Tom Bullock

Reporter

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR.  Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit.  Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others.  Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.

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LizMarie_AK / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There are two dates that loom large for parents, teachers, students and administrators in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first is August 14, the self-imposed deadline for the General Assembly to agree on a state budget. The second, just 10 days later, is the first day of school.

Without a set budget, schools have a hard time planning for the academic year and they may have to start cutting programs now just in case. As for the budget negotiations, they're not going so well. At least not yet.

Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

A bill making it easier to buy and carry handguns and a measure potentially making it easier to resume the death penalty were passed by the North Carolina Senate Monday night.

Twitter

It’s not surprising the new chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party is attacking Hillary Clinton on Twitter. What is surprising are his efforts to link Clinton to the Ku Klux Klan.

City of Greensboro

A federal judge has blocked a law redrawing the electoral map of the Greensboro City Council. 

Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed a law redistricting the council. It also makes Greensboro the only city in North Carolina barred from altering its own electoral districts or form of government in the future. The city council, along with a group of citizens, immediately challenged that law in federal court, saying it violated both state statues and U.S. Constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.

City of Greensboro

Earlier this year the General Assembly passed a law redistricting Greensboro’s city council. Thursday, a federal judge will hear arguments on the constitutionality of that law. It’s expected to be a one sided affair.

Under the new law, Greensboro is the only city in North Carolina barred from altering its own electoral districts. Lawyers representing the city and a group of residents will argue this violates state statues and U.S. Constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.

The defense is expected to make no arguments at all. That’s because no one has stepped forward to represent the state. The Guilford County Board of Elections has said it would be inappropriate to take a side in the case. North Carolina’s attorney general has said they will not defend the law either. The General Assembly can pay for a private attorney to argue the case, but so far has not.

jmturner / Wikimedia Commons

Thursdays are usually busy days for lawmakers in Raleigh. It’s the day they wrap up their work for the week and head back to their districts. Today, though, the legislature will be very quiet.

Confederate Monument 1 Mecklenburg
Marshall Terry / WFAE News

The North Carolina House has passed a bill banning the removal of Confederate monuments on state property unless the General Assembly passes a bill giving their ok. The measure now waits for a signature or veto from Governor Pat McCrory.  

Courtesy of Google

Just how North Carolina’s sales tax revenue will be distributed remains an open question, and a major stumbling block for House and Senate negotiators trying to compromise on a budget. The Senate budget calls for it to be distributed by population across the state. The House budget wants it to stay as is, where 75 percent of the sales tax stays in the county where the purchase was made.

NC General Assembly

We’re now roughly halfway through the overtime period that North Carolina’s General Assembly gave itself to hash out the state’s budget. And while the Senate and House have yet to formally start negotiating, they have picked their teams. And this year’s conference committee is, well, huge.


Marshall Terry / WFAE

A bill which would protect confederate monuments in North Carolina has been approved by a House committee and will go before the full chamber early next week.

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