Chuck McGrady

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The long-debated Asheville districts bill is now law.  The North Carolina House passed the bill forcing districts for Asheville city council members, and the Senate quickly concurred.  It passed despite the lone Asheville Democrat in favor withdrawing his support after it was amended.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

A bill forcing districts on the city of Asheville needs several more votes before becoming law.  It's on the House schedule for Thursday, possibly the last day of session.  The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Western Carolina University political scientist Dr. Chris Cooper is a frequent guest of Blue Ridge Public Radio.  In his most recent visit, Cooper spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb and Matt Bush about the latest in state politics.  The conversation touched on the recently-passed Senate budget, a big Supreme Court punt on voter ID, the brewing (pun intended) legal battle involving craft beer, possible campaign finance mischief, Senator Richard Burr's role in the national spotlight, and some high-profile resignations for the progressive left in North Carolina.  

Craft brewers lost an important political fight Tuesday. A committee in the North Carolina House voted to strip provisions from a bill which would allow local brewers to sell more of their own product without going through a middle man.

QUINN DOMBROWSKI / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

A bipartisan bill sponsored by Henderson County Republican Representative Chuck McGrady aims to give more flexibility to North Carolina craft brewers to run their businesses.  At a news conference last week, McGrady unveiled House Bill 500, an omnibus bill making changes to the way alcohol is governed in the state.

First of two stories. Click here for the second.

When you turn 16 in North Carolina, you still can't vote, or drive on your own at night. You can't buy cigarettes or alcohol, or get a tattoo. But you can be charged, tried and convicted as an adult in the criminal justice system.

Max Cooper/Mountain XPress

In an interview with WCQS's Jeremy Loeb, Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer discusses legislative efforts to repeal House Bill 2, as well as a bill that could soon be filed that would split Asheville into districts for the purpose of electing city council members.

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.

State lawmakers are making another attempt to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial state law passed last year that requires people to use the public bathrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

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

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.

Asheville Citizen-Times

Political observers and the public alike were scratching their heads after a bill that would impose districts on the city of Asheville for city council elections failed.  The bill was being pushed by a powerful state lawmaker and had sailed through two committees and the full Senate with little but Democratic resistance.  And then, on its last stop in the full House, all of that changed.  Debate seemed to persuade lawmakers at the last minute, and that is something rarely seen in politics today.  But in truth, there were probably multiple factors at play, and they had occurred not just over

In a stunning defeat, the North Carolina House voted down a bill that would have made changes to the Asheville city council.  

Senate Bill 897 was introduced by Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Henderson County over the strong objection of the entire city council and all other state lawmakers representing Buncombe County.   It would split Asheville into six districts drawn by the General Assembly for the purpose of electing council members.  But the bill failed by a vote of 48-58. 

Time may be running out for North Carolina lawmakers to reach a compromise on how to update the state's coal ash cleanup law. That's according to the chief sponsor of a bill that Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed last week.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Residents of western North Carolina had an opportunity to weigh in on Congressional maps this morning in a public hearing at UNC Asheville.  WCQS's Jeremy Loeb reports.

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