NC Legislature

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

The deadline for Crossover hit the North Carolina General Assembly yesterday, striking some bills dead for the session. The self-imposed deadline requires that legislation pass at least one chamber to stay under consideration.

A variety of legislation was pushed through this week, including measures that would reform the grievance process for fired state workers, allow health insurers in health exchanges to refuse coverage for abortion and a law that would ban the Muslim Sharia law in North Carolina.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

House lawmakers have passed a bill that would revamp teacher tenure in North Carolina. The measure has bipartisan support and passed 113 to 1.

North Carolina's Congressional District 12 in 1992.
http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us

In 2010, when Republicans won control of the state House and Senate, they radically redrew voting districts in favor of their own party.  In previous elections, Democrats have done the same.  Now, there's a bipartisan effort in the state House of Representatives to reform the redistricting process.

UNC Student Body President Paul Dickson introduces speaker Frank Wilkinson at the McCorkle Place wall
Jock Lauterer, unc.edu

Free speech is considered a hallmark of universities across the nation, but in the 1960s, that wasn't always true. At least not for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1963, the North Carolina legislature passed a speaker ban, prohibiting communists from speaking on campus.

Students on campus bristled at the notion that they could not listen to anybody they chose.

Senator Thom Goolsby, Republican, is the primary sponsor of a bill repealing the Racial Justice Act
thomgoolsby.com

This week the North Carolina Senate voted along party lines to repeal the Racial Justice Act. Also in the legislation are measures designed to restart executions, which have been unofficially on hold in the state since 2006.

Critics contend that eliminating the Racial Justice Act will prevent those unfairly sentenced to death because of racial bias from getting justice. More than 150 people in the state are awaiting execution.

Republican Senator Thom Goolsby of New Hanover County sponsored the legislation repealing the Racial Justice Act, and he said on The State of Things that the Act isn’t necessary.

ID card
edmv-ddl.dot.state.nc.us

Republican leaders in the state House have unveiled details of their long-awaited Voter ID bill.

The measure would require most North Carolinians to bring photo identification with them to the polls, beginning in 2016. It would allow residents to use a number of different kinds of IDs in order to vote.
Republican Speaker of the House Thom Tillis told a news conference earlier today that weeks of discussions have gone into creating this bill.

NC Legislative Building,
Dave DeWitt

A bill in the legislature would require county social services offices to conduct criminal background checks on people seeking and receiving federal benefits.

Right now, social services workers may ask applicants for food stamps or cash payments if they have any outstanding warrants. But they're not allowed to disclose that information to local law enforcement officials.

An increasing number of families each year in the United States decide to have home births. But in North Carolina, having a home birth conducted by a single Certified Professional Midwife is illegal.

Republican Senators are seeking to decriminalize Certified Professional Midwife practices as well as build a licensing process for midwives.They've recently introduced the Home Birth Freedom Act and a move to decriminalize direct entry midwifery.The bills have received a lot of criticism for allowing midwives without nursing credentials to practice independently. WUNC's Capitol Bureau Chief, Jessica Jones, joins Host Frank Stasio to discuss the perspectives surrounding Senate Bills 106 and 017.

NC Legislative Building,
Dave DeWitt

House lawmakers have tentatively passed a bill that would overhaul state boards and commissions, but with some disagreement. Senate Bill 10 would clear out the membership of many important commissions, but House lawmakers have changed the bill to restore some scientific expertise to the Coastal Resources Commission. The House version also does not eliminate 12 special Superior Court judge positions.

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.

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