Associated Press

N Carolina Train Station to Open This Month

A North Carolina train station originally expected to open in June is now set to open this month. The News & Observer reported Monday that the Raleigh Union Station is expected to open July 10. The opening comes more than two months after officials dedicated the station. The opening was pushed back so contractors could correct an issue with the slope of the station’s passenger platform. The deputy director of the state Department of Transportation Rail Division, Allan Paul, says several areas of the platform were too steep for Amtrak and federal specifications. The last scheduled train of July...

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North Carolina Lawmakers Agree to Pitch ID Mandate to Voters

North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers are asking the public for a fresh mandate to block voting by people without certain kinds of photo identification. With a Senate vote on Friday, the GOP-controlled legislature finalized a proposed constitutional amendment that would require photo IDs. Two years have passed since federal judges struck down state voting requirements as targeting “African Americans with almost surgical precision,” enacted with “racially discriminatory intent.” The language of the referendum question voters will face in November doesn’t provide many details. The amendment says lawmakers could pass exceptions for people who lack IDs. Lawmakers would have to pass...

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In Turnaround, Republicans Revive Saturday for Early Voting

North Carolina General Assembly Republicans have changed their minds and restored temporarily a popular day for early in-person voting eliminated in another measure that became law this week. The Senate and House late Thursday passed legislation to allow the early voting period to continue until the Saturday before Election Day for this year only. GOP leaders recently passed a law that shifted the starting and ending dates for the period so that it would end the Friday before the election. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the measure, saying it would make it harder to vote. Republican overrode that veto....

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Income Tax Cap Question Added to Fall Ballot

The Republican-controlled General Assembly has agreed voters should decide whether North Carolina’s cap on the income tax in the state constitution should be lowered. The House and Senate voted Thursday to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would lower the maximum individual or corporate rate that can be levied from 10 percent to 7 percent. The Senate had wanted to lower the cap to 5.5 percent, but House Republicans wouldn’t go along. The current individual income tax rate is a hair under 5.5 percent and the corporate rate is at 3 percent. Republicans contend lowering...

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Remap Ruling Keeps North Carolina’s Current Lines Intact

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on North Carolina redistricting leaves intact General Assembly boundaries for this fall’s elections. The justices ruled 8-1 on Thursday it was proper for a lower-court panel of federal judges to determine that four state House and Senate districts drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2017 still were illegal racial gerrymanders. The panel ultimately redrew the boundaries in and around those districts. But the Supreme Court decided the panel went too far ruling changes in and around Raleigh and Charlotte violated the state constitution’s prohibition on mid-decade redistricting. The justices already had temporarily blocked the...

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Judges Seek Briefs After N Carolina Remapping Case Returned

A federal judicial panel is seeking input from lawyers in a North Carolina redistricting case that the U.S. Supreme Court decided needs more work. The judges ruled in January the state’s congressional boundaries were illegal partisan gerrymanders. The ruling was appealed. The Supreme Court on Monday vacated that ruling and told the judges to examine the matter in light of another recent decision. The justices found Wisconsin voters who sued over legislative boundaries had not proven they have the right to bring their case in court. On Wednesday, the three judges asked attorneys for advocacy groups, Democratic voters and...

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N Carolina Lawmakers Override Early Voting, Farm Bill Vetoes

The North Carolina legislature has overridden Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes on Republican bills altering early in-person voting and restricting litigation by neighbors of large livestock operations who have complained about odors. The House completed the overrides Wednesday following similar Senate votes Tuesday. The two bills are now state law. The early-voting measure adjusts the current 17-day period by eliminating the final Saturday before an election and moving up the start by one day. All early voting sites also would be open 12 hours a day on weekdays. A wide-ranging farm bill contains language sought by pork producers after...

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Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment Going to Voters

Voters will be asked this fall to decide whether to change the North Carolina Constitution to rework a current section that lays out the rights of crime victims. The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to accept changes in the proposed constitutional amendment made by the Senate. Now the item will be placed on all ballots in the state this November in an up-or-down referendum. Supporters say the amendment known as “Marsy’s Law” would expand rights already in the state constitution approved by voters two decades ago. The changes make clear victims can go to court and seek redress when they...

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