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Senate Bill Would Abolish Regional Economic Development Commissions

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

A bill that would abolish regional economic development commissions has tentatively passed the state Senate.

The measure would dissolve all seven of the state's commissions. The Department of Commerce would then send at least one employee to work in one of eight newly created economic zones.

Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca says the fact that unemployment rates are high in rural areas means that regional economic commissions need to be dissolved.

"The rural partnerships or economic partnerships are not getting the jobs done in the rural areas. So if something's not working, why don't we try something else, instead of trying to talk about how good it is, and make believe it's good, when in reality it's not," says Apodaca.

Many Democrats, including Sen. Martin Nesbitt, are opposed to the bill. They say dissolving local commissions and sending Raleigh bureaucrats out to rural communities won't solve those communities' problems.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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