Redistricting

An image of the Greensboro city skyline
Turboknowledge / Wiki creative commons

The Triad region was a case study for many of North Carolina's top news stories in 2015. Greensboro is part of the lawsuit against the latest round of redistricting in the state. The merger between Reynolds American Inc. and the Lorillard Tobacco Company rocked the local economy. Many of the effects of the 2015 events will carry into the new year. 

Photo: North Carolina Supreme Court
Giant Sloth / Flickr

The North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the state’s congressional and legislative maps for a second time, ruling that Republican state lawmakers did not illegally consider race when they drew voting districts.

The high state court, divided along party lines in a 4-to-3 decision, found that Republican lawmakers used race as one of several factors in drawing the maps after they took control of the General Assembly in 2011.

North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh.
Jim Bowen / Flickr

The North Carolina House of Representatives has rejected a controversial plan that would limit the authority of the Greensboro mayor and could change the make-up of the city council.

The House rejected the bill in a 73-35 vote on Monday night. A joint committee of House and Senate members will negotiate the terms of the measure, which had been approved by the House as a different plan, before returning it to each chamber for a new vote.

In the wake of events in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) leads the Congressional Black Caucus at a tumultuous time for race relations in the country.

The congressman told Frank Stasio of WUNC’s The State of Things that he sees racial and socioeconomic tensions across the U.S. “There are Fergusons and Baltimores all across this country. It’s not unique to these communities. It could even be here in North Carolina,” Rep. Butterfield said.

Redistricting Reconsidered

Apr 21, 2015
The district plan for North Carolina as set by the 2011 General Assembly.
ncleg.net

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the North Carolina Supreme Court to reconsider the controversial redistricting measures taken by the legislature in 2011. 

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the state court’s decision and instructed it to look again at these issues in light of the highest court’s rulings in a similar case in Alabama. At issue is whether the new lines are racially-based gerrymandering or permissible redistricting measures.

Photo: NC Legislative building
Jorge Valencia

A busy Tuesday at the General Assembly ended with mixed results for proposals on religion, taxes and redistricting.

A bill that could allow private businesses to refuse service to someone based on personal religious beliefs could stall in the House. 

Meanwhile, the House and Senate agreed to lower North Carolina's gas tax by 3.5 cents over the next year. And a House committee approved a measure that would redistrict Wake County's Board of Commissioners.

Image of Greensboro Skyline
Beyonce245 / Wikimedia Commons

Two controversial redistricting bills passed last week in the Senate are headed for debate on the House floor. 

Senate Bill 181, introduced by Republican Chad Barefoot of Wake County, modifies the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner Seats. Senate Bill 36, introduced by Republican Trudy Wade of Guilford County, reconfigures the Greensboro City Council to a seven-member body in which the mayor has no voting power.  Both bills raise questions about the role of state lawmakers in controlling local governing bodies. 

Wake County
www.wakegov.com

At the Capitol, two controversial redistricting bills are heading for debate on the Senate floor. One would modify the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner seats. The other would change the maps for Greensboro City Council districts. Supporters say these measures improve representation. Opponents want state lawmakers to leave local governments alone.

Photo: Map of North Carolina
Flickr user Lindley Ashline

A coalition of Democratic and Republican state representatives wants to cede their responsibility to draw North Carolina's electoral districts, to non-partisan staff or a non-partisan commission.

They say they want to take politics out of the process, but similar efforts have failed for more than 20 years.

Photo: Justice Cheri Beasley
Justice Cheri Beasley Committee

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley has won a re-count to keep her seat against  Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson, according to certified State Board of Elections results.

Beasley, endorsed by Democrats in the non-partisan race for the state’s highest court, gained a net of 17 votes in the re-count, keeping a narrow lead of 0.22 percent of ballots cast, the unofficial results show.

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