Pat McCrory

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt

This week, the General Assembly overrode two of Governor McCrory’s vetoes on high profile measures. One measure requires drug testing for certain welfare recipients and the other loosens restrictions for seasonal workers. Host Frank Stasio speaks with WUNC's Capitol bureau chief Jessica Jones about the response to legislature's moves. In other political news, the State Board of Elections ruled yesterday on two controversial decisions by local elections boards. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC’s Raleigh bureau chief Dave DeWitt about the decisions. 

Image of NC General Assembly where lawmakers are considering two controversial bills.
Credit NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state House have voted to override Governor McCrory's vetoes on two bills.

One measure contains a provision designed to give farmers more leeway to check the immigration status of their workers. Democratic Representative Larry Hall says that's something farmers need.

Image of NC General Assembly where lawmakers are considering two controversial bills.
Credit NC General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly goes back into session Tuesday. Lawmakers will consider Governor Pat McCrory’s vetoes of two bills. One requires drug testing for certain welfare recipients. The other grants immigration exemptions for some seasonal workers.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

The General Assembly recently finished up their lawmaking session, passing a variety of legislation, some of which has stirred quite a bit of controversy locally and nationally. All that’s left now is for Governor Pat McCrory to sign those laws of which he approves and veto those he’s against. He’s done both this week.

He signed into law a controversial Voter ID law that forces voters to show ID at the polling place, as well as shortens the hours of early voting and eliminates straight-ticket voting.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory vetoed two bills today.

One (HB 786) known as the "Reclaiming NC Act" would have required undocumented immigrants to submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting to obtain driving permits. It also would have allowed police to detain people they suspect of being undocumented for up to 24 hours. It was heavily critiqued by NC's ACLU chapter and others. McCrory said in a statement that he vetoed it due to a loophole that would allow businesses to hire more undocumented workers.

The second bill Gov. McCrory vetoed today (HB 392) would have required drug testing for Work First applicants, a state program that provides financial assistance and job training to needy families.  The ACLU of North Carolina and the N.C. Justice Center had publicly discouraged Gov. McCrory from signing the bill, saying that it would violate the privacy of low-income people.

Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University

On the same day Governor Pat McCrory signed sweeping election changes into law, the Watauga County Board of Elections made several decisions that raised the ire of democrats in western North Carolina.

The three-member Board, with a 2-to-1 Republican majority, voted to close the early voting site on the Appalachian State campus. The Board also consolidated the three voting sites in Boone into one polling place. That means more than 9,000 voters will vote at one site. The next most populous polling place in the county has fewer than 5,000 voters.

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A teacher reads to elementary school students.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Michael Martin is a teacher. His wife is a teacher’s assistant. They love their jobs and work in adjacent rooms in their school in Buncombe County, teaching special needs students and raising three kids of their own. But their life’s work comes with a real-world sacrifice, here in the state that ranks 48th in the country in teacher salaries.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it’s going to take legal action to stop the country’s newest — and one of its most restrictive — voter ID laws, signed into law yesterday by Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina.

The new law requires voters to show government-issued photo ID cards, and outlaws college ID cards or out-of-state driver’s licenses as valid forms of identification.

The law also eliminates same-day voter registration, and allows any registered voter to challenge another’s eligibility.

McCrory spoke about his decision to sign HB 589 in a video.
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill today that requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls, despite opposition from Attorney General Roy Cooper. In addition to requiring a form of photo ID for voters, the bill also shortens early voting by one week. Hours after he signed the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the bill.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory has a teaching degree. His grandmother was a teacher and his sister taught for 20 years in Wake County. He says frequently that he respects the profession and that teachers are the most important part of the state’s public education system.

The Governor continued that line of praise in his speech at the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Education summit.

“I have a great admiration for teachers and they have a greater challenge than any of us have in this room at this point in time,” he said.

Kieran Shanahan
N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

Kieran Shanahan will step down as state public safety secretary in less than a week.   Shanahan was among then-Governor-elect Pat McCrory's first cabinet appointees.

In his resignation letter, Shanahan said he told the governor last December that his service hinged on two factors: his legal career and his wife's military career.  Lisa Shanahan is receiving a Naval promotion to Rear Admiral and he said being away from his law practice was proving to be a challenge.  McCrory says he understands that.

Governor McCrory signs first bill February 18, 2013
Governor's office

Dozens of bills passed by the State Legislature in the last few days are sitting on Governor Pat McCrory’s desk. McCrory says he will sign most, but wants to take a closer look at a few.

