N.C. General Assembly

N.C. General Assembly

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the make up of the new General Assembly

Who did North Carolina voters send to Raleigh this year for the new legislative session? We know that Republicans made gains in the November election and now hold 30 of 50 seats in the Senate and 71 of 120 in the House, but here is a by-the-numbers look at some additional details about who is representing us in Raleigh, according to documents filed by the House and Senate clerks.  

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Veto showdowns and voter ID: Democracy will be on the defensive again at the legislature in 2023

The N.C. General Assembly gathered on Jan. 11 amid trappings of ceremony and good cheer to kick off its 2023 session. Then reality reared its head: At least in the state House, the majority party apparently intends to play rough. Democrats in the minority are left to wonder if their Republican counterparts see them not as duly elected colleagues with whom they may disagree over this bill or that, but as enemies to be muzzled and marginalized.

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News Top Story

Shared power used to be the norm in state government. Now it’s nearly extinct.

North Carolina is one of a shrinking group of states in which different parties control the legislature and the Governor's office Terry Kilgore has been a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994. During that time, there have been four years in which the GOP controlled the governor’s office and both chambers of the legislature. For two years, Democrats held complete control.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fewer Black legislators will represent eastern NC counties that have significant African-American populations 

Five Black incumbent legislators lost elections in eastern North Carolina districts last week, contributing to an overall decline in Black representation from rural counties with significant African American populations.   Two of the incumbent House candidates who were defeated last week, Democratic Reps. Howard Hunter III of Hertford County and James D. Gailliard of Nash County, said new district lines, a barrage of negative ads and mailers, and lower turnout among Democrats contributed to their losses.  

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Health News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the fragile status of abortion rights in North Carolina on Election Day eve

Tomorrow is Election Day, and while North Carolina is not a referendum state in which citizens can place initiatives on the ballot, for better or worse, this year’s vote will serve – at least effectively – as a referendum on the future of a fundamental and long-established constitutional right for women in several U.S. states. As Policy Watch Lynn Bonner reported last week, North Carolina has become a sanctuary state for people seeking abortion care.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

State Supreme Court issues a limited, well-reasoned check on rogue legislatures

As you may have heard by now, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued one of its more momentous rulings of recent years last week. As it turns out, it was also one of the best-reasoned. At issue in the case of North Carolina NAACP v. Moore, was whether a General Assembly elected under maps found by a federal court to be racially and unconstitutionally gerrymandered can lawfully approve constitutional amendments that would ...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC Republican lawmakers: Running government “like a business” alright

One supposes that it’s at least conceivable there could be merit to the idea of moving the headquarters of the 17-campus UNC System from the place it’s always been – Chapel Hill – to the state capital in Raleigh. Maybe. But here’s another obvious fact about such an ambitious plan: ramming it through without debate and without consulting the system’s Board of Governors would be a brazen and indefensible act.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

The legislature heads home – now what?

The North Carolina General Assembly brought its 2022 “short session” to a close last week. Well, at least, it kinda’ sorta’ did. Unlike in decades gone by in which the legislature generally adjourned in early summer, not to return until the following year, the current leadership on Jones Street prefers to keep the state’s supposedly part-time lawmakers yoyoing back and forth to the state capital. And so it is that the adjournment resolution approved by both houses last week...

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at pre-K access in North Carolina and around the country

When state lawmakers return to Raleigh later this month for the 2022 short session, look for renewed debate regarding the state's ongoing failure to comply with court orders in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that directed it to better fund North Carolina's public education system. One important aspect of those orders involves the state's commitment to providing quality early childhood education...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

State judiciary must protect NC from its power-hungry legislature

Among all the issues and challenges confronting North Carolina as 2022 gets under way – overcoming the pandemic, easing rural poverty, alleviating environmental threats, improving access to health care, on and on down the sobering list – it’s fair to say none is more urgent than shoring up our beleaguered public schools and strengthening citizens’ ability to participate meaningfully in our democracy.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Secret maps revelation, testimony of mathematicians deal blows to GOP defense as NC redistricting trial concludes

Three-judge panel to rule on plaintiffs' claims of illegal gerrymandering next Tuesday The trial on North Carolina redistricting ended with the bombshell that blew a hole in Republican claims of transparency, and included testimony from an array of mathematicians that computer programs could rarely, if ever, reproduce GOP-approved plans.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

General Assembly sends new state budget to Cooper for final approval

Despite concerns, most Senate and House Democrats vote to approve $25.9 billion plan  The first complete state budget in nearly three years will give teachers and state employees raises retroactive to July 1, spend nearly $1 billion to expand broadband, and billions more on new buildings.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

GOP legislative maps all but assure a less racially diverse General Assembly

Several Democratic lawmakers of color now reside in districts that strongly favor Republicans   More than a half dozen of North Carolina’s Black legislators are in danger of losing their seats, as Republican legislators decided not to draw election districts to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act as legislatures had in the past. 

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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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