north carolina general assembly

Electoral maps for next year's General Assembly elections have been finalized, and five districts in Western North Carolina (three House, two Senate) will see significant changes.  A state court earlier this year ruled Republicans illegally gerrymandered the districts used in the last election for their own partisan advantage, forcing new ones to be drawn in a non-partisan manner for the 2020 election.  

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators are putting new legal power behind the notion that "no means no" — even if a woman first said yes.

A 40-year-old North Carolina court ruling that says women can't revoke consent once a sex act has begun could be a thing of the past after the state House and Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a wide-ranging sexual abuse bill.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A four-month stalemate over the North Carolina state budget may end if Senate Republicans get a little help from Democrats this week to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the bill.

Senate GOP leaders have signaled an override vote could occur during Monday night's floor session. An override already succeeded in the House during an unexpected vote last month.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Defying a bill passed by the General Assembly last year, Asheville City Council Tuesday evening voted to change the city's charter to ensure future city council elections continue to use an at-large system.  This stops election districts from being used for next year's election.  But the General Assembly could act again to impose districts.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

So-called ‘mini budget’ bills have been passing out of the North Carolina General Assembly all week.  Those come as the stalemate between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic governor Roy Cooper over his veto of their full budget goes into its four month.  The Governor doesn’t expect the relative peace over the mini budget bills - that have passed with wide bipartisan support - to last much longer.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One-third of the North Carolina House districts that state legislators redrew this month because of previous excessive bias favoring Republicans are still flawed by partisanship and secrecy, victors in a recent redistricting lawsuit warned on Friday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Facing a deadline this week, the North Carolina legislature stayed on track to enact replacement districts for dozens of its seats on time, even as citizens critiqued the maps in a public meeting.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week's court deadline.

The Senate scheduled floor debate on its proposed plan for Monday evening. The House passed its own map late last week, but it and the Senate are holding a public hearing earlier Monday to take citizen comment.

(UPDATE 3:30 p.m. Wednesday) North Carolina House Republican leaders say they never made any announcement or decision that would have prevented the chamber from voting to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper veto of the state budget bill.

Speaker Tim Moore and one of his top lieutenants held a news conference hours after their chamber held an unexpected and successful override vote Wednesday. Very few Democrats appeared when the morning floor session began. That's because they say they were told there would be no recorded votes during that session.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judicial panel rejected state legislative district maps Tuesday, saying legislators took extreme advantage in drawing voting districts to help elect a maximum number of Republican lawmakers. The judges gave lawmakers two weeks to try again.

North Carolina has been without a new state budget for more than a month now, and recent actions show a resolution between Republican leaders in the General Assembly and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper isn't likely on the horizon.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has a new law focused on ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft that supporters contend will improve safety for both passengers and drivers.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper often got steamrolled by Republicans when they held comfortable legislative majorities during his first two years on the job. They could usually ignore his objections about their conservative agenda and override his vetoes.

That's changed since the 2018 elections, when enough Democrats got elected to end the GOP's veto-proof control. Cooper raised millions of dollars for Democratic legislative campaigns, and a court ordered districts to be redrawn in the closely-divided state, aiding Democrats.

UPDATE: (3:35 p.m. Wednesday) - Republican State representative Cody Henson announced on his Facebook page that he would resign his from his position in the General Assembly, just a day after he said he would not following a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of cyberstalking.

 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's only federally recognized American Indian tribe could soon offer sports and horse wagering to patrons at its two casinos.

The General Assembly on Monday gave final approval to a measure that would give the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the authority to offer the additional types of betting. The House voted 90-27 for the measure that had already cleared the Senate three months ago.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina lawmakers could give the final okay to sports betting in the state as early as Monday.  A bill that would allow sports books and off-track horse betting at casinos on tribal lands cleared a key House committee Wednesday in Raleigh, and is on the agenda for a floor vote Monday evening.  The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operate the only two casinos in North Carolina.  The casinos are located in Cherokee and Murphy on the Qualla Boundary.  

