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NC Lawmakers Meet For A Historic Pandemic Session

Legislators look out the window to see packed protestors.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

North Carolina lawmakers gaveled in Tuesday for a legislative session unlike any other — their first since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state. 

The State Legislative Building was quiet, and much more empty than usual. The doors were locked, and only legislators, staffers and media were allowed inside. Many of those in chambers wore masks and abided by physical distancing requirements, while others ignored protocol and sat right next to each other. The main goal for the General Assembly in this short session is to dole out COVID-19 relief funds.

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberiiabout the debate over how the pandemic dollars should be spent and previews other big questions state lawmakers are facing: What will the November election look like? What if another major hurricane hits North Carolina? Is there enough of a surplus fund to help cover the expected budget shortfalls of local governments?

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
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