Politics

Political news from around NC and beyond.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement this week and sparked panic among many Democrats. During his time on the nation’s highest bench, he cast deciding votes on LGBTQ rights, abortion and the death penalty. President Trump has vowed to replace Kennedy’s seat with a more conservative justice.

North Carolina legislative building
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Updated 4:07 p.m. | June 29, 2018

North Carolina's Republican lawmakers are asking the public for a fresh mandate to block voting by people without certain kinds of photo identification, two years after their earlier attempt to make that a state law got thrown out by federal judges.

Supreme Court building, Washington, DC, USA. Front facade.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Daderot

Updated 1:40 p.m. | June 28, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Thursday that lingering racial bias infected some General Assembly district boundaries approved last year, but its ruling leaves intact the district lines already used earlier this year for this fall's elections.

North Carolina legislative building
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Bills altering early in-person voting and restricting litigation against large livestock operations by neighbors unhappy with odors and other nuisances became North Carolina law Wednesday, despite formal objections by Gov. Roy Cooper.

North Carolina legislative building
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Republicans in the General Assembly rode their majority to pass three more proposed constitutional amendments Tuesday. 

North Carolina legislative building
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Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed seven bills just before a Monday night deadline, deciding to block Republican proposals to alter early in-person voting and restrict nuisance litigation that neighbors of big livestock operations could file in North Carolina.

North Carolina legislative building
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Updated 4:10 p.m.

North Carolina General Assembly committees have advanced proposed constitutional amendments addressing judicial vacancies, crime victims' rights and the composition of the state elections board.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The legislature’s Republican majority pushed forward several proposed constitutional amendments they hope will boost voter turnout in their favor this fall. Among the potential ballot measures, a photo ID requirement for North Carolina voters, the preservation of fishing and hunting as a way of life and a cap on personal income tax.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina Republicans have been thwarted by veto and federal judges this decade to require photo identification to vote. Now they're hoping state residents will cement the mandate by amending the state constitution.

The sponsors of the proposed constitutional  amendment to cap North Carolina's personal income tax at 5.5 percent present the measure to the House Rules committee. Pictured are Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), at the podium, and Sen. Tommy Tucker (R-Union),
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Lawmakers put in a busy day in Raleigh Wednesday, completing the override of two gubernatorial vetoes and advancing proposed constitutional amendments.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Lawmakers are expected to send forth multiple proposed constitutional amendments in the coming days.

Jonathan Kappler, Executive Director of the NC Free Enterprise Foundation, joins the podcast to discuss the electoral effects of those possible changes. He and WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii talk about a SCOTUS redistricting punt, the passing of a UNC-system chancellor, and the best beach in NC.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

The General Assembly passed a bill today that would change early voting times. Democrats say the bill that has been touted by Republicans as a measure to expand early voting, could actually make it harder for some to vote.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

It's been a dizzying few days at the North Carolina General Assembly this week. Legislators have had multiple late nights of deliberations as they work to end the short session by the end of the month.

Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, with NC Policy Watch, join WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii and discuss the debate around changing the state's early voting period, individual property rights, and budget tweaks that breezed through the chambers this week.

North Carolina legislative building
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The fate of a proposal allowing North Carolina-based nonprofit organizations to offer health benefit plans not subject to state insurance regulations is uncertain because House lawmakers wouldn't agree to the Senate idea out of hand.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

It's been a frenetic week at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Legislators have had multiple late nights of deliberations as they work to end the short session by the end of the month. Among a cluttered list of issues are rape kits, individual property rights, and even raw milk.

Lauren Horsch of the NC Insider joins WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii to discuss a range of topics on the latest episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Republican lawmakers are looking again at changing the rules on early voting, a popular idea which has prompted legal action.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Last week North Carolina state legislators filed a proposal that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the state’s constitutional qualifications to vote. Voters won’t necessarily see more details before deciding on the proposed constitutional amendment. Lawmakers would add those details later in a separate bill.

Prescription pills
Wikpedia

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly would allow law enforcement to have access to a statewide database of prescribed controlled substances. This is the latest move by the legislature to help curb the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina General Assembly Republicans completed the override Tuesday of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of their state budget legislation for the second year in a row.

Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi / Flickr

By the time presidential candidates start descending on North Carolina in 2020, voters may be required to show a photo identification before voting. State legislators filed a proposal last week that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the current qualifications to vote.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a Republican-approved state spending plan this week, citing more could be done for public education.

Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, with NC Policy Watch, discuss the anticipated executive veto of the budget, as well as one farm measure that has divided some Republicans. Also this week at the North Carolina General Assembly, legislators introduced a proposal to change the state constitution and require photo identification in order to vote in-person.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Budgets, ballots and baseball are among the topics on this week's politics podcast.

WUNC Political Reporter Rusty Jacobs and Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii discuss the Governor's veto of lawmakers state spending plan, motivations behind a proposed constitutional amendment to require photo identification in order to vote, and the legends of Pedro Martinez and Bernie Williams. 

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

Updated 8:52 a.m. | June 8, 2018

Republicans are poised again to advance a photo identification requirement to vote in North Carolina, despite their previous attempt getting struck down by federal judges.

File photo of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The governor addressed the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at North Carolina State University.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Another of Governor Roy Cooper's vetoes is headed for an override by the Republican super-majority in North Carolina's General Assembly.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper unveiled his first budget proposal on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at Durham Technical Community College.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the latest state budget Wednesday, claiming the spending plan does not do enough to support teachers. But is Cooper’s budget plan fiscally sound? The legislature’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division says his proposed budget would rack up a nearly $500 million deficit by 2020.

File photo of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The governor addressed the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at North Carolina State University.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed the state budget adjustments approved by the Republican-dominated legislature.

Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) addresses reporters Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in an effort to resurrect his school-safety legislation.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

State Representative Larry Pittman said he thinks the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership is stifling his school-safety measure out of election-year fears.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

In less than one month, full-time state employees in North Carolina can expect a minimum wage boost to $15 per hour. It is one of the measures in the new state budget that was rushed through by Republican legislators last week in a process that did not allow amendments.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

The Republican-controlled General Assembly gave final approval to its 2018-19 budget today, passing an adjusted $24 billion spending plan through a process that allowed for no input or amendments from Democrats.

Kim Yong Chol, left, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting, Thursday, May 31, 2018, in New York.
Seth Wenig / AP Photo

The week kicked off with White House officials working overtime to save the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been photographed in New York enjoying dinner and drinks with the leader’s right hand man, Kim Yong-chol. Will the stepped up efforts save the summit?

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