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.

a photo of the L. Richardson Preyer Federal Courthouse

Federal judge blocks two provisions in NC’s new abortion law

By: - September 30, 2023

A federal judge blocked provisions of the state’s new abortion law dealing with abortion pills and procedures in clinics. US District Court Judge Catherine Eagles, in an order issued Saturday, said that provisions preventing doctors from prescribing abortion pills in the early weeks of pregnancy and requiring abortions after 12 weeks be performed in hospitals […]

The word "VETO" and the signature of Roy Cooper

NC Gov. Cooper vetoes bill giving legislators all appointments to state and local elections boards.

By: - September 28, 2023

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that restructures state and local elections boards to give legislators more power.  In a statement, Cooper said Senate Bill 479 could lead to gridlock and the risk that Republicans or courts could change election results they don’t like. The bill strips governors of all appointments to the state Board […]

Legislators are preparing to approve new congressional, state House, and state Senate districts for the 2024 elections. (Photo: NCGA videostream)

NC voters demand an end to gerrymandering at hearing on new election districts

By: - September 28, 2023

Voters told legislators Wednesday they are sick of gerrymandering because deeply partisan election districts erode democracy and make lawmakers unresponsive to residents’ needs and opinions.  Legislators are preparing to approve new congressional, state House, and state Senate districts for the 2024 elections.   District boundaries have a major influence in which party’s candidates win elections because […]

a doctor consults with a mother and daughter in an examination room

Out of legislators’ sight, North Carolinians watched and waited for Medicaid expansion

By: - September 27, 2023

Evita Bass, director of a childcare center in Hillsborough, lives with constant pain from three wisdom teeth that need to be pulled and back pain from scoliosis.  Bass, 31, has not had health insurance since she was 26 and on her mother’s insurance. She has always made too much to qualify for Medicaid and too […]

a photo of the L. Richardson Preyer Federal Courthouse

North Carolina’s new abortion law is back in federal court

By: - September 26, 2023

Under the state’s new abortion law, doctors are not allowed to prescribe abortion pills before a patient’s embryo is visible on an ultrasound, which happens at about five or six weeks.   Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Dr. Beverly Gray, a Duke OB-GYN, are asking a federal court judge to put a freeze on that provision […]

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a podium

Gov. Cooper will let state budget bill become law without his signature

By: - September 22, 2023

Gov. Roy Cooper said he will allow the state’s new $30 billion budget to become law without his signature.  He made the announcement Friday morning, shortly after the Senate gave the plan its final approval. Pursuant to the state constitution, the bill will become law if the governor chooses not to sign or veto it […]

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 […]