2018 NC Legislature

Emergency workers inspect a power line that was damaged by a tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence in Mount Olive, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Updated at 3:30 p.m.

North Carolina lawmakers have quickly approved their initial legislation designed to address the damage and logistics problems caused by Hurricane Florence.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Actions by Republican legislators this week to alter North Carolina ballot language this fall for constitutional referenda and a Supreme Court race have been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina legislature returned briefly to business Tuesday so Republicans could wrest the seemingly ordinary work of adding titles to proposed constitutional amendments on November ballots out of the hands of a state panel controlled by Democrats.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This year's session at the General Assembly felt, at times, like a blur.

WRAL Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie joins the podcast to discuss the pace of the Legislature, some of the most significant measures, and how policy may influence the already underway election season.

Leslie, who worked at WUNC from 2004 until 2011, also weighs in on the departure of a key legislative staffer and shares what she misses most about public radio.

Editor's Note: The WUNCPolitics Podcast will take a break for the rest of July and will be back in early August.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers have returned home following a hectic, six-week session during which they approved a state spending plan, continued an ongoing clash with the Governor, and for the most part, avoided any major controversy.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

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.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

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
Wikimedia Commons

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.

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.

A North Carolina Public Schools bus in Orange County.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Lawmakers focused on improving school safety for months have planned to address a significant shortage of school psychologists, but none of the related bills filed by legislators look like they are going anywhere during this legislative session. 

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
Wikimedia Commons

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.

Teacher in classroom with students.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/auPuAq

An omnibus education bill titled "Various Changes to Education Laws" emerged from a legislative committee Wednesday. Senators added a number of provisions to an existing bill that was originally only about cursive writing, multiplication tables and advanced math classes.

NC State House
Courtesy of NCGA

Republican legislative leaders released their plan for the state budget late Monday. The bill includes a 6.5 percent average pay hike for teachers, raises for full-time state employees, and a $60 million fund for continued Hurricane Matthew recovery.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers are hastily advancing the state budget this week with minimal changes expected to the massive cornerstone policy document of this year’s short session.

Gov. Roy Cooper addresses reporters on Thursday, May 10, 2018 regarding his $24.5 billion spending proposal.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper and top legislative Republicans agree on one thing: North Carolina is enjoying a fourth consecutive revenue surplus this fiscal year. They just disagree on what to do with it.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

For the first time ever, all 170 races for the North Carolina General Assembly will have candidates from both major parties.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State legislators have adjourned until May after voting to fix a long-standing issue over mandated class sizes, while delaying further action on the GenX water contamination issue.

Photo of the NC state senate chambers
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked new voting maps for Wake and Mecklenburg counties. The districts are in the state’s two most populous counties, and the decision comes just days before candidates are set to start filing for office.

Cedar Fork Elementary in Wake County would have to add three more kindergarten classrooms under the class-size change scheduled to go into effect in the fall.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Updated 3:15 p.m. Feb. 9, 2018

Republican legislation to phase in North Carolina's upcoming class-size mandate has passed one General Assembly chamber. Democrats complained it is loaded with other provisions targeting Gov. Roy Cooper and the state elections board.

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly signaled action later this week on environment, education and possibly elections administration legislation, ending a nearly monthlong hiatus as lawmakers returned to Raleigh.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday for another session in which leaders say they'll act quickly on a slender agenda, but adjournment may be delayed for redistricting litigation and potential judicial changes.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

On this week's review of North Carolina politics, lawmakers again discussed what to do about GenX, the contaminant that has been discharged in the Cape Fear River. Also, lawmakers return to Raleigh next week, though their agenda remains unclear. And, 2018 is an election year that is expected to see a President Trump trickle down effect.

Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, and Mitch Kokai, of the John Locke Foundation, discuss those stories during this conversation.

mist rises off the Cape Fear River
Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Creative Commons

State lawmakers are expected to make addressing the water pollutant GenX a priority in their upcoming legislative session. Republican Rep. Ted Davis may introduce a draft bill as early as Jan. 4 that is expected to have bipartisan support. But as News & Observer reporter Will Doran points out, a lack of funding for its provisions will likely be a sticking point.
 

Host Frank Stasio talks to Doran about the latest on GenX. He also speaks with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about other items the state legislature has on its short-term and year-long agendas.