NCPOL

Governor Roy Cooper is easing COVID-19 restrictions, following pressure from the legislature, small business owners and parents. Meanwhile, under a proposed settlement with civil rights groups, 3,500 people who are incarcerated will be released in the next six months. And, the new chancellor of Fayetteville State is not being welcomed by all. Rob Schofield and Becki Gray review some of the stories from this week in North Carolina Politics.


In this Monday, July 15, 2019 file photo, a state districts map is shown as a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court presides over the trial of Common Cause, et al. v. Lewis, et al, in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome / AP

The delay of census data could undercut transparency in North Carolina's redistricting process, according to voting rights advocates.

Gary D. Robertson / AP Photo

North Carolina's top elections administrator on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to move all of this year's municipal elections to 2022 and bump back next year's primaries from March to May due to delayed Census data.

Richard Burr
Graeme Jennings / Pool Photo via AP

Updated at 10:19 a.m. on Feb. 16, 2021.

The North Carolina Republican Party unanimously approved a resolution Monday to censure Sen. Richard Burr over his vote to convict former President Donald Trump during Trump's second impeachment trial.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

North Carolina lawmakers on Thursday unanimously approved a coronavirus relief bill that sends federal money approved by Congress in December to schools for reopening, public health officials distributing the vaccine and residents struggling to pay their rent.

Boxes of absentee ballot requests sit at the Durham County Board of Elections office in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Two small political parties in North Carolina are no longer officially recognized because they failed to meet candidate support thresholds in November, the State Board of Elections announced on Wednesday.

In this Jan. 13, 2021 file photo, Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, speaks with Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke, right, and Sen. Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg in the Senate chamber during the opening session of the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome / AP

A North Carolina state senator announced Tuesday that he's running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, hoping to flip fortunes for Democrats from his state to serve in the chamber after a string of defeats.

In this May 1, 2018, file photo, from left, Senate leader Phil Berger, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and House Speaker Tim Moore pause prior to a news conference in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome / AP

The North Carolina General Assembly session begins in earnest Wednesday with Republican majorities still in place after the November election. And reelected Gov. Roy Cooper still has enough Democratic allies there to uphold his vetoes when they're united.

North Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn said in an interview with CNN that he wasn’t aware of the pre-election fight over absentee mail ballots in the state — despite the issue being the subject of numerous lawsuits between GOP legislative leaders and the Democratic-controlled state Board of Elections.

Richard Burr
Graeme Jennings / Pool Photo via AP

Sen. Richard Burr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has told him it will not prosecute him over stock sales made during the coronavirus pandemic, ending an insider trading investigation that led him to at least temporarily step aside from a powerful committee chairmanship last year.

As state lawmakers begin a new legislative session Wednesday, a top House Republican says it's up to Gov. Roy Cooper and his fellow Democrats whether there will be a negotiated two-year budget plan or more stalemate. WUNC's talks with NC House Majority Leader Rep. John Bell.


North Carolina lawmakers start a new legislative session on Wednesday. In a one-on-one conversation with WUNC's Rusty Jacobs, the incoming Democratic leader of the state house, Rep. Robert Reives, says he believes mob violence by Trump supporters on Capitol Hill last week could actually lead to more civility in Raleigh.
 


Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and Congressman Ted Budd both tested positive recently for COVID-19.
Campaign Photos

Two Republican members of North Carolina's congressional delegation have returned to work in Washington after both tested positive recently for COVID-19.

Patricia Timmons-Goodson
Duke University Law School

A soft-spoken former state Supreme Court justice who’s challenging a four-term incumbent represents one of several U.S. House races in which Democrats are hoping to reshape North Carolina's congressional delegation through redrawn district boundaries, strong candidates and a high-turnout presidential race.

North Carolina Republican legislators insisted that a photo ID provision be included in order to pass a badly needed bill to adjust some election laws and to fund additional election costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

(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.

Trump at the rally in Michigan.
Paul Sancya / AP

2020 is more than a presidential election year — it is also the beginning of a new decade. Does this mean a new era of politics?

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.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

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

Lake sits at his desk.
(AP Photo/Karen Tam, File)

Former North Carolina State Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. died Thursday at age 85. Known as a law and order conservative who sometimes wore his pistol in court, Lake spearheaded the Actual Innoncence Commission which gave birth to North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission and helped make the state a leader in overturning wrongful convictions.

NC Politics Roundup: What Legislation Has Legs

May 10, 2019
NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Thursday marked the crossover deadline in the North Carolina General Assembly: a moment at which bills must receive approval from either chamber or likely remain dormant until the next cycle.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

It was a relatively anticlimactic, non-controversial week at the General Assembly where lawmakers completed the biennial self-imposed exercise of crossover.

The chambers of the NC State House
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

State lawmakers engaged in some self-induced chaos as part of the biennial exercise of ‘crossover’ this week.

The legislative deadline known as crossover is an arbitrary parliamentary deadline during which bills must receive approval from one chamber and have crossed over to the other chamber, or be relegated to the legislative dumpster.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Education was top of mind in Raleigh this week. There was a major teacher rally, as well as the passage of a House spending plan.

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss highlights - and lowlights - from this budget proposal, while also offering reactions to the educators who demonstrated at the legislature.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

North Carolina House majority leader John Bell IV (R-Wayne) joins this edition of the podcast to discuss recent legislation, the current power dynamic with the Governor, and a special Congressional election. He also looks ahead to another major teacher rally planned for next month, and even offers his all-time hunting foursome.

AP Photo / Alex Brandon

U.S. Senator Richard Burr wants to finish his committee’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election by this August. The three-term Republican chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. For more than two years that panel has been trying to determine Russia’s level of interference during the 2016 election.

State Lawmakers Scrutinize DMV Relocation Plan

Feb 12, 2019
Specialty license plates are becoming more common in North Carolina.
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles / N.C. Department of Transportation

Some state lawmakers worry that a plan to move the Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters from Raleigh to Rocky Mount doesn't account for the cost to relocate workers or the impact of a longer commute.

About 400 DMV workers would be impacted by the move, with many facing an average commute time of about two hours round trip.

DMV employee Nicole Hunter told members of the State House Transportation Appropriations Committee on Tuesday the move will make it hard for her to care for her grandchild and aging family members in Raleigh.

The 10-member Council of State gathered Tuesday for its regular meeting, but postponed a decision on moving the DMV headquarters to Rocky Mount.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

A decision on whether to move the state headquarters of the Division of Motor Vehicles from Raleigh to Rocky Mount is being delayed for at least a month.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

As the calendar nears replacement, WUNC brings you a special hour-long radio program about the last decade in North Carolina politics.

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