North Carolina

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...

City, State Officials Seek To Avoid Becoming Next Charlottesville | 08-18-2017

In the wake of the violent clashes between white-nationalist demonstrators and counter-protesters that left a 32-year-old woman dead in Charlottesville, Virginia this month, city and state officials across the country are taking steps to try to avoid...

Politics In Brief - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

UT OKAYS PETITION DRIVE FOR MEDICAL POT INITIATIVE UTAH election officials have given the go-ahead for backers of a proposed medical marijuana initiative to begin gathering signatures to qualify the measure for the 2018 ballot. The Utah Patients Coalition...

‘Symbolic’ State Travel Bans Have Real Cost | 08-18-2017

Six states - California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington - recently banned nonessential travel by public employees to states that have passed laws that officials in the six states say discriminate against the LGBT community. All...

Business - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

Gov. Charlie Baker Signs HB 3680 Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs HB 3680 , legislation that requires Bay State employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant workers and makes it illegal to fire or refuse to hire a worker because...

Crime & Punishment - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

New York Signs AB 2806 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs AB 2806 , which adds the act of animal fighting to offenses which allow authorities to obtain an eavesdropping or video surveillance warrant (LONGISLAND.COM). North Carolina Signs HB 128...

Cooper Signs, Rejects NC Energy Bill | 08-04-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D)signed comprehensive energy legislation ( HB 589 ) last week intended to boost the Tar Heel State’s growing solar power industry. But Cooper also immediately issued an executive order ( EO No. 11 ) that mitigates...

Schwarzenegger Looks To Terminate Gerrymandering | 08-04-2017

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has been quietly working on a campaign to end the way legislative districts are drawn, but is now stepping up his advocacy into a more public campaign intended to try to get the partisanship out of the...

Governors In Brief - July 24 2017 | 07-21-2017

Dayton Legislative Funding Veto Overruled A MINNESOTA judge ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s (D) May 30 veto of funding for the Gopher State Legislature was unconstitutional. Ramsey County District Court Chief Judge John Guthmann said Dayton had...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

Health & Science - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Health In California CALIFORNIA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) announces he would shelve SB 562 - a Senate-approved bill that would implement a statewide single-payer health care system in the Golden State – for the year without a vote in...

Social Policy - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Social Policy In Arkansas The U.S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples in ARKANSAS are entitled to have both their names listed on their child's birth certificate. The ruling overturns a Razorback State law that blocked both parents’...

Budgets In Brief - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

KS Gov Signs Budget With Tax Increase KANSAS Gov. Sam Brownback(R)signed a $15.6 billion state budget last month that includes the $1.2 billion income tax increase approved by lawmakers. The governor vetoed that rollback of the income tax cuts he championed...

Politics In Brief - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Duel Over Redistricting Special Session In NC NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced this month that he would call the Republican-led General Assembly into a special session to redraw the state’s political districts in light of a unanimous...

More Govs Join Climate Alliance | 06-09-2017

Nine more states last week joined the newly-created U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition to uphold the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, an international coalition aimed at combatting the impacts of global climate change. The coalition was formed...

Supreme Court Rejects More NC Political Districts | 06-09-2017

For the second time in as money months the U.S. Supreme Court faulted political boundaries drawn in 2011 by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly. On May 22, the justices ruled that the state’s lawmakers packed black voters...

The Hardest Goodbye | 05-19-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has had his share of difficult times since taking office, but probably none harder than the task he had last week: saying the final goodbye to Chloe, his family’s 16-year-old Sheltie. Cooper broke the news on the First...

Cooper To Issue LGBTQ Order | 05-19-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said he would soon issue an executive order to enhance LGBTQ protections in the Tar Heel State. Speaking at a conference of the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. last Tuesday, Cooper did not elaborate on...

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Of NC Voter ID Case | 05-19-2017

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down the voter ID law enacted in 2013 by North Carolina’s GOP-led General Assembly and then-Republican governor. The justices’ decision leaves in place...

Republican Judge Derails GOP Court Reduction Plan in NC | 04-28-2017

Last month Republicans who control North Carolina’s General Assembly overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to enact a bill ( HB 239 ) reducing the size of the state’s intermediate appellate court, the Court of Appeals, from 15 judges...

NC Senate Proposes $1B In Tax Cuts | 04-28-2017

North Carolina’s Republican-controlled Senate has proposed a tax cut plan ( SB 325 ) that would increase the state’s standard income tax deduction and reduce the individual tax rate from 5.499 percent to 5.35 percent, as well as reduce the...

Budgets In Brief - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

NY PASSES BUDGET EXTENSION NEW YORK lawmakers approved a budget extension that will keep the state government operating through the next fiscal year as well as provide nearly $1.8 billion for economic development projects favored by Gov. Andrew Cuomo...

Republicans Consolidating Power In The States | 04-07-2017

Late last year, after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory (R) became the only incumbent governor ever to lose a reelection bid in North Carolina, the state’s GOP-led General Assembly passed legislation restricting appointment powers of Democratic Gov.-elect...

Cooper Draws Fire Over NC HB 2 Compromise | 03-31-2017

Faced with losing out on the chance to host numerous NCAA sporting events over the next six years, North Carolina lawmakers reached a compromise with Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on repealing HB 2 , the state’s controversial “bathroom bill,”...

