Rusty Jacobs

Political Reporter

Rusty Jacobs is a politics reporter for WUNC. Rusty previously worked at WUNC as a reporter and substitute host from 2001 until 2007 and now returns after a nine-year absence during which he went to law school at Carolina and then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Wake County.

As a reporter, he has covered a wide array of topics including military affairs, sports, government and damaging storms.

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Rep. Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland)
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Billy Richardson has a distinct rasp to his voice. That voice, plus his reddened eyes and ruddy complexion, give the Cumberland County Democrat an air of weariness.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The state house unanimously passed a spending bill Wednesday, but it wasn't the two-year budget plan vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper late last month.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republicans and Democrats at the North Carolina General Assembly are tangled in a tense battle of wills over the state budget. And the outcome may hinge on whether the Legislature's GOP leadership can lure some Democrats to their side on a veto override.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Leaders of the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly put off likely defeat for at least one more day. Rather than hold an almost certainly doomed override vote on Gov. Roy Cooper's budget veto Monday evening, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) moved the item to Tuesday's calendar.

The North Carolina legislative office building
Wikipedia

A bill that would forbid local governments from providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants passed the state House today on a mostly party-line vote.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

Updated 9:45 | June 26, 2019

The joint budget plan worked out by Republican legislative leaders is one step closer to going to the governor's desk--and a likely veto.

Both chambers of the GOP-controlled legislature passed the $24 billion spending plan in preliminary votes Wednensday. Final votes are scheduled for Thursday.

Drone in flight
Don McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

An app being developed by engineers at Duke University could help prison officials prevent drones from delivering contraband to inmates.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Officials with UNC Health Care on Monday announced several initiatives they say will restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program, including pausing the most complex cases until an advisory board of external medical experts reviews the program and makes recommendations.

Map of the east coast showing the outer continental shelf where drilling would occur.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The state Division of Coastal Management formally objected this week to a company's application for a federal permit to begin oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast from Maryland to Florida.

WesternGeco needs the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval to conduct seismic testing that would involve towing airguns offshore and firing them approximately every 10 seconds for more than 200 days over the period of a year.

Floodwaters submerged N.C. Highway 41 east of Wallace so much that people could jet ski down the road.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

State Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon called it a 1,000-year storm event. He was talking about the 7-and-1/2 inches of rain that flooded US 401, a major commuter artery linking northern Wake and Franklin counties.

Speaker of the House Tim Moore (left) converses with Representative Nelson Dollar (right) during a break on debate of the state budget at the State Capitol on June 21, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership has been holding up a vote on Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the "Born Alive" bill. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said he will continue to do so until he thinks his party has rallied enough veto-override votes.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Thursday, extending paid parental leave to the nearly 56,000 employees at cabinet agencies, departments and boards or commissions under his authority.

Raja Sambasivan / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracerbullet999/5825323478/

Twenty-one states extend in-state tuition to either undocumented immigrants or beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Legislation proposed by state Democrats would make North Carolina the 22nd state to offer that tuition rate, but Republican support is an unlikely prospect.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Hurricane Matthew caused nearly $5 billion in damages across half the state's 100 counties and forced 4,000 evacuees into shelters. But missteps by an executive agency have delayed distribution of all but 3% of more than $236 million in federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery, or CDBG-DR, funds.

 In this May 7, 2019, photo, Dan Bishop answers a question during a debate among Republican candidates for the 9th Congressional District, in Monroe, N.C.
Chuck Burton / AP

State Sen. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) beat out nine other candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

The Bladen County Board of Elections
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Bladen County was ground zero for the vote tampering scandal that led to a new election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

A 3-2 majority of the state elections board ruled in favor of Republican Jody Greene on Monday, ordering the Columbus County Board of Elections to certify Greene's 37-vote victory in the 2018 county sheriff's race over Democratic incumbent Lewis Hatcher.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republican voters in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District face a tall task this spring. They must select a nominee from a crowded primary field with barely any time to get to know each candidate.

Electric vehicle fuel costs are about one third the amount a conventional car spends on fuel in North Carolina.
Wikimedia Commons

State Sen. Jim Davis said more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids means less money for North Carolina roads.

A Duke Energy worker restores power after a storm.
Duke Energy

State senators from both parties say bonds could save utilities customers money when it comes to paying for recovery from major storms like Hurricane Florence.

Flooding caused by Hurricane Florence
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Revised environmental permits mean new requirements for hog farms in flood-prone areas of the state.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

A Democratic lawmaker in the state legislature wants to see North Carolina become one of the few states where employees get paid family medical leave.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

A Republican-backed bill in the state House aims to close North Carolina's coverage gap, but at no cost to the state.

NC General Assembly; State Legislature.
Dave Crosby / Flickr Share-Alike

North Carolina Democrats have found strength in numbers, and they are using if to push for an ambitious – if lofty – agenda.

HB2, House Bill 2, Chambers of Commerce
New Media Campaigns

Democrats in the state legislature have filed a slate of bills that civil rights advocates are calling historic.

The bills have no Republican sponsors, and passage will require at least some support from the GOP majority.

Opioid related Emergency Department visits.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

Some state lawmakers say a bill filed this week would help fight the opioid epidemic by punishing drug dealers for causing deaths by overdose.

Grauke/O / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/89717784@N00/6156013570/in/photostream/

House Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly want to extend a tax credit that could help downtown revitalization projects across the state.

headshot of Chris Anglin
Courtesy of Chris Anglin

The race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District features a crowded field of Republicans, including one candidate the state GOP says is a Democrat in thin disguise.

Executive director of the Board of Elections Kim Strach listens during the public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District investigation Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C.
Juli Leonard / The News & Observer via AP, Pool

As the state gears up for a new race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, elections officials are pitching measures to make absentee voting in the state more trustworthy.

Public Domain / Architect of the Capitol

The filing period for North Carolina's new 9th Congressional District race opens today. Candidates have until the end of the business day Friday to enter the new election.

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