Archives by: Yanqi Xu

Yanqi Xu

About the author

Yanqi Xu, Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter, came to Policy Watch in December of 2020 from the Investigative Reporting Workshop in D.C., where she combined data and reporting to cover public accountability issues. Yanqi graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2019. Her multimedia work appeared in PolitiFact and the Columbia Missourian, and was featured on the local NPR and NBC affiliates. Originally from China, Yanqi started her career producing newscasts to tell people what’s going on around the world.

Yanqi Xu's articles and posts

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW special report: Demystifying the redistricting process

As lawmakers move forward with drawing new maps, experts explain the tricks of the trade, how we can do better, and why gerrymandering is so hard to eradicate State lawmakers voted to approve the new criteria for redrawing congressional, state House and Senate districts last week. Operating under the new criteria, legislators still have a lot of leeway, and it remains to be seen how the process plays out./p> ...

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Bill to abolish state pistol permit passes, but a veto is likely

By a 27-20 party line vote, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill (HB 398) Wednesday that would repeal the state's pistol purchase permit requirement. The measure had passed the House in May after a heated debate, as Policy Watch previously reported.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Republican legislators reject Democrats’ proposal to include racial data in redistricting

State lawmakers in the House and Senate have unveiled the rules for drawing new voting maps, as a new round of redistricting begins. As Policy Watch previously reported, the U.S. Census Bureau released new population and racial data on Thursday. Shifts in population require new district maps for local and state elections that will be held in 2022.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Biden Administration moves to tighten hospital price transparency regulations

Democratic and Republican officials agree that hospitals must make "standard charges" easily accessible to consumers For years, North Carolina hospitals hid the prices for their services. Now under a federal rule, they are required to disclose the listed prices and insurance-negotiated rates, but some are doing it slowly and secretly.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC Court of Appeals issues controversial rulings on involuntary commitment process

Why would public defenders representing patients want a requirement that prosecutors be present? Each year, Bob Ward, an assistant public defender in Mecklenburg County, helps more than 1,000 patients with mental illness navigate a process in which a doctor asks the state for permission to force them to receive treatment.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former McCrory aide, Locke Foundation staffer to help lead new, partisan oversight staff at legislature

After top Republican state lawmakers eliminated the legislature’s in-house watchdog agency, the Program Evaluation Division, in February Joe Coletti, then a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation lauded the decision. In a Feb. 22, 2021, article that appeared on the conservative think tank’s website, he opined that a partisan staff might be more nimble in performing the oversight function and making recommendations to increase government efficiency.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Watchdog group asks Wake DA to investigate political contributions by former employees of Louis DeJoy

Large sums went to McCrory, Tillis campaigns There has been renewed scrutiny of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, as watchdog groups have identified irregularities in political contributions to former Gov. Pat McCrory and Sen. Thom Tillis.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW investigates: Lax reporting laws allow campaigns to hide how millions are spent

Election watchdogs call on regulators to better track and police campaign consultant expenditures In the final two months of the 2020 General Election, the campaign of Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina, shelled out $25 million to the consulting firm Screen Strategies Media, apparently for advertising.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: New study on death penalty shows it’s expensive, racially disproportionate and unpopular

The death penalty is more expensive and no more effective at deterring crimes than alternative punishments such as life imprisonment, according to a report by Appalachian State University professor of government and judicial studies Matthew Robinson. In the report published earlier this month, Robinson examined data to answer the question of whether death penalty should still be maintained as a state policy.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC Department of Labor continues to resist workplace safety rules for COVID-19

Department is now required to adopt workplace standards for COVID for healthcare workers – whether others will be covered remains in question The U.S. Department of Labor is adopting new emergency standards to protect healthcare workers from COVID, while its North Carolina counterpart has gone to court to defend its position that the potentially fatal disease is not a workplace hazard.

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