Archives by: Lynn Bonner

Lynn Bonner

About the author

Lynn Bonner, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in October 2020 after 26 years as a reporter at The News & Observer. She covered the state legislature and politics for 20 years, and wrote extensively about mental health, state Medicaid policies and spending, and public education. Before coming to North Carolina, she wrote for newspapers in New England.

Lynn Bonner's articles and posts

News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

The expanded federal child tax credit is helping families. Congress is debating its future.

Like millions of women, Sarah Anderson saw her income drop during the pandemic when her two part-time jobs ended and caring for her four children and supervising online school consumed her days.   The federal child tax credit helped fill the gap left by that lost income. Parents started receiving monthly payments of $250 to $300 for each child on July 15 and will do so through December.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC House Democrats hope they can shape the final state budget 

Gov. Cooper remains excluded from negotiations, but some members of his party are trying to change that  Rep. Garland Pierce said his support for the $25.7 billion budget written by House Republicans is rooted in a meeting between local elected officials from the Democrat’s rural district and House Speaker Tim Moore and his staff where the local leaders laid out their budget hopes.

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Education News Top Story

Democrats challenge education spending, substantive law changes as House GOP rolls out proposed budget

House Democrats during a committee meeting Tuesday questioned the lack of full funding for programs needed to comply with a consent order in the long-running court case on public education.   The questions arose as the House budget committee went through details of the $25.7 billion proposal unveiled by the body's Republican majority. More debate is expected Wednesday and Thursday before the House votes on the plan.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nearly six weeks into the new fiscal year, House version of the state budget starts to emerge

Differences in HHS proposals indicate House and Senate negotiators have much work ahead House budget subcommittee leaders released big pieces of their spending proposal Thursday, as the chamber began speeding toward passage of its full budget. Still to come are salary increases or bonuses the House will propose for teachers and state employees.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Push to replace law enforcement officers with unarmed crisis intervention experts gains momentum

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year helped instigate a new wave of interest in changing policing in the U.S., including new ways to respond to calls that involve people experiencing mental health crises.   The issue gained additional prominence after officer bodycam footage was released that showed Rochester, N.Y., police handcuffing Daniel Prude, a Black man in a mental health crisis, putting a spit hood over his head and pressing his face onto the pavement.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Geography, politics loom large as COVID-19 vaccination momentum wanes

Lack of access, "Trump effect" both acting as roadblocks COVID-19 vaccines are hard to come by in Bladenboro, the small southeastern North Carolina town that was the center of a COVID-19 cluster that pushed its home county into the red zone on a virus alert map.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at how the Senate’s and the Governor’s budgets compare in some key areas

Legislators spent last week deep in numbers as the Senate Republicans released their budget proposal, which the full Senate approved on Friday. The measure now heads to the state House, where significant revisions are expected. The two chambers will then create a compromise budget sometime this summer that will go to Gov. Roy Cooper.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC Senate on track to pass budget bill that includes controversial law changes

Special provisions target executive branch powers of Democratic officials Budget-writing season started with talk of hoped for cooperation and budget that would gain significant bipartisan support.   That’s all soured in the early stages of budget debates, with Senate Democrats questioning a Republican-written budget that’s pumped full of special provisions that would limit executive branch powers. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC failed to meet court-ordered deadlines for moving people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes. But it got another extension.

Service gaps, lack of central control over regional offices, COVID-19 pandemic contribute to "mission drift" North Carolina had eight years under a 2012 court order to move 2,000 people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes and into houses or apartments. A few years ago, the state received an extension to this July. It won’t make that deadline, either.

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