The North Carolina General Assembly meets in the State Legislative Building in Raleigh, seen here in Feb. 2018. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

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Welcome to The Kicker from Carolina Public Press, a North Carolina news show bringing you conversations with journalists, sources and newsmakers from across the state.

In this episode, Carolina Public Press Capital Bureau Chief Kirk Ross talks with host Peter Kent about the ongoing legislative session, which is already longer than the typical “long session” that the General Assembly conducts during non-election years.

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Thanks in part to a shift in the makeup of the General Assembly after the 2018 elections gave the Democrats more seats, Gov. Roy Cooper has been able to veto Republican measures without facing an automatic override from a GOP supermajority.

The state budget in particular has hit an impasse over Medicaid expansion, which lawmakers unwilling to negotiate with the governor on the issue. There are also differences within the General Assembly, such as Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, objections to a compromise Medicaid proposal being floated in the House.

Some small areas of agreement have led to mini-budget measures to address those limited items, but some important areas are stuck in the Raleigh logjam. That includes funding for teacher raises and proposed changes in the state’s broadband rules. Meanwhile, some unusual legislative items, like a measure to regulate milk prices, appear likely to pass.

Kirk offers a wide-ranging discussion of what’s happened in Raleigh this year, as well as the national and court political developments that are affecting the situation.


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The Kicker is a production of Carolina Public Press. It also airs weekly at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on WPVM radio 103.7 FM in Asheville. Send an email to thekicker@carolinapublicpress.org if you would like to contact the staff of Carolina Public Press about The Kicker.

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This release, story or event was developed through multiple sources and/or is from the staff of Carolina Public Press.

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