NC Legislature

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.

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

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

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 WRAL.com that she's cleaning up a department whose employees have filled out incomprehensible reports and wasted money through poor communication.

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