Alcohol-related bills moving through General Assembly

By John Trump Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Several bills to help N.C. distillers and to loosen alcohol regulation in the state are moving through the General Assembly. Some have progressed to the floor, of both or one of the bodies, while others are mired in committee. One measure, House Bill 693, on Wednesday, June 16,…

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House and Senate narrow budget differences, but gap remains

By Donna King Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — With one month to go before the end of the fiscal year, at the General Assembly lawmakers are hammering out how to budget more than $25 billion in the next state spending plan. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have already agreed to spend significantly less than…

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Lawmakers want to recognize occupational therapy licenses of other states

by Andrew Dunn, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Occupational therapists who move to North Carolina would have an easier time getting back to work under a bill in the General Assembly. Two bills with significant support would have the state join an interstate compact to recognize occupational therapy licenses in other states. They mark another small…

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Bill cracks down on rioting, property damage

by John Trump, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Republican leadership in the General Assembly has introduced legislation to increase penalties for rioting across North Carolina. House Bill 805 would establish a new level of felony penalties for rioters who cause property damage or serious bodily injury or death to others, including physical violence to first responders.…

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N.C. average teacher pay $54,392 per year, second best in Southeast

by David Bass, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Public school teachers in North Carolina receive an average annual salary of $53,392 for the current school year, according to the latest figures from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. That puts the state second best in the Southeast — behind Georgia — in average teacher pay. Teacher…

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Three-judge panel to hear case against Emergency Management Act

by John Trump, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — A Greenville bar owner’s lawsuit challenging the state Emergency Management Act is heading to a three-judge panel. The panel will decide whether the act is unconstitutional because of the power it grants to Gov. Roy Cooper. Superior Court Judge James Gale issued a two-page order Friday,…

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Local bills seek to allow counties to post public notices online

by Andrew Dunn, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — More N.C. counties would be allowed to post public notices online instead of paying to run them in newspapers, under two local bills introduced in the House. House Bill 51 covers 13 counties along the coast; House Bill 35 would extend electronic notices to 11 counties primarily in…

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General Assembly advances bill to rein in governor’s emergency powers

by Andrew Dunn, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic brought North Carolina to a screeching halt, Gov. Roy Cooper shows no sign of relinquishing the sweeping and open-ended emergency powers he has claimed under state law. The General Assembly is now trying once again to clarify exactly what a…

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General Assembly passes COVID relief, to consider fully reopening bars

by Andrew Dunn, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — The General Assembly has passed with a unanimous vote a new COVID relief bill that would direct nearly $1.7 billion in aid across the state. The legislature now will consider more contentious pandemic-related legislation, including a new bill that would allow the state’s bars and restaurants to fully…

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