reports and wasted money through poor communication.

A bill that would immediately fire members of some of the most important state boards and commissions has advanced in the state Senate. Senate Bill 10 would sack members of the Utilities, Environmental Management, Industrial, and Wildlife Resources Commissions, among others. Democrats call it a blatant power grab, but Republicans say it will streamline state government.

A bill approved today by the Senate Rules Committee would eliminate and retool a number of key state boards and commissions. It would end members' terms on the Utilities Commission, Industrial Commission, and Coastal Resources Commission, among others. The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Rabon, says it will allow several key boards to be run by political appointees. Democratic Senator Josh Stein says the measure is a power grab.

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly

Aside from a few lobbyists checking their cell phones, the halls of the General Assembly were quiet and free of protestors Wednesday. But in the House, legislators wasted no time getting down to business. An unemployment insurance bill many are watching closely will be discussed in a committee meeting today. It seeks to lower unemployment benefits so employers won't have to shoulder insurance increases.

State lawmakers convened in Raleigh today for the official first day of the 2013 legislative session. In the Senate, lawmakers re-elected Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger for another two years. In the House, Speaker Thom Tillis- also a Republican- will also serve for two more years. He told lawmakers he's looking forward to this session.

State senators gave tentative approval today to two bills that would make it harder for cities to annex land outside their previous limits.

There’s a renewed fight over education funding. Dave DeWitt reports that the loss of federal stimulus money has republicans and democrats picking sides ahead of the legislature coming back to Raleigh.

A legislative committee that's studying a method of natural gas drilling sometimes called fracking met in Raleigh today. Representatives of oil and gas interest groups as well as environmental non-profits spoke at the meeting. Ray Covington of Lee County is a co-founder of a company that has entered into mineral rights agreements with many landowners in the area.

Republican leaders in the state legislature are considering measures that could end the estate tax for North Carolinians. The Revenue Laws Study Committee met today to discuss taxes in the state. The committee plans to hold a full discussion on repealing the estate tax at its next meeting. Republican Senator Robert Rucho is a co-chair of the committee.

State lawmakers are back in Raleigh this week for a special session to vote on potential amendments to the state constitution.

State lawmakers have overriden two of Governor Perdue's vetoes during a special session today.

Lawmakers are back in session to vote on proposed redistricting maps as they do every ten years. But they're also working to resurrect a number of bills the Governor red-stamped earlier this year.

House lawmakers have passed a measure that would restrict the ability of state officials to go after corporations that may be underreporting their income in the Tar Heel state.

Republican Majority Leader Paul Stam says House Bill 619 will help create jobs by encouraging companies to do more business in North Carolina.

Paul Stam: "The passage of this bill is probably more important to the economic development and prospects of this state as far as seeking investment from other states or even other countries than everything else we do in economic development."