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.

NC Rep. Tricia Cotham, then and now

By: - April 13, 2023

About two weeks before her Democratic primary last spring, Rep. Tricia Cotham declared her unequivocal support for abortion rights.  “Now, more than ever we need leaders who will be unwavering and unapologetic in their support of abortion rights,” she wrote on Twitter on May 3, 2022.  At a news conference last week where Cotham announced […]

Abortion pills

Judge’s ruling on abortion pill sows chaos

By: - April 12, 2023

A federal judge’s decision to suspend FDA approval of an abortion pill has added to patient  confusion over abortion laws and has doctors making contingency plans.  Doctors at Duke are considering various scenarios for patient treatment if, in a few days, mifepristone becomes an unapproved drug.  The FDA first approved mifepristone 23 years ago for […]

The NC Legislative Building

ACLU sues over new state law it says puts peaceful protestors in danger of prosecution

By: - April 11, 2023

The ACLU of North Carolina filed a federal lawsuit against a new state law that is supposed to curb rioting, saying provisions give police discretion to arrest nonviolent protesters.  The law violates both the U.S. and state constitutions and includes provisions that a federal court previously found to be unconstitutional, the ACLU said in a […]

A picture of money and the words "state budget"

NC House set to give final approval to its budget proposal today

By: - April 6, 2023

The state House gave preliminary approval to its $29.8 billion budget Wednesday afternoon  with a 78-37 vote.  The budget won support from nine Democrats.  The House budget includes average teacher raises of about 10% over two years. Most state employees would receive 7.5% raises over two years. The budget is a “fiscally responsible, well thought-out […]

Rep. Tricia Cotham’s party switch gives the House GOP a veto-proof majority

By: - April 5, 2023

Rep. Tricia Cotham formally announced she is switching parties to become a Republican, giving the GOP a veto-proof majority in the state House.  Cotham bashed Democrats at a news conference Wednesday morning where Republicans welcomed her to the GOP. Cotham said Democrats had bullied her, shunned her, tried to tell her what to do, and […]

New NC Child health report card focuses on mental health concerns

By: - April 4, 2023

This year’s NC Child Health Report Card includes a special focus on mental health and adds another document highlighting increased youth suicide rates. NC Child and the NC Institute of Medicine publish the report card every two years.  With the percentage of children with health insurance inching up slightly to 94.5% since the last report, […]

NC House committee approves absentee ballot restrictions

By: - April 4, 2023

A bill that would make it harder for voters to return absentee ballots in time to have them counted passed a state House committee along party lines Tuesday.  The bill would eliminate the three-day grace period for absentee ballots mailed to local boards of elections. Under the current law, those ballots count as long as […]

Gov. Roy Cooper

Another bill becomes law without NC Gov. Cooper’s signature

By: - April 3, 2023

A bill handing control of the state’s schools for blind and deaf students from the State Board of Education to boards of trustees has become law without Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature.  Cooper vetoed a similar bill last year.  This is the third bill this session that Cooper decided to neither veto nor sign after having […]

A picture of money and the words "state budget"

NC House proposed budget has tax cuts, employee raises, and is stuffed with policy changes

By: - March 31, 2023

GOP agenda items for schools, COVID, elections, judicial retirement are included in omnibus proposal -- Medicaid expansion could be impacted The budget state House Republicans presented this week would increase teacher salaries an average of 10% over two years and give state employees 7.5% raises over the two-year budget cycle.

NC legislature loosens gun laws as governor’s veto is overridden

By: - March 29, 2023

Updated at 1:30 p.m. with House vote details and additional statements.  Updated at 2:55 p.m. with Rep. Tricia Cotham statement. Two days after a mass shooting at a Tennessee school, the North Carolina legislature loosened state gun laws by lifting the requirement for local sheriffs to approve pistol purchases as lawmakers completed the override of […]

NC Insurance Commissioner pans Blue Cross restructuring proposal. The main sponsor says he’s working on changes.

By: - March 28, 2023

The lead House sponsor of a bill that would exempt Blue Cross Blue Shield NC from some insurance regulations told a House committee the company needed the changes to compete with for-profit companies, even as state Insurance Commissioner Michael Causey continued to denounce the proposal. Rep. John Bradford, a Mecklenburg County Republican, said he is […]

‘It’s just a prayer answered.’ Cassandra Brooks, a childcare center owner, advocated for Medicaid expansion for years.

By: - March 27, 2023

Cassandra Brooks wept tears of joy and relief when she received a text from a friend saying Republican legislative leaders were announcing their agreement to expand Medicaid.  “I just remember crying so hard,” she said. “Just broke down crying.” Brooks, who owns Little Believer’s Academy childcare centers in Garner and Clayton, for years has spoken […]