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.

Ways to Connect

It appears Ralph Norman has defeated Tommy Pope in the Republican runoff for South Carolina's open 5th congressional district seat. But the margin of victory was just 200 votes out of more than 34,000 ballots cast, triggering na automatic recount.

This result probably has both Pope and Norman feeling a bit of déjà vu. They were the top vote getters in the Republican primary just two weeks ago. Pope came out on top in that race, beating Norman by just 135 votes.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

NoDa and Olde Mecklenburg breweries, along with members of a craft brewers group filed the case in Wake County Superior Court Monday.

The brewers argue two state laws which force them to enter distribution contracts if they produce more than 25,000 barrels of beer a year violate the North Carolina constitution.

Brennan Center For Justice

America's judicial system has been the target of a number of political attacks this year.

And not just from President Donald Trump questioning the legitimacy of some, quote "so-called" judges or saying he wants to break up the Federal appeals court which struck down his travel ban.

A new report by the left leaning Brennan Center for Justice finds Republican controlled legislatures across the country are targeting state courts and remaking them for potential political gain. They have tracked at least 41 such bills in 15 states and that's just since January 1 of this year.

NC Legislature

Tuesday afternoon the lead budget writers for North Carolina's Senate gave us the budgetary equivalent of a movie trailer. Here's Senate Pro-Tem Phil Berger:

"Anyone who has seen our Senate budgets over the past six years will not be surprised that this budget continues our philosophy of improving outcomes in public education, providing generous tax cuts for the middle class and job creators, controlling spending growth and saving for the future."

This preview of the Senate's proposed state budget came with few details at the time.

The full details of the $22.9 billion spending plan weren't released until around midnight last night. Morning Edition Host Marshall Terry talks with WFAE's Tom Bullock who has been digesting the numbers.

North Carolina General Assembly

Republican leaders of the North Carolina Senate have released the highlights of their proposed state budget. The $22.9 billion plan represents a 2.5 percent increase in last year's spending.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, best known as Obamacare.

And this version is different from a version the House failed to pass just weeks ago.

North Carolina State Government

North Carolina's treasurer has been given the green light to sell up to $450 million in new bonds.  

The proceeds will not be used to build roads or schools, but to pay off other outstanding state debt.

Sen. Phil Berger, Coach Roy Williams, Rep. Tim Moore together as the 2016 UNC men's basketball honored for their national championship win.
http://speakermoore.com

With Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate, it's fair to say the General Assembly's usual preferred color is red.

But a joint session on Wednesday was all about a particular shade of blue.

Carolina Blue to be precise.

Republicans Tommy Pope and Ralph Norman will face each other in a May 16 primary runoff for the vacant seat in South Carolina's 5th district. The winner will face Democrat Archie Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs tax advisor, who won his party's nomination outright in Tuesday's primary election.

Charlotte skyline at dusk
silicon640c / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

Charlotte's new city manager has released his proposed budget for the city. It calls for a 5.3 percent increase in city spending with no increase in property taxes. But residents would still pay more for water and garbage services.

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