The Party Line

The Party Line is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s elections, debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development. The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

Ways to Connect

It's way past the deadline set by Congress - 35 years past - but women are organizing in North Carolina and nationwide around a bit of unfinished business: ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

ICE officers making an arrest.
Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Ever since President Donald Trump's executive orders in January, immigration officials have insisted that when it comes to enforcement, it's business as usual - mostly. Statistics are hard to come by, especially at the local level. But there are signs of a shift at Immigration Customs & Enforcement, or ICE.

A wind farm near Elizabeth City, NC.
Sarah McCammon / NPR

Several Republican state senators are trying again this session to limit the expansion of wind power, saying new turbines could interfere with military flights. The bill filed Wednesday, the Military Operations Protection Act of 2017, would halt permits for new wind farms until studies show they are safe.

A North Carolina House Judiciary committee voted 6-5 along party lines Tuesday to advance a bill that would take away state funds from local governments that take steps to help undocumented immigrants. 

The state House of Representatives gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would return local judgeship elections to partisan races. Meanwhile, a Senate committee advanced a bill to let voters decide this November whether to lower the constitutional cap on the state income tax to 5.5 percent.

Lawmakers are considering a revised bill that would withhold state funds from local governments deemed to be sanctuary cities.  A House Judiciary Committee discussed the bill Tuesday, but took no action.

The bill calls for penalties to go along with a 2015 law that prohibits cities and towns from adopting policies to protect unauthorized immigrants.

NCGA

The North Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday that would make District and Superior Court races partisan. In other words, judicial candidates would have their party affiliation appear on the ballot.

The vote was unusual, 65 to 51, with Democrats and Republicans voting for and against the measure.

Proponents argue that listing a party affiliation next to a judicial candidate’s name on the ballot provides voters with needed information.

fried chicken drumstick
CC0 Wikipedia

With all the partisan bickering about teacher pay, bathroom use and what the governor can and can’t do these days it’s fair to say there’s a lot of animosity in the General Assembly. But on Thursday, for a very brief moment, there was a bit of bi-partisan levity. 

Twitter

Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party Dallas Woodhouse had to issue a mea culpa over the weekend. It came after he tweeted an offensive article calling transgender students "pervs" and "mentally ill."

Public Domain

On Wednesday, two joint resolutions will be introduced in the North Carolina House. They both make reference to Article five of the U.S. Constitution but that’s where the similarities end.

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