Tom Apodaca

State Senator Tom Apodaca
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The General Assembly adjourned late Friday and lawmakers headed home.

They passed a $22.3 billion budget before they left, giving state employees a small raise and setting aside more money for the rainy day fund. They also made a small tweak to House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill.

coal ash
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Republican lawmakers and Governor Pat McCrory have reached a compromise over coal ash avoiding another round in the courts.

a nationwide collaboration between NPR’s Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.
Leigh Ann Cross

A provision in the Senate's budget proposal would force some year-round schools to change their calendars within the next couple months.

NC General Assembly
Jorge Valencia

A powerful Senate Republican floated the idea of letting voters decide the fate of House Bill 2, while lawmakers began the protracted budget debate in Raleigh on Wednesday.

State Senator Tom Apodaca
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Another powerful member of the North Carolina Senate will retire next year. Republican Tom Apodaca of Henderson County will not seek an eighth term in the General Assembly.

Reema Khrais

This summer, North Carolina senators pushed a plan to cut thousands of teacher assistants. Educators from across the state rallied against the idea, and in the budget compromise unveiled this week, lawmakers decided to keep funding for teacher assistants.

But there’s a catch, and it’s one that many educators say is problematic.

Under the budget deal, schools would be required to use money for teacher assistants for only that. Nothing else.

State Senator Tom Apodaca
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers continue to negotiate a state budget and are touting improvement, but are also asking for additional deliberation time.

Policymakers announced progress on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon. Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said subcommittees now have target spending amounts, and an agreement on salary adjustments for state workers has been reached in principal.

An image of a tanning bed in use
Wikipedia

Legislation that would ban minors from using tanning beds is heading to the Governor's desk. State Senators gave overwhelming support to House Bill 158 - "The Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act" on Wednesday afternoon.

This proposal would ban anyone under 18 from using a tanning bed. Presently, teenagers ages 14 to 17 can artificially tan with written parental consent. A similar proposal died in the Senate two years ago after it did not receive a vote.