Jeff Tiberii

Incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham faced off last night in the first of three televised debates. This race is one of the most closely watched in the country as it is considered a true toss up. 

The front of the North Carolina Legislature building with an American flag and a North Carolina flag out front with two trees on either side
Jayron32

The North Carolina legislature passed the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 Thursday, which allocates the nearly $1 billion left of federal CARES Act money. 

The North Carolina House of Representatives' meeting room
North Carolina General Assembly

Cities around the country are facing pressure to reform their policing and take a hard look at systemic racism. Minneapolis announced the intent to defund portions of their police department. Other cities have ended relationships between school systems and the police. 

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. 

Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

North Carolina’s unemployment filings since March 16 hover just over 470,000, and about 87% of those claims are related to COVID-19. This amounts to years worth of claims that need to be processed in only a matter of weeks. 

U.S. Congress

A week before the U.S. stock market started to slump, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr sold off a significant portion of his portfolio — while reassuring the public that the nation was prepared for a pandemic. 

A map of North Carolina showing which counties went for former Vice President Joe Biden and which went for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
North Carolina State Board of Elections

Super Tuesday narrowed the Democratic presidential field to a race between two men: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The majority of Democratic North Carolinians cast their ballots for Biden, giving him the state and adding fuel to his comeback after a landslide win in the South Carolina primary. And today former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Biden.

Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons

North Carolinians will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday for the first time next week. Although we join 13 other states in voting that day, some pundits argue North Carolina is the key state, even “ground zero”  in this presidential election cycle.

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidates are traveling from Iowa to New Hampshire after facing their first test with voters. There is still about a month to go until North Carolinians weigh in on who will face President Donald Trump in the general election.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers met for a one-day session this week, but in the end, not much has changed. There is still no budget for the current fiscal year as lawmakers enter their longest break in four years.

NC legislative building
Jayron32 http://bit.ly/2Mcy7DJ

Historians will know 2019 as a year in which not a lot happened in the North Carolina legislature. Lawmakers did not pass a new state budget, despite holding the second-longest legislative session in state history. Gov. Roy Cooper was not able to expand Medicaid in the state, and the legislature did not pass any large social policies.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Legislators met this week to tackle the task of redrawing congressional maps. The first meeting determined Republicans want to use the maps created for the advocacy group Common Cause North Carolina, while Democrats want to start from scratch. A three-judge panel ruled last week that the gerrymandered districts be redrawn in time for the 2020 election.

2016 map
Credit North Carolina General Assembly

A three-judge panel has ordered North Carolina legislators to throw out the current Congressional maps.

SEAN HOBSON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Exhausted by the longest legislative session since 2001, state lawmakers are pushing through piecemeal spending measures as the full budget sits in the senate. Governor Cooper signed off on raises for most state employees, but public school teachers as well as staff at state universities and community colleges are still waiting.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Former North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes will plead guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents.

Photo of a prison cell.
Pxhere

North Carolina has been in the midst of a prison staffing crisis for years. In 2017, shortages at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City contributed to a violent escape attempt that left four prison workers dead.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Results are in for special congressional elections in North Carolina’s 3rd and 9th Districts. In the closely-watched 9th District race, Republican Dan Bishop slipped past Democrat Dan McCready with a 2-point lead.

Map outlining North Carolina's House districts.
Courtesy of the North Carolina State Board of Elections

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel in Raleigh ruled that North Carolina's legislative maps are unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders that favor Republicans. The court ordered state legislators to draw up new maps within two weeks, ahead of the primaries for the 2020 election. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger announced that he will not appeal the decision, despite many earlier pledges to do so from Republican lawmakers and staff.

www.ncleg.net / NC General Assembly

More than 40 days have gone by since the North Carolina budget was supposed to be enacted. Since the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, negotiations between Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Roy Cooper have barely budged. Cooper vetoed the latest Republican House budget citing low pay increases for teachers and the absence of Medicaid expansion.

The majority opinion states that the drawing of electoral maps is too political for federal courts to get involved.
SUPERMAC1961 / Flickr Creative Commons

A conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts have no role to play in deciding partisan gerrymandering cases.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Many cities across the country are dealing with a housing crisis. The problems are a complex intersection of, among many issues, affordability, capacity, poverty, wage growth and eviction. In a reporting collaborative, NPR member station WFDD (Winston-Salem) recently produced three stories about the challenges facing urban centers.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House and Senate are negotiating the state budget. The primary differences in the spending plans approved by each chamber include the amounts allocated for teacher and state employee raises, cost of living adjustments for state retirees and education.

Dan Bishop with a microphone in his hand
Chuck Burton / AP

State Sen. Dan Bishop of Mecklenburg County won Tuesday’s Republican primary election for the 9th Congressional District. Bishop beat out nine other candidates with 47.7 percent of the vote.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republicans in the House are moving forward with their version of the state budget. Teachers and supporters who took to the streets in protest over funding were disappointed that the proposal did not meet their demands. Gov. Roy Cooper was also left wanting; now questions have arisen over whether he would veto a budget that does not provide for Medicaid expansion. 

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week on the podcast, our focus turns to two special congressional elections underway in the state. North Carolina's Ninth District was marred in an absentee election fraud scandal and November's apparent winner was never certified.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

North Carolina politics is the focus of a federal investigation into corruption. Four men, including the chair of the state Republican Party, were arrested this week for conspiring to bribe the state insurance commissioner.

North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin announced that he will step down at the end of February to become the dean of Regent University law school in Virginia. Martin was one of two Republican justices remaining on the state Supreme Court, and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will choose his replacement. 

Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

A fresh batch of state lawmakers were sworn in last week bringing with them sweeping changes to some North Carolina districts. Both Wake and Mecklenburg County now have no Republican representatives in the House and only two Republican senators between them. Nearly 40 new representatives will officially start work for the long session in two weeks. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina Republican Party is rallying behind congressional candidate Mark Harris in the 9th district despite an ongoing investigation into potential fraud that could invalidate his victory. Republicans are calling on the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to certify the election results unless the alleged irregularities would have changed the outcome. The state elections board will hold a hearing on the fraud allegations early next year. 

North Carolina with red and blue in the background
NPR

North Carolina Republicans lost their supermajority in the General Assembly but declared victory in three competitive U.S. House seats. Meanwhile state voters approved four of six constitutional amendments including photo voter ID, but they repudiated the Republican plan to give the legislature more control over judicial and state board appointments.

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