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

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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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Class-action lawsuit claims that understaffing was part of Salisbury nursing home’s business model 

Plaintiffs claim they were not given their medicines, staff ignored calls for assistance A new class-action lawsuit brought against the Citadel Salisbury nursing home claims that chronic understaffing endangered the health and safety of its residents. The Citadel Salisbury was the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in a North Carolina congregant care facility early in the pandemic.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Changes in the NC cigar tax have a champion in a state senator who owns cigar shops 

An obscure provision of the state Senate tax package that would cap the excise tax on cigars has a supporter in Sen. Todd Johnson, a member of the chamber’s Finance Committee and a cigar store owner.

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News Top Story

NC GOP tax cut plan seeks to phase out the corporate income tax

North Carolina would be one of a handful of states without a corporate income tax.   Senate Republicans introduced a package of tax cuts for individuals and businesses that would result in less money — billions of dollars less — flowing to North Carolina coffers.  

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Education News Top Story

Highlights and lowlights from the General Assembly as lawmakers pass 2021 “crossover deadline”

The state legislature marked “crossover” last week, the point at which most bills must pass at least one chamber to have a chance of becoming law this session.   House members had filed 969 bills by the end of last week, and senators had filed 721.  The House passed 351 bills by the crossover deadline, and the Senate passed 173. About two dozen have already become law.  

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As vaccination rates decline, DHHS and health care providers trying to reach rural, underserved communities

The total number of vaccinations dropped by 23% over one week in April, an indication that North Carolina still faces challenges in achieving its vaccination goals. Now the state Department of Health and Human Services wants to direct vaccination efforts toward neighborhoods where few people have gotten shots.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nonprofit efforts to support Black maternal health gain momentum – will state lawmakers help?

Ciera Baker, a pre-Kindergarten teacher in Raleigh, wanted to stay home for a few months with her newborn baby, but her job doesn’t provide paid maternity leave and she knew she couldn’t get by just on her savings.   Baker's mother had told her about Equity Before Birth, a nonprofit that helps Black women in the Triangle connect with doulas and lactation consultants, and provides financial support.

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