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The North Carolina legislature is adjourned until May.  Or are they?  BPR's Jeremy Loeb and Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper talk about the latest in North Carolina politics, from a loaded class-size bill critics call a "poison pill" to a stand-off over Gen-X, the latest in the neverending gerrymandering saga, and the 2018 midterms.  

There is a simple, demographic fact in North Carolina politics: women are underrepresented in the General Assembly.

They make up 51.4 percent of the state's population. But hold just a quarter of the seats in North Carolina's House and Senate.

The candidate filing window for the 2018 election season is now open. So too are efforts to break a political glass ceiling.

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.

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Details of the North Carolina House budget have emerged as lawmakers try for quicker passage of a completed 2 year spending plan.  WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii joined me from WUNC's Durham studio to talk about how the budget differs from the Senate version, and for the latest in North Carolina politics.  

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This was "crossover week" at the North Carolina legislature, a busy time for lawmakers (and journalists).  It's a self-imposed deadline, when a majority of the bills put forth by lawmakers must pass at least one chamber or be considered dead for the remainder of the session.  BPR's Jeremy Loeb spoke with WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii, who's been putting in the long hours in Raleigh.    They spoke on Friday, the day after crossover deadline.  

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A bill introduced in the General Assembly would split Asheville into districts for the purpose of electing city council members.  It’s sponsored by Republican Senator Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville, who represents a small portion of south Asheville, an area that hasn’t been represented on city council in some time.  BPR has made repeated attempts to speak with Edwards, but he declined in an email response, saying he’d talk “perhaps after the bill is passed.”  Vijay Kapoor is a resident of south Asheville and an announced candidate for city council.  He wrote an op-ed in Sunday’s Citizen-Times critical of the bill.  He spoke with BPR about it.

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The last bill former Hendersonville Republican Tom Apodaca put forth before he retired would have split Asheville into districts for the purpose of electing city council members.  It was opposed by every other lawmaker representing the city, as well as the mayor and entire city council.  In a stinging defeat for the longtime senator, it failed in its final vote in the House.  Now his successor, Republican Senator Chuck Edwards, is trying again.  Edwards declined requests from BPR to talk about the bill, saying in an e-mailed response he’d talk “perhaps after the bill is passed.”  But WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii caught up with Edwards on the Senate floor.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

With lawmakers back in Raleigh, we’re speaking with some of those members from out here in the west.  Today, Susan Fisher, an Asheville Democrat.

This week in state politics,  an analysis of Gov. Roy Cooper's first State of the State address. Cooper used the phrase "common ground" 13 different times, called again for a repeal of the controversial House Bill 2 and touted the largely-symbolic budget plan as a vehicle to invest in education and  teachers.

Senate Republicans rolled out their latest proposal for tax policy changes Thursday morning, days after House Representatives introduced their Tax Reduction Act of 2017.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

With the legislature back to work in Raleigh, we’re talking to some of those lawmakers out here in the west.  Today, Senator Terry Van Duyn, Democrat of Buncombe County.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

With lawmakers back in Raleigh for their long session, we’re taking the time to speak to the members from out here in the west.  Today, Brian Turner, a Democrat of Buncombe County.  Turner represents District 116 in the House of Representatives.

North Carolina is one of just four states expecting to see a budget surplus this year. And it is a significant figure. The non-partisan state Fiscal Research Division projects 552 million extra dollars will flow into North Carolina’s coffers.

The budget debates are still months away. But one proposal for some of that extra money is up for a vote next week.

On Wednesday, the Republican leaders of the North Carolina Senate defied a court order and attempted to hold a confirmation hearing for one of Governor Roy Cooper’s cabinet appointees.

The attempt failed. And WFAE’s Tom Bullock joins Lisa Worf with details.

The North Carolina General Assembly did something today they haven’t done all year. They voted on legislation. 

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With lawmakers back in Raleigh, we’re talking to some of the representatives from out west.  Today, Josh Dobson, a Republican of Nebo who serves the 85th district that spans Avery, McDowell and Mitchell Counties.  He’s in his 3rd term.  