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed legislation that helps public schools rehire retired teachers in hard-to-fill classrooms and increases prison time for someone who uses a gun to assault a law enforcement officer.

Cooper has announced he's enacted another dozen bills with his signature.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The fight over the North Carolina state budget continues as Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper made a counteroffer to the two-year plan written by Republicans that he's already vetoed.

But GOP leaders remain unconvinced they'll fail to locate enough votes to override his veto. House Republicans still were trying on Tuesday to persuade enough Democratic colleagues to go against the governor.

Both the House and Senate would have to vote to override to implement the vetoed budget.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina sheriffs would be forced to honor federal requests to hold jail inmates who may be in the country unlawfully, under a bill that has advanced at the General Assembly.

Some recently elected black Democratic county sheriffs — most from metropolitan areas — have refused to comply with immigration detainers. They've accused Republicans of trying to erode their authority and using racially tinged "code words" to target them.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Attorneys for North Carolina Republican lawmakers pushed back hard in state court on Monday over accusations the legislators misled federal judges in an earlier redistricting lawsuit.

Republican legislative leaders filed a response to a motion from attorneys for Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and Democratic voters now suing GOP legislators in a separate partisan legislative redistricting case. The lawsuit trial is scheduled for next month.

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North Carolinians who want the  legislature to expand Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of additional adults are gathering across the state this evening.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.   

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Negotiations between Republican legislative budget-writers will now begin in earnest after the Senate completed voting Friday for its version of a two-year spending plan for North Carolina government.

The chamber voted 30-16 for the legislation, which would spend $23.9 billion in the next fiscal year starting July 1 — just like a version written by House Republicans and approved four weeks ago. But the two chambers must settle dozens of details on where to spend and how, such as teachers and state employee raises, construction projects and savings reserves.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina landfalls could accept computers and televisions again in legislation advancing at the General Assembly.

The ban's removal is contained in the annual "regulatory reform" bill run by Republicans and approved Thursday by a Senate committee.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Small breweries in North Carolina could soon be toasting a new law that would give growing beer-makers in the state more time to sell their products on their own without third-party distributors.

By a 38-3 vote, the Senate gave final legislative approval Monday night to a measure that represents a compromise between alcohol wholesalers and craft brewers hammered out over years of negotiation and litigation. The bill already cleared the House and now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper — a craft brewing booster — for his signature.

Matt Bush

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders rally last Friday at Salvage Station will likely be the first of many candidate visits to Asheville in the 2020 presidential election cycle.  A large set of circumstances - from its progressive political reputation, to the long ballot of 23 Democratic presidential candidates, to its location in a media market that straddles two states that will vote early in the 2020 primaries - should make Asheville a popular spot for candidates visit before next year's North Carolina primary in March.

Henderson County state representative Chuck McGrady will not seek re-election to his seat next year in the North Carolina General Assembly.  The Republican lawmaker announced his decision Monday via email and social media, saying after five terms it's time for him to “turn my focus back home to my friends and family.”

Ahead of Thursday’s crossover day in the North Carolina General Assembly, the state house has approved a bill that bans hand-held use of cell phones by drivers.  The fine for the offense would be $100.  The final vote in House Tuesday morning was 92-23.  It now moves on to the Senate. 

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy Corp. is pushing North Carolina legislators to allow the country's largest electric company to line up profitable infrastructure projects years into the future and bypass lengthy regulatory battles.

The state Senate could take up legislation later this week after it was cleared by a committee Tuesday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the North Carolina House unveiling its state government budget proposal (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

House Republicans say the teacher pay proposals in their state government budget plan focus on retaining veteran educators and recruiting newcomers to work in rural and low-wealth counties.

The chamber's budget-writers on Tuesday highlighted public education and other items in the two-year spending bill. Rep. Donny Lambeth of Winston-Salem says average teacher pay will rise 4.8 percent next year in the House plan

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Teachers from all across North Carolina will converge on Raleigh Wednesday for the second ‘Red For Ed’ rally in support public schools.  The president of the Asheville City Association of Educators says the success of the inaugural rally ensured there would be a second one.  

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