Those bills include one that requires welfare recipients to be drug tested, and another that deals with billboards along highways.

The Governor said he is most proud of the tax reform law he signed earlier this week.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's office

Here’s a little frivolity to end the long week in Raleigh…

At his press conference on Friday to speak to reporters about the many bills that have arrived on his desk, Governor Pat McCrory had a bit of a Rick Perry moment.

One of his favorite talking points – first stated in his State of The State speech – is that he has three major priorities as Governor: Economy, Education, and Efficiency.

“The Three E’s,” he calls it.

Lenovo Manufacturing
State of North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed major tax reform legislation into law this week, keeping one of his most ardent campaign promises. 

The governor and his conservative Republican base have consistently said North Carolina would be better able to attract business to the state with lower taxes.

Protesters crowd the capitol for a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really been just seven months since newly-inaugurated Governor Pat McCrory sounded this hopeful tone:

“North Carolina’s greatest strength and asset remains its people,” he said during his inauguration speech.

“On those main streets across this state, it’s the people that count and that make a difference. People will come from different backgrounds but share a common set of principles. Self-starters and hard workers.”

General Assembly
Dave DeWitt

Both houses of the State Legislature have passed a final $20.6 billion dollar budget. Much of today's debate in the House and Senate centered on the cuts to public education. Those cuts include eliminating about 2,000 teacher assistant positions and ending teacher tenure.

"You cut a half a billion dollars out of education in this budget in order to make up for the tax giveaway that you did for the wealthy and the out-of-state corporations," said Democrat Martin Nesbitt,  the Senate Minority Leader.

Gov. McCrory signs tax reform into law.
Dave DeWitt

It was all smiles inside the Governor’s mansion today. Flanked by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, and his own budget director Art Pope, the Governor praised his fellow Republicans for their leadership in passing wide-ranging tax reform.

He says it will help the state recruit new businesses.

"There are a lot of people unemployed right now," McCrory said. "There are a lot of people looking for work and there are a lot of companies looking at other states to go to create new jobs. And they’re beating out North Carolina."

Reverend William Barber led another Moral Mondays protest at the capitol.
Matthew Lenard

For many lawmakers and lobbyists, the culmination of five months of work during this biennial long session came when a final budget was released late Sunday night. More than 500 pages and $20.5 billion, the budget was finalized behind closed doors by two men, both Republicans – Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis.

NC General Assembly, tax reform, Governor McCrory
Jessica Jones

Governor Pat McCrory and leaders of the state House and Senate have come to a long-awaited agreement on what they say is fiscally responsible tax reform.

The plan would replace the state’s tiered personal income tax rate with a flat 5.8 percent in 2014, and the corporate tax rate would fall as well. The sales tax would be broadened only slightly.

Pat McCrory at a middle school earlier this year.
NC Governors Office

Governor Pat McCrory is pushing a Five Pathways plan to improve education. The plan is broad and affects all levels of public education in North Carolina, from early childhood education to Universities.

Eric Guckian, the Governor’s Education Advisor, presented the plan to the State Board of Education today. He highlighted one of the five pathways:  growing “innovative learning options” for families.

Office of Pat McCrory
NC Governors Office

Governor Pat McCrory said that he will veto a bill that places stricter regulations on clinics providing abortions unless state lawmakers make significant changes to the bill. McCrory's office released a statement this morning saying “major portions of the bill are of sound value,” however he would block the measure unless the legislature amends it to include provisions his administration outlined yesterday.

Protesters gather outside the legislative building to protest the abortion bill passed by the Senate Wednesday morning.
Jessica Jones

A bill that would require abortion clinics in North Carolina to have the same building codes and standards as ambulatory surgery centers has received final approval from the state Senate.  All of Planned Parenthood's clinics in North Carolina would not meet those standards.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

As leaders in state government haggle over what to include – or not include – in the final budget, teachers across North Carolina are concerned about their jobs and their salaries. 

Teacher salaries in North Carolina have not moved much in recent years. Most of that has been due to the recession. But as other states begin to increase teacher salaries as the economy improves, North Carolina has cut teacher salaries by more than 15 percent.

smart start
Wake Smart Start

Republican leaders in the legislature are getting ready to hash out their own versions of the state budget. And the House, Senate and Governor’s version are quite different when it comes to pre-K.

North Carolina has long been praised for its commitment to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. But all three of the current budgets make cuts to those programs, to varying degrees.

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