Lynn Bonner

Lynn Bonner

Investigative Reporter Lynn Bonner covers the state legislature and politics, as well as elections, the state budget, public and mental health, safety net programs and issues of racial equality.

members sit in their seats on the floor of the North Carolina Senate

$30 billion NC budget giving Republicans new powers nears final legislative approval

By: - September 22, 2023

Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly used the state budget to give themselves more power while at the same time shielding legislators’ records from the public.  Provisions in the budget exempt legislators from the state public records law, letting them withhold their documents from public view. Senate Republicans claimed that the budget codifies current practice.  […]

A picture of money and the words "state budget"

Legislators will vote on a state budget with Medicaid expansion and without casinos

By: - September 20, 2023

The Republicans’ Frankenstein experiment that sutured promised Medicaid expansion in North Carolina to expanded legal gambling has failed. Republican legislative leaders announced Tuesday night that they are ending their attempts to authorize more casinos in the state — at least for this year — and that the $30 billion budget will move forward with Medicaid […]

NC House Elections and Campaign Finance Reform committee members

NC House okays GOP bills to alter election board appointments, open voting records

By: - September 20, 2023

The state House voted along party lines Tuesday on a Republican plan to give legislators more control over elections.  The governor would be stripped of the power to appoint members of the state Board of Elections. Legislators would select all members of state and local elections boards, with Republican and Democratic leaders appointing equal numbers.  […]

a roulette wheel

NC Democrats condemn GOP plan to link Medicaid expansion to casino approval

By: - September 18, 2023

North Carolina Democrats are slamming a maneuver by Republicans in the legislature to tie Medicaid expansion to the approval of new casinos.  Legislative approval of a state budget has been held up by a proposal to roll authorization for four new casinos into the budget bill. The Republican-led legislature voted for Medicaid expansion in March, […]

Justice Anita Earls

NC Legislative Black Caucus defends Supreme Court justice’s right to talk about bias in the courts

By: - September 13, 2023

The NC Legislative Black Caucus defended NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls on Wednesday, with members saying the investigation into her comments about bias in the judicial system violates her First Amendment rights.  Earls, the only Black woman on the state’s high court and one of two Democrats, sued the state Judicial Standards Commission in […]

Voters line up to vote.

Elections changes giving NC legislators more power move back to the forefront

By: - September 13, 2023

Republicans’ multi-tiered reconstruction of elections in North Carolina moved ahead Wednesday with House committee approval of a bill remaking state and local elections administration that opponents see as a path toward reduced early voting and gridlock.  The bill takes away the governor’s power to appoint members to the State Board of Elections and gives it […]

A nurse holds a vial of COVID-19 vaccine and syringe.

With COVID hospitalizations rising, Duke experts urge people who are eligible to get the next COVID booster

By: - September 7, 2023

The rise in hospitalizations and the report that First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 is a reminder that the virus is still with us, though not wreaking the kind of havoc it did in the first two years of the pandemic. A daily average of 501 patients with COVID were hospitalized in North […]

NC Gov. Cooper to veto expansive GOP elections bill

By: - August 24, 2023

Gov. Roy Cooper will veto a sweeping elections bill that would limit ballot-counting and allow partisan election observers to walk freely within polling places. “This legislation has nothing to do with election security and everything to do with Republicans keeping and gaining power,” said Cooper. “It requires valid votes to be tossed out unnecessarily, schemes […]

Duke University Law professor Sara Sternberg Greene and state Treasurer Dale Folwell

Researchers, state Treasurer highlight plight of NC residents with medical debt

By: - August 22, 2023

Each month, Donna Lindabury pays $35 on a hospital bill for her husband, Gary’s, 2009 quadruple bypass surgery.  The Lindaburys knew Gary was gravely ill when he was airlifted from a hospital in Boone to Charlotte 14 years ago. They also knew they could not afford a big medical bill. Gary wasn’t working and Donna […]

Massive bill tightening NC voting laws moves toward adoption

By: - August 16, 2023

A bill that tightens rules for voting while guaranteeing partisan observers more access to polling places and voting records is closer to legislative approval.  Senate Bill 747 is a bundle of proposed restrictions that legislative Republicans have promoted this year. The bill passed the House Committee on Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform on Tuesday. […]

Filling Medical Form, document, stethoscope

Most people in NC who lost Medicaid health coverage in the last two months were cut for “procedural” reasons

By: - August 16, 2023

North Carolina and other states are stripping government health insurance coverage from thousands of people who stayed on Medicaid rolls during the COVID-19 pandemic but may no longer qualify.  More than 68,000 people lost Medicaid coverage in North Carolina in June and July. Of those, about 87% lost their coverage for “procedural reasons,” because they […]

Kody Kinsley and Kelly Crosbie

More people with disabilities in NC wait for services while a court fight continues

By: - August 14, 2023

It’s the dilemma at the center of the frustration and worry for people with disabilities and their families in North Carolina.  People with intellectual or developmental disabilities wait years for services that help them live in communities rather than institutions. The wait list has grown to 17,000 people. There’s not enough money for all of […]