Politics

Politics
6:57 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rep. McGrady Lands on Key Committee

Rep. Chuck McGrady (R, Henderson)
hendersonvillelighning.com

Representative Chuck McGrady has landed an influential committee chair.  Carolina Public Press reports the Hendersonville Republican will be among four chairs in the House Appropriations Committee.  That committee takes charge of writing the state budget.  McGrady is in his third term and will also serve as a vice chair of the House Environment Committee and as a vice chair of the Judiciary II Committee.

Politics
6:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rep. Susan Fisher Says Protect Abortion Care

Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe)
William Woody/Asheville Citizen-Times

Abortion-rights groups are worried that Republican legislators will try to override rules proposed for North Carolina abortion clinics that activists contend balance patient safety with access to the procedure. 

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Moral Mondays
7:26 am
Thu January 29, 2015

NAACP-led Protests Resume at NC Legislature

The Rev. William Barber
Bob Geary via indyweek.com

North Carolina's NAACP leader has challenged new rules about public assembly in the state Legislative Building as part of protests targeting policies by the GOP-led Legislature.

About 75 people marched to the building with the Rev. William Barber on Wednesday for a demonstration as lawmakers reconvened this year's session.

After prayers and speeches, Barber asked the group to follow him in a lap around the Rotunda between chambers.

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Politics
7:08 am
Thu January 29, 2015

1st Day Bills Filed at the NC General Assembly At-a-Glance

Legislative Building in Raleigh
Angie Newsome via carolinapublicpress.org

The first work day at the General Assembly usually brings an early flurry of bills. Nearly 30 were filed by late Wednesday afternoon in the House and Senate. The bills include those that would:

— allow magistrates and workers under a county Register of Deeds to refuse to perform marriage duties because of strongly held religious objections. Chief sponsor: Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.

— invite Gov. Pat McCrory to deliver his State of the State address Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Chief sponsor: Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson.

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Gay Marriage
12:59 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Buncombe Sen. Van Duyn Speaks Out Against "Religious Freedom" Bill

Sen. Terry Van Duyn (D-Buncombe)
Mountain XPress

A local legislator in the General Assembly is taking a stand for same-sex couples.  Democratic Senator Terry Van Duyn of Buncumbe County joined a press conference this morning denouncing a bill that sponsors say protects religious freedom.  Senate leader Phil Berger introduced the bill that would allow magistrates to opt out of weddings if they have conflicting religious beliefs.  That could mean anyone, but Van Duyn says same-sex couples are the ones being targeted.

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Gay Marriage
11:24 am
Wed January 28, 2015

As NC Legislature Begins, Gay Marriage Takes Center Stage

NC Senate Leader Phil Berger
AP/Gerry Broome

Gay marriage is front and center on this year's first real work day at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Senate leader Phil Berger filed a bill Wednesday that would allow magistrates to refuse to preside at same-sex weddings and assistant registers of deeds to not issue licenses based on religious convictions. But they wouldn't be involved in traditional marriages either.

Berger had said he'd file a recusal bill after judges last October struck down North Carolina's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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Politics
7:57 am
Wed January 28, 2015

NC Legislators Back in Raleigh

Legislative Building in Raleigh
Angie Newsome via carolinapublicpress.org

The North Carolina legislature is back in town and ready to work for the year following a two-week break.

The House and Senate planned to reconvene the General Assembly session at midday Wednesday. Little debate was expected on the first day, but lawmakers were expected to file an early flurry of bills. Two chambers elected Republican favorites Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger to their leadership posts on Jan. 14, then went home.

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Politics
7:23 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Gillespie Joins NC House Speaker Moore's Staff

Mitch Gillespie
Credit ncleg.net

A former legislator recently reassigned from a post in the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources is returning to the General Assembly, this time on new House Speaker Tim Moore's staff.

Moore announced Friday he's hired Mitch Gillespie of Marion as a senior policy adviser. He's among a dozen people on Moore's staff at the start of his two-year term.

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Politics
7:14 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Idea Slowed to Shift NC Medicaid Program Oversight to Panel

Momentum has slowed for a proposal to shift control of North Carolina's Medicaid program from the Department of Health and Human Services to a new eight-member panel of health experts.

The General Assembly's government watchdog oversight committee met Wednesday but didn't vote as previously expected on legislation recommended last week by one of its subcommittees.

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Politics
1:49 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Stam Announces "Religious Freedom" Legislation; Gay Rights Group Calls Foul

North Carolina House Speaker Pro Tempore Paul “Skip” Stam (R)
AP PHOTO/TED RICHARDSON

A North Carolina gay rights group is voicing concerns over news that a so-called “religious freedom” bill could be introduced by the state legislature.  Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro says the law wouldn’t be about religious freedom at all.  He says one goal would be to give magistrates a way to opt out of performing same-sex weddings – which are now legal in North Carolina.  And he says history has shown that businesses are opposed to these sorts of laws.

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