Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.More >>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>
RALEIGH, NC (AP) - North Carolina Democrats on Monday called for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to stand up to what they consider radical GOP lawmakers pushing a series of bills designed to restrict turnout among certain blocs of voters.
Democratic leaders and one lawmaker blasted a recently introduced voter ID law and other proposed legislation during a press conference in which they acknowledged that their weakened position in the General Assembly requires them to urge voters to contact their representatives.
"We're going to go statewide," said North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller." I don't have the votes in the General Assembly, so I'm calling on them."
The proposed North Carolina voter ID law, which would take effect in 2016, would require voters to show one of eight state-issued forms of photo identification or a tribal ID card. Students attending a UNC-system school or community college could present student IDs. Provisional ballots for those without photo ID on Election Day are allowed but would only be counted if the voter returns to a local election board before results are official.
The law includes a provision waiving fees for state-issued ID for those who sign a statement swearing they don't have a birth certificate or the means to pay. But groups such as the NAACP have still decried the bill as an unconstitutional poll tax, and they plan to hold a rally Tuesday starting at the historic First Baptist Church. They then plan to press state legislators.
North Carolina's debate is similar to those that have been going in other states where Republicans have recently taken control of state legislatures and governorships and pressed new voter ID laws or measures to restrict early voting.
Many Republicans say the voter ID changes are needed to ensure the process is free of corruption. Critics counter that voter fraud is not widely documented and contend that Republicans are trying to reduce participation by minority voters and others considered bases of Democratic support.
The voter ID measure in North Carolina is the latest in a string of Republican-sponsored bills that critics call cynical ploys to limit turnout. Various measures making their way through the General Assembly would cut back early-voting periods while eliminating Sunday voting and same-day registration during that period; require ex-felons to wait five years before reinstating their voting rights; and take away the dependent tax deduction from the parents of college students who vote where they go to school.
Voller argued that McCrory, who took office earlier this year, owes much of his support in his successful bid for governor to Democrats and independents, and those voters don't like what they're seeing in the General Assembly.
"It's time for this governor, who ran as a moderate, to reign in this radical, reactionary state legislature and lead," he said. "It's time for this governor to tell them, as (former Gov.) Bev Perdue did, that he will veto bills that are not good for the citizens of North Carolina."
Perdue, a Democrat, vetoed the last GOP attempt at voter ID legislation in 2011, but Republicans now hold veto-proof majorities in both the House and state Senate.
Kim Genardo, a spokeswoman for the governor, declined comment on specific measures, saying McCrory hasn't reviewed them yet and none have reached his desk. She added that McCrory meets with the Black Legislative Caucus Tuesday morning to talk about their concerns with new voting laws.
"He's the type of leader who likes to hear debate on all sides," she said.
Louis Duke, president of College Democrats of North Carolina, assailed Republicans for the tax-deduction measure, arguing they're backing away from opposition to taxation to advance their own interests.
"North Carolina Republicans are so desperate to suppress the youth vote in our state that they are willing to increase taxes on our hardworking parents," he said.
Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett and chairman of the House Elections Committee, could not be immediately reached for comment on the GOP-backed changes.
State Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford, said the bill rolling back early voting by a week from the current 17 days shows that Republicans haven't learned from a similar attempt in Florida that a county election official from there told a North Carolina House Committee resulted in a "nightmare" on Election Day.
Florida voters last year faced hours-long waits before and on Election Day, prompting the GOP-led Legislature to consider restoring early-voting days.
"Well, my friends, the 'nightmare' has come to Jones Street," she said.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:48:52 GMT
Retiring Seventh District Congressman Mike McIntyre was inducted into The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed in the state of North Carolina. McIntyre received a certificateMore >>
Rep. Mike McIntyre has received the highest honor given by the state of North Carolina, induction into the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine. More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:30:47 GMT
Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) and Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover) are spearheading an effort to get Gov. Pat McCrory to call a special session of the General Assembly to deal solely with economic developmentMore >>
Local lawmakers' request for a special session is being met with some opposition tonight. Reps. Ted Davis & Susi Hamilton of New Hanover County believe a session focused solely on economic development is needed. But one conservative group is opposing the need for lawmakers to meet again to increase the JDIG program.More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 7:37 AM EDT2014-08-21 11:37:34 GMT
Republican leaders in the General Assembly say they have reached a compromise deal on implementing new coal ash regulations, and forcing Duke Energy to close all 33 of its coal ash ponds across North Carolina. AccordingMore >>
House and senate lawmakers in the NC General Assembly passed a bill mandating cleanup of all Duke Energy coal ash ponds by the year 2029. The action follows a massive spill of coal ash into the Dan River in February from a company site in Eden. You can click on a link inside this story to see the specifics of the bill, which is now headed to the Governor's desk.More >>
Monday, August 18 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-08-19 01:51:31 GMT
The Film and Entertainment Grant Fund proposal will go back in front of state lawmakers tomorrow and Wednesday, after House and Senate conferees made slight changes to the proposal already approved inMore >>
It appears lawmakers are moving forward with a grant fund that will replace the current Film Incentive Tax Credit that has been in place to lure film and television productions to North Carolina.More >>
Monday, August 18 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-08-18 21:30:44 GMT
Governor Pat McCrory is appointing Senior Associate Justice Mark Martin as the new Chief Justice of North Carolina's Supreme Court. Judge Martin will replace the current Chief Justice, Sarah Parker, whoMore >>
Governor Pat McCrory's decision to elevate Senior Associate Justice Mark Martin to be the new Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court is being met with criticism from Judge Ola Lewis of Brunswick County, who is opposing Martin for the seat in the November General Election.More >>
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