“Compromise” measure would require five-year wait to restore voting rights to felons

Anyone convicted of a felony in North Carolina would have to complete their sentence, probation or parole, then wait five more years before attempting to regain voter status under SB 721 — which would also institute photo identification for voters and other changes in North Carolina voting rights. Felons would additionally have to provide affidavits […]

Legislatur­e heads toward crossover with more than 1,700 bills to pick through

There are only three weeks left before the 2013 session of the N.C. General Assembly hits its crossover deadline of May 16. In general, that means to have a chance at becoming law, bills must have passed a third reading in the house or senate (whichever chamber initiated the bill) and moved to the other chamber by that date. More than 1,700 bills have been introduced since January (1,002 in the House; 725 in the Senate), including the recent arrival of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed $49,590,935,190 budget for 2013-14. It’s going to be a busy time.

MSD board meeting mixes humor and politics

A seemingly straightforward meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County took two surprising turns on Wednesday afternoon. One led to a staff report on a private sewer-line failure that took more than two years to resolve. The other led to a vote on withdrawing a December proposal to the city of Asheville regarding the possible merger of water and sewer management — an action that was rejected. UPDATED THURSDAY, APRIL 18.

Bill to eliminate class size limits in public schools moves forward in N.C. General Assembly

The Senate Education Committee today approved legislation (SB 374) to eliminate class-size restrictions in public schools. Instead, the bill would give financial discretion to each school district in spending state funds for teacher positions. The legislation now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where Sen. Tom Apodaca, Republican of Henderson County, is a member. The […]

State religion for North Carolina?

A joint resolution filed in the N.C. General Assembly declares that the Legislature “does not recognize federal court rulings” prohibiting or regulating the establishment of religion by the state, its political subdivisions, and its public schools. The resolution, HB 494, was filed yesterday and quickly began to hit such national news outlets as The Atlantic, […]

Gunning for North Carolina

According to a March 14 list compiled by Guns & Ammo magazine, North Carolina ranks 17th in the “Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.” That’s higher than neighbors Tennessee (23) and Virginia (24) but beneath South Carolina (14) and Georgia (13). New legislation currently before the General Assembly, however, could nudge the state out of the middle of that pack.

WNC’s Gillespie tapped for McCrory administration

Rep. Mitch Gillespie, whose legislative district includes McDowell, Mitchell and Avery counties, will join Governor-elect Pat McCrory’s administration shortly after being sworn in to his eighth term in the N.C. House in January. He will resign his elected office to become assistant secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Gillespie, who spearheaded a […]