Governors in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

MORE GOVS NOW PONDERING MEDICAID EXPANSION : With the failure of the Congressional proposal to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a growing number of governors are expressing openness to expanding their states’ Medicaid programs...

States Delaying Payment of Income Tax Refunds | 03-31-2017

A lot of taxpayers are going to be waiting longer than usual for their state tax refunds this year. At least 21 states, including Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin, say refunds could be delayed...

I Believe This Is Called Karma | 03-17-2017

Depending on where you stand yourself, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is either a hero or a villain for sticking to his guns on HB 2, the Tar Heel State’s controversial “bathroom bill” that barred transgender folks from using...

Governors In Brief - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

Martinez Vetoes Slew of Bipartisan NM Bills NEW MEXICO Gov. Susana Martinez (R) surprised lawmakers in both parties last week by vetoing without explanation at least nine Senate-sponsored bills, most of which had wide bipartisan support. The vetoes...

Dams With ‘High Hazard Potential’ Scattered Across U.S. | 03-17-2017

As of 2015, 1,235 of North Carolina’s dams were classified as “high hazard potential” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest number in the nation. Texas had 1,212 dams with that same hazard potential, meaning that a...

Cooper Proposes NC HB 2 Compromise | 02-17-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) proposed what he called “a common sense” compromise to his standoff with lawmakers over the state’s controversial “bathroom bill,” which requires transgender people to use restrooms in public...

Cooper Says NC HB 2 Repeal Urgent | 02-10-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) called on Tar Heel State lawmakers to quickly repeal 2016’s controversial “bathroom bill” or risk losing over 130 NCAA championship events over the next six years. The measure bars local municipalities...

Cooper Seeks Longshot NC Medicaid Expansion: | 01-13-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) notified federal officials of his intention to expand Medicaid in the Tar Heel State, setting up a potential legal battle with the GOP-dominated General Assembly. Republicans contend that a 2013 state law specifically...

Cooper Threatens Suit over GOP Power Grab | 12-16-2016

North Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper (D) threatened to sue the GOP-dominated Tar Heel State Legislature last week over the Republicans’ move to limit gubernatorial powers before he takes office. Cooper was reacting to legislation proposed in a surprise...

Good Luck with That | 12-09-2016

Newly-minted North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper campaigned in part on repealing the state’s controversial “bathroom bill” that bars transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. But while a strong majority...

GOP Gains More Governorships | 11-11-2016

In another huge electoral night for Republicans, the GOP picked up three additional governorships, with at least one more race too close to call. The party gained the chief executive office in three states previously held by Democrats – Vermont...

Only The Usual Disruptions On Election Day | 11-11-2016

Election Day didn’t come off entirely without a hitch last week. Among the more consequential occurrences was the breakdown of a computerized voter registration system in some precincts of Durham County, North Carolina, causing long lines in some...

McCrory Prepares for Recount Battle in NC | 11-11-2016

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) filed paperwork last Thursday to establish a legal defense fund in preparation for an expected legal battle over Tuesday’s election. Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper, who now holds a slight lead...

Politics In Brief - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

VA Voter Registration System Slowed to Crawl by ‘Unprecedented Activity’ VIRGINIA’s online voter registration system slowed down last Monday - the last day to register to vote in time for the Nov. 8 election - to the point of being...

Budgets In Brief - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

NV Approves Raiders’ Stadium Deal NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signed legislation passed in special session ( SB 1 a ) that will increase the hotel room tax in Clark County to help fund a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. The...

Budgets In Brief - October 17 2016 | 10-14-2016

Changes Coming to NC Lottery Lottery officials and state lawmakers in NORTH CAROLINA said last week they are considering changes including making reselling tickets a crime. The news comes after an investigation by The Charlotte Observer revealed that...

Some Lottery Winners Too Lucky In NC | 10-07-2016

The North Carolina Education Lottery took in a record $2.4 billion last year. But it’s not the state’s only big lottery winner. According to lottery records Ricky Vanzant of Lexington purchased 46 winning scratch-off tickets between 2008 and...

Public Access To Police Body Cam Footage Hot Issue In States | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one states have passed laws governing public access to police body camera footage, according to CNN and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. A few of those measures, including North Carolina HB 972 , were signed into law in the last...

Governors In Brief - September 19 2016 | 09-16-2016

WV Gov Unveils Suicide Prevention Plan WEST VIRGINIA Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) unveiled a plan designed to reduce the number of suicides by military veterans. Dubbed the Mountain State 22 Program – a reference to the number of veterans believed...

New Voting Restrictions In Place For November Election | 09-09-2016

New voting restrictions, including strict voter ID requirements and scaled back early voting periods, are set to be in effect for the first time in a presidential election this year in 15 states. In another five states restrictions will be in effect for...

Voting Restrictions Running Out Of Steam In States? | 09-09-2016

New voting restrictions will be in effect in 15 states for the first time in a presidential election this year. But courts have blocked or loosened such restrictions in a few states. And legislative activity aimed at expanding voter access is outpacing...

Supreme Court Refuses To Reinstate NC Voting Law | 09-02-2016

In a 4-4 decision last month a still shorthanded U.S. Supreme Court refused to suspend a lower court ruling in July striking down several parts of an election law passed by North Carolina’s GOP-controlled Legislature in 2013 on the grounds that...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Tough Day For GOP-Backed Voter Restrictions | 08-05-2016

Local and federal courts struck down Republican-backed voter restrictions in three states in a single day last month. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a North Carolina law restricting the number of acceptable forms...