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 (WECT/AP) - Senator Kay Hagan wants the Justice Department to review the "Voter ID" law signed into law Monday by Governor Pat McCrory.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Hagan writes that she is "deeply concerned that H.B. 589 will restrict the ability of minorities, seniors, students, the disabled, and low and middle income citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is unacceptable to me and most North Carolinians."
Hagan goes on to ask that the Justice Department "take all appropriate steps to protect federal civil rights and the fundamental right to vote."
HB 589 makes several changes to North Carolina's election law, including requiring photo identification for any person casting a ballot in person. Click here to read HB 589 in its entirety.
Lawyers challenging the law said at a news conference Tuesday they have a strong case and the totality of changes will be horrendous for black voters. Republicans who passed the bill disagree and say provisions are similar to those in other states. According to a release from the ACLU, the suit specifically targets provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit "out-of-precinct" voting. It seeks to stop North Carolina from enacting these provisions, arguing that they would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Duke University law professor Guy Charles says the plaintiffs face an uphill battle to prevail but some provisions could be hard for legislators to justify.
Click here to see a video released by McCrory's office on his reasons for signing the bill. "North Carolinians overwhelmingly support a common sense law that requires voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot," McCrory said in a news release. "I am proud to sign this legislation into law. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote."
Along with the groups working together to file the lawsuit against HB 589, others have criticized McCrory for signing the bill. "Gov. McCrory pretends to be worried about the integrity of the election process, but nothing will damage the integrity of elections in North Carolina more than this bill," Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina, said in an email comment. "By making it harder for voters to vote, Gov. McCrory is putting the integrity of all future North Carolina elections in jeopardy."
More than three dozen other bills passed by the General Assembly are pending on McCrory's desk. According to the General Assembly's website, the Governor has ten days to take action on a bill after it is presented by the General Assembly. If the Governor signs the bill or takes no action on the bill, the bill becomes law. However, after adjournment of the General Assembly, the Governor has 30 days to act on a bill.
Gov. McCrory has raised concerns about some bills passed during the session, namely the Reform Act of 2013. He could still veto those pieces of legislation. The Governor is required to reconvene the General Assembly if he vetoes a bill after the session is adjourned, unless a written request is received and signed by a majority that it is not necessary to reconvene.
Click here to see the entire list of bills pending on the Governor's desk.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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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