North Carolina

Politics in Brief - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

FEDERAL GRAND JURY CONSIDERING CHARGES IN NC CONGRESSIONAL RACE A federal grand jury in NORTH CAROLINA is considering whether to recommend criminal charges in connection with the state’s 9th Congressional District race in November. Republican...

Education - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

NC House Approves HB 389 The NORTH CAROLINA House approves HB 389 , a bill that would authorize public colleges and universities to allow alcohol sales at stadiums, athletic facilities and arenas located on school property. It moves to the Senate ...

Social Policy - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

US Supreme Court Declines The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to a NEW JERSEY law that bans the use of so-called “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation, on minors (NJ.COM). NJ...

SCOTUS Again Considers Issue of Partisan Gerrymandering: | 04-05-2019

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court took up a pair of redistricting cases giving the court the opportunity - for the second time in two years - to decide whether there’s a constitutional limit to partisan gerrymandering. The cases involve congressional...

Governors in Brief - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

HOLCOMB SIGNS INDIANA HATE CRIME BILL Saying that his state has “made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence,” INDIANA Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a measure last week that for the first time gives the Hoosier State...

Will NC DMV Become National Model for Government Decentralization? | 03-22-2019

Last year the North Carolina General Assembly declared that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and its 400 employees would have to vacate their aging headquarters building in downtown Raleigh by October 2020, due to leaks, asbestos and inadequate...

Pendulum Swing on Voting Rights? | 03-15-2019

Over the past decade, many states, citing concerns about voter fraud, have enacted voting restrictions, such as photo ID requirements and early voting reductions. It looked as though voter purges would be the next phase of that movement, after the U.S...

Politics in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

REPUBLICAN WON’T RUN IN NC CONGRESSIONAL RACE DO-OVER Republican Mark Harris said last week he will not run in NORTH CAROLINA’s new election for the 9th Congressional District due to health concerns. The GOP candidate in that race will...

New Congressional Election Coming in NC | 02-22-2019

After several days of hearings into the handling of absentee ballots by an operative for the Republican candidate in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District race in November -- the only 2018 contest yet to be decided -- the state’s Board...

Most States Prepared for Next Recession | 01-18-2019

It’s been 9 1/2 years since the last U.S. recession - the second-longest period between economic downturns on record. The economy still appears to be going strong. But there are signs trouble may not be far off. The good news for states is that...

More States Ready for Moderate Recession Than Not | 01-18-2019

As of September 2018, 23 states had enough rainy day and other reserve funds to weather a moderate recession, while 17 states lacked such reserves, according to Moody’s Analytics. The other 10 states had reserve balances that were within 5 percentage...

Lawmakers Grapple With Proliferation of E-Scooters | 01-11-2019

Many lawmakers left their state capitol buildings around the country after adjourning last year having never seen an e-scooter. A good number may never even have heard of such a thing. But that’s changed for many lawmakers returning for sessions...

One-Party States Lay Out Agendas for 2019 | 01-11-2019

As a result of the November elections, Democrats now control both the governor’s office and legislature in 14 states, up from eight in 2018. Democratic leaders in those states, located mainly in the West and Northeast, say they’ll focus on...

Opportunities and Challenges for States in 2019 | 12-14-2018

In the third and final of our annual three-part series looking ahead to the coming legislative year, SNCJ Senior Advisor Lou Cannon takes a look at some of the challenges and opportunities that await lawmakers in 2019. This is also our final issue...

NC Lawmakers Add ID Requirement to Voter Bill Amid Fraud Probe | 12-07-2018

North Carolina lawmakers have voted to require identification for people who vote absentee, a reaction to allegations of voter fraud that have led to calls for a new congressional election in part of the state. The House added a provision on absentee...

Governors in Brief - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

NORTHAM WINS NC GOV BALANCE OF POWER BATTLE A NORTH CAROLINA court ruled last week that the GOP-controlled General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to pick the leadership of the state Industrial Commission before he...

Voters, Courts Slowly Taking Redistricting Power from Lawmakers | 11-16-2018

While Congressional and state legislative races drew most of the attention on Election Day, those races were hardly the only critical issues voters would decide. Missouri, Colorado and Michigan became the latest states to endorse independent commissions...

Politics in Brief - November 19 2018 | 11-16-2018

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR VA REDISTRICTING CASE The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Republican lawmakers in VIRGINIA of a lower court ruling ordering 11 House of Delegates districts to be redrawn to address racial gerrymandering. That...

Governors in Brief - November 19 2018 | 11-16-2018

DESANTIS WINS FL RECOUNT A machine recount in FLORIDA has confirmed that Republican Ron DeSantis won the Sunshine State’s highly charged gubernatorial race. The final margin of 34,000 votes was enough to avoid an automatic hand recount. But Democrat...

Voters Rejected Most Tax Measures on Ballot: | 11-09-2018

Proposed tax increases and restrictions on future tax hikes were on the ballot in several states last week. Most of them failed. Colorado voters rejected both Amendment 73 , which would have increased corporate and personal income taxes to provide...

NC Voters Reject Measure to Weaken Gov’s Authority | 11-09-2018

North Carolina voters gave Gov. Roy Cooper (D) a pair of significant wins last week, soundly defeating one ballot measure that would have given lawmakers vastly more power over his options to nominate judges and another that would have taken the power...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Budgets in Brief - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

CO POT SALES BREAK $1B LEVEL EARLIER THAN EVER Combined recreational and medical marijuana sales in COLORADO topped $1 billion in August, the earliest point they’ve reached that level in the four years marijuana has been allowed for recreational...

