Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Lawmakers Finish Big Week

Credit Jorge Valencia

State lawmakers wrapped up a busy week today before the July Fourth holiday.

This week, lawmakers finally broke the logjam in budget negotiations, with an unusual open conference committee meeting in which House and Senate legislators came to an agreement on Medicaid shortfall numbers.

In the meantime, lawmakers pushed through other measures, including one House bill earlier in the week that would study removing law enforcement officers' personal information from online records.

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7:50 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Moral Monday Protesters Sing And Chant In Legislative Building; 19 Arrested

Protesters gathered outside the Senate chamber on Monday to demonstrate against policies they say are regressive.
Credit Protesters gathered outside the Senate chamber to demonstrate against policies they say are regressive.

Nineteen Moral Monday protesters were arrested yesterday after demonstrating in the legislative building against budget proposals and policies passed by Republican-led General Assembly.

Dozens of protesters stomped, danced, and chanted at the very tops of their lungs, days after a superior court judge struck down new rules that prohibit loud activities and noises that would cause disturbances. The Wake County judge on Friday argued that the rules were unconstitutional, overly broad and vague.

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Politics & Government
8:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

NC General Assembly Summary: Tuesday, June 10

Photo: North Carolina's Old Capitol building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The House of Representatives has been busy working on a budget plan for the state and other large pieces of legislation. Here's a summary of the days news from the State Capitol:

The centerpiece of the spending plan lawmakers are adjusting is pay for public school teachers. A five percent raise is what House Speaker Thom Tillis and his colleagues are suggesting.

That’s almost the mid-point between the two existing budget outlines. The governor has suggested a two-percent raise, and the senate an 11-percent raise.

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The State Of Things
4:05 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Deconstructing The State's Unemployment Figures

Unemployment lines
Credit Wikimedia

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest figures on the state’s unemployed. But do these numbers paint an accurate picture of the jobs economy in North Carolina?

Host Frank Stasio talks to Triangle Business Journal Reporter Jason deBruyn about the latest statistics and the ways to count the unemployed. His recent coverage includes:

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Sen. Hagan Steps Up Criticism Of State GOP Over Unemployment Benefits

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, flanked by state Rep. Rosa Gill (D-Wake) and state Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake), criticized Republican lawmakers for a law that disqualified the state for federal long-term jobless benefits.
Credit Jorge Valencia

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said on Monday that she’s pushing to make long-term unemployed people in North Carolina eligible again for federal emergency unemployment benefits.

Hagan, a Democrat, introduced a provision for a possible extension of nationwide unemployment benefits that would make North Carolina eligible again, she said. The state was disqualified from Emergency Unemployment Compensation last year after the Republican-led General Assembly reduced benefits at the state level.

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Business & Economy
5:09 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

NC Jobless Rate Dips Slightly in August

North Carolina jobless rate for August 2013 is 8.7%.
Credit NC Policy Watch

The state’s jobless rate in August 2013 is the lowest it’s been in the past year.  But there is still a big loss in payroll jobs.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate is 8.7%, down 0.2 of a percentage point from July and nearly a full point down from this time last year.  The national jobless rate is 7.3%.

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Politics & Government
10:57 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

House Lawmakers Pass Unemployment Overhaul

North Carolina House lawmakers have tentatively passed a bill largely along party lines that would lower benefits for unemployed workers. The measure would reduce the maximum weekly allowed benefit from $500 to $350. It would also reduce the maximum amount of time a laid-off worker could receive benefits from 26 weeks to between 12 and 20 weeks. Democratic Representative Paul Luebke said this is the wrong bill to be passing at a time when unemployment in the state is high.

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Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

State Lawmakers Consider Changing Unemployment Benefits

State lawmakers in the House plan to take up a bill this evening that would reduce unemployment benefits for laid-off workers.  House Bill 4 is expected to reach the floor for lawmakers to consider tonight. The measure would speed up repayment of North Carolina’s 2.57 billion dollar debt to the federal government. The state borrowed that money to help pay unemployment benefits to a rapidly growing number of people who lost their jobs during the recession.

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The State of Things
11:42 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Unemployment Changes Coming

  The General Assembly is expected to consider legislation this week that will reform the federal unemployment insurance program. Republican leaders say the changes will help pay back a growing debt the state owes the federal government.

Advocates for workers say they are unnecessary and will push thousands of residents over a financial cliff. News and Observer reporter Mandy Locke joins Frank Stasio to discuss the changes and how it may affect tens of thousands of North Carolina residents.

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Business & Economy
5:30 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

NC Job Growth Limited to Metro Areas

North Carolina’s metropolitan areas show some positive momentum in the jobs front. But three areas in the state lag behind the rest.

Almost 100-percent of the job growth in North Carolina since the end of the recession in 2009 has occurred in the state’s metropolitan areas.   And Allan Fryer, a policy analyst with the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center says 90-percent of the job growth has occurred in only three metro areas – Raleigh, Charlotte and Durham.

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