WFAE

On Wednesday the North Carolina Senate passed a tax cut bill with a catchy name. This vote was never in doubt. The bill passed the House Tuesday in a party line vote. And the bill's name played a prominent role in that debate.

As North Carolina's new treasurer, Republican Dale Folwell has two key jobs: run the pension and health care systems for state employees and retirees.

Both, Folwell says, are in trouble.

House Bill 2 is no longer on the books. Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill Thursday afternoon to repeal and replace the controversial law. The measure easily passed the state House and Senate earlier in the afternoon. Those who oppose the repeal include people who both supported and opposed House Bill 2.

A deal to repeal House Bill 2 has been reached.

Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and Republican leaders in the General Assembly made the announcement late Wednesday night. They all called it a compromise.

After days of closed-door caucus meetings, political theater and negotiations, the announcement was surprisingly brief.

"We have reached an agreement with the governor," said Senate leader Phil Berger.

He took no questions, per an agreement he made with Governor Cooper.

It's way past the deadline set by Congress - 35 years past - but women are organizing in North Carolina and nationwide around a bit of unfinished business: ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

A top sports recruiter in North Carolina sent out a tweet earlier today with a warning: North Carolina legislators must address HB 2 within the next 48 hours or lose out on all NCAA championship games for the next six years.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

President Trump’s budget proposes funding cuts to regulatory and research-based agencies and would also impact state programs. We look at how this state might fare environmentally.

House Speaker Tim Moore has given his fellow Republican representatives a bit of homework this weekend.Consider a new plan which would change House Bill 2.

Change, yes, but not a full repeal. WFAE's Nick De La Canal talks with WFAE's Tom Bullock about the proposal.

NDC: Tom, let's  jump right in with the most well-known part of HB 2. Would this plan drop or change the bathroom provisions of the bill?

Several Republican state senators are trying again this session to limit the expansion of wind power, saying new turbines could interfere with military flights. The bill filed Wednesday, the Military Operations Protection Act of 2017, would halt permits for new wind farms until studies show they are safe.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act has critics even within the GOP. Experts say it may cost more and grow the number of uninsured. We take a closer look.

North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry says Republican leaders are working to revise their party's health care plan to win approval. So far, moderates and conservatives are far apart. McHenry is playing a key role in trying to bridge their differences.

Business leaders in the region's immigrant communities say President Trump's tougher line on immigration is having a chilling effect on businesses and the broader economy. Fear and uncertainty are keeping some shoppers home and threatening to dampen investment in immigrant businesses - one of the fastest growing parts of the economy.

For the first time Governor Roy Cooper stood before a joint session of the legislature to deliver his state of the state address.

It was a chance for Cooper to push his priorities. But given the tone of the official Republican response, that's a tall order.

Every two years North Carolina's governor is invited to give the state of the state address. And here is how Governor Roy Cooper sees it: "I want to begin by reporting to you that the state of our state is promising."

It's an interesting choice, which needed some explanation.

The North Carolina House has passed a trio of new bills that would limit the powers of Governor Roy Cooper. Two of these bills would revoke the governor's authority to fill judicial vacancies. Reporter Tom Bullock joins Morning Edition host Marshall Terry to discuss. 

A federal appeals court has granted a request by the state Department of Environmental Quality to withdraw its legal challenge to former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan. The move comes amid a changing of the guard in both Raleigh and Washington, where the Trump administration has said it plans to cancel the rules.

Three Superior Court judges are now deliberating a case that could have broad implications for how the state of North Carolina is run.

The plaintiff is Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. The defendants are House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger, the leaders of the Republican-dominated General Assembly.

Duke Energy is getting rid of in-person annual shareholder meetings. This year's meeting will be online only. Duke says it will save shareholders money and travel and reach more people. But Duke's critics don't like the idea.

The dominant insurance company in North Carolina performed far better on the Obamacare exchange last year and increased overall profits dramatically as a result.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday morning over the First Amendment rights of sex offenders in North Carolina. The justices will consider a North Carolina law that forbids offenders from accessing Facebook and other social media.

For nearly a year North Carolina has been front and center in the debate about which bathrooms transgender people can use, thanks in large part to House Bill 2.

Now, with the Trump administration's new guidance on transgender student bathroom use, there are a lot of questions about what this means for our state.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan sees a lot of optimism over the U.S. economy following the election of President Donald Trump. But at a Charlotte World Affairs Council lunch Wednesday, he said North Carolina continues to lose out because of House Bill 2, the 2016 law that limits protections for LGBT people.

Late Wednesday, a 5th bill to repeal HB 2 was filed at the General Assembly. But this bill stands out from the others. It is the only measure sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans.

House Bill 186 was reportedly hammered out between two Democrats and two Republicans. However, at least five other Republicans have signed on as sponsors. Representative Craig Horn of Union County is one of them.

For the second time, a North Carolina Senate committee has attempted to hold a confirmation hearing for a member of Governor Roy Cooper's cabinet. And, for the second time, that attempt has failed.

It seems our Democratic governor and GOP-controlled state Senate are playing a game of chicken, with each betting the other side will flinch on the confirmation process.

The North Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday that would make District and Superior Court races partisan. In other words, judicial candidates would have their party affiliation appear on the ballot.

The vote was unusual, 65 to 51, with Democrats and Republicans voting for and against the measure.

Proponents argue that listing a party affiliation next to a judicial candidate’s name on the ballot provides voters with needed information.

Since 2002 all judicial elections in North Carolina have been considered non-partisan races. Which means the candidates party affiliation does not appear on the ballot.

Over the last few months the General Assembly has been changing that. And Monday, a bill which would finalize the process was passed by a committee in the State House.

Gov. Roy Cooper proposed average pay raises of 5 percent for teachers this year and next year in his upcoming budget. He made the announcement Monday at Collinswood Language Academy in Charlotte, surrounded by teachers.

Gov. Cooper says the two-year teacher pay raise will cost the state $813 million and he says taxes would not be raised to make it happen.

In a visit to Charlotte Friday, the state’s new School Superintendent Mark Johnson says he looks forward to revamping student testing, which is one of his top priorities. He says a big flaw in testing is that results are not available in a timely manner where teachers can use them to improve student instruction. Johnson says the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind and gives states more leeway in education policy, offers the state the opportunity to implement better testing requirements.

Duke Energy this summer will ask North Carolina regulators to raise the rates consumers pay on their electricity bills for the first time in four years. The rate hikes – at Duke’s two electricity subsidiaries in the state - would help pay for new plants, Hurricane Matthew recovery costs and coal ash cleanups.

A loss on the sale of its international operations contributed to an overall loss of $227 million at Duke Energy for the last three months of 2016. Duke on Thursday also reported that its profit for all of 2016 was down about 24 percent, to $2.1 billion.

But after adjusting for one-time expenses, the report was in line with analysts' expectations. Duke’s shares closed the day up 2.7 percent. 

Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party Dallas Woodhouse had to issue a mea culpa over the weekend. It came after he tweeted an offensive article calling transgender students "pervs" and "mentally ill."

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