Cooper Sets Ambitious NC Emissions Reduction Goal | 11-02-2018

Saying more intense storms and other impacts of climate change are forcing governments to act, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued a directive last week that calls for the Tar Heel State to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 2005 levels...

Budgets in Brief - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

CA RECEIVES NEARLY $1B REVENUE WINDFALL IN Q1 CALIFORNIA took in $990 million more in personal income tax revenues in the first three months of the current fiscal year (July 1 to Sept. 30) than projected in June. Sales tax revenues came in slightly...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Banner Year for Voting Rights Ballot Measures | 10-12-2018

In November voters in Arkansas and North Carolina, two states where voter ID laws have been struck down by the courts, will decide whether such requirements will be enshrined into their respective constitutions. And voters in Montana will decide whether...

State Lawmakers Taking More Interest in Cryptocurrencies | 10-05-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy goods and services, pay bills, gamble online, transfer money internationally and as an investment vehicle, among other things. And that activity is drawing more attention...

Tax Limits on November Ballot in Several States | 09-28-2018

On Nov. 6 voters in states from coast to coast will have an opportunity to restrict future efforts by their lawmakers to raise taxes. Measures on the ballot in Washington ( Initiative 1634 ) and Oregon ( Measure 37 ) would prohibit local governments...

Politics in Brief - September 17 2018 | 09-14-2018

NM SUPREME COURT RULES OUT STRAIGHT-TICKET VOTING The NEW MEXICO Supreme Court ruled unanimously last week that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) did not have the authority to reinstate straight-ticket voting after that option was discontinued...

NC Balance-of-Power Struggle Shifts From Courts to Ballot Box | 09-07-2018

The latest court battle in the ongoing power struggle between North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Republicans who control both chambers of the state’s General Assembly appears to be over. The legal skirmish began in late June when the legislature...

Power Struggle Ratchets Up in NC | 08-31-2018

North Carolina’s General Assembly convened a special session on Aug. 24 to consider changes to two constitutional amendments bound for the state’s November ballot that could shift power from the governor to state lawmakers, part of an ongoing...

Slow Progress on Public Pension Reform | 08-17-2018

The economy is on a tear, with the national growth rate high and unemployment low. Eighty percent of U.S. companies have reported earnings that exceed Wall Street forecasts. City and state revenues are surging, as the Great Recession fades in the rear...

Governors in Brief - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

SCOTT DECLARES FL ALGAE EMERGENCY FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) declared a state of emergency last week after a growing “red tide” algae bloom left Sunshine State beaches covered with dead fish and marine animals. His declaration will make...

Politics in Brief - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

STATES TEMPORARILY BLOCK 3D PRINTABLE GUNS U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik temporarily blocked the TEXAS -based company Defense Distributed from publishing blueprints on the Internet for making plastic guns on 3D printers. That decision came...

Legislative Efforts to Arm Teachers Bog Down in States in 2018 | 07-06-2018

At least 20 bills dealing with the arming of teachers and other school employees have been introduced in 12 states since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, according to legislative information...

Business - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

MA Senate Approves SB 2546 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2546 , which would allow the Bay State attorney general to file civil actions and issue stop work orders in wage theft cases. The measure, which also would create a trust fund to repay...

Budgets in Brief - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

LA BOOST TAX BREAK FOR WORKING POOR: LOUISIANA lawmakers approved legislation expanding a tax break for the state’s working poor, after members of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus withheld support for a renewal of the state tax until...

Unusually Competitive Year for State Legislative Races | 05-18-2018

In recent years it hasn’t been uncommon for over 40 percent of the state legislative seats up for election across the nation to go uncontested. But this year is shaping up to be very different. In states where candidate filing deadlines have...

Takeaways From May 8 Primaries | 05-11-2018

Primary elections were held in four states - Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia - on May 8 and, as FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver pointed out , both Democrats and Republicans managed to “mostly avoid self-inflicted damage.”...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Most States Not Doing Enough to End Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Only 13 states are currently taking five or all six of the key actions needed to end the opioid crisis, according to a report from the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate preventable deaths. The six actions are: educating...

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Governors in Brief - February 19 2018 | 02-16-2018

ABBOTT PITCHES TIGHTER TX TEACHER SCREENING : Responding to a spike in the number of Lone Star State teachers entering into relationships with students, TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has proposed creating a “do not hire” list for educators...

Politics In Brief - January 15 2018 | 01-12-2018

NC CONGRESSIONAL MAP RULED PARTISAN GERRYMANDER The congressional map drawn by NORTH CAROLINA’s Republican-controlled General Assembly in 2011 was struck down this month by a panel of federal judges on the grounds that it violated the 14th Amendment...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Cooper Announces New NC LGBT Protections | 10-20-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced he had reached a deal with LGBT rights activists that would end litigation against the state by allowing transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identity. The new rule would apply...

Higher Cost Of Disasters Could Portend Cost Shift To States | 10-20-2017

This past week, as firefighters continued to battle deadly wildfires in Northern California, officials there said this could become one of the Golden State’s worst ever fire seasons, coming on the heels of a historically wet winter and the hottest...

Whiter Shade Of Pale Indeed | 09-08-2017

Charlotte, North Carolina mayoral candidate Kimberly Paige Barnette thinks she has all the skills, talents and abilities she needs to be the city’s next mayor. After all, she’s a former county magistrate, believes in traditional values and...