On Monday, North Carolina’s General Assembly will begin another week of work.

The long session was gaveled in last month – but so far lawmakers have yet to cast a single vote on a single bill.

So are they off to a slow start? Or just getting warmed up?

Lawmaker Interview: Rep. Kevin Corbin of NC 120

Jan 29, 2017
Following nearly thirty years of serving in local government, Corbin plans to draw on his experience from that capacity while serving in Raleigh.
North Carolina General Assembly

-Rep. Kevin Corbin seeks more K-12 funding, 'Whistle-blower' protection for local cops-

With North Carolina lawmakers now back in Raleigh for this year’s long session, we’ve been talking with legislators out here in the west.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

With lawmakers back in Raleigh for the long session, we’re talking to some of those legislators out here in the west.  Representing the farthest district west in the Senate is Republican Jim Davis.  District 50 covers some ground, spanning seven counties: Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain.  Davis resides in Franklin.  The 70-year-old Senator has been in dentistry for over four decades.  He’ll still be a practicing orthodontist on Mondays and Fridays in Franklin even during the long session.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

As lawmakers head back to Raleigh for their long session, we’ve been talking to some of those legislators from out here in the west.  One of the most influential lawmakers from our region is expected to be Representative Chuck McGrady, a Republican of Henderson County.  McGrady will hold key positions in the legislature.   Most notably as co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, McGrady will have a key role in shaping the two year budget.  I asked him about the recent special sessions, one in which lawmakers effectively stripped a number of powers from incoming Democratic Governor R

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

North Carolina lawmakers will head back to Raleigh with some new members representing parts of western North Carolina.  Earlier, we profiled Cody Henson, a Republican of Brevard.  Today we introduce the new face of the 119th district encompassing Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties.  Republican Mike Clampitt has run for this seat several times before.  In November, he finally got over the top, eking out a win over incumbent Democrat Joe Sam Queen by just around 300 votes.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

With the North Carolina legislature set to get to work on the 25th for its long session, we’re profiling a couple of the new faces from out here in the west.

Asheville Citizen-Times

Lawmakers gaveled in a new session in Raleigh Wednesday.

Colin Campbell/News & Observer

There were more protests and arrests Friday as lawmakers continued their surprise additional special session to limit the powers of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.  On party-line votes, both chambers passed SB4, a bill that includes broad election changes.  It was quickly signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, according to House Speaker Tim Moore.  The legislature also passed HB17, which restricts Cooper's ability to make appointments.

After an acrimonious day that led to protests and arrests, lawmakers are likely to give final approval Friday to bills that would remove executive powers.

On Thursday, hundreds of protesters gathered at the N.C. General Assembly to voice their opposition to these Republican policy proposals and chanted in unison, "Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame! Forward together, not one step back!"


Updated 10 a.m.

In a flurry of filings Wednesday night, state lawmakers put forward more than two dozen bills to be taken up at an additional special session that opened Wednesday afternoon.  It's not clear how many will get hearings and pass the Republican-controlled legislature.  At least some appear aimed at handcuffing incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.  

A wild day at the North Carolina General Assembly began with bipartisan support for a $200 million disaster relief bill and ended with an unscheduled special session, dozens of new bills, and an effort to remove some authority from Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.

In a chaotic scene of political theater, Republicans flexed their legislative muscles and proposed a series of provisions that would remove certain powers from the Executive Branch, including the Secretary of State and Governor. 

State lawmakers will convene in Raleigh Tuesday to deal with disaster relief, but the agenda is open-ended.

Lame duck Republican Governor Pat McCrory called this gathering to deal with disaster relief stemming from Hurricane Matthew and mountain wildfires in western North Carolina, as well as “for the purpose of addressing any other matters the General Assembly elects to consider.”

In the North Carolina legislature, Republicans maintained their supermajority in both the House and Senate. That means regardless of who's governor, lawmakers can override him.

New In-Roads For WNC Public Transit

Sep 22, 2016
ashevillenc.gov

 

For millions of people across the United States, the beginning of their day starts at a bus stop.

 

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