Raleigh, NC - It isn't a secret: North Carolina's economy needs help. The state has lost jobs and boasts one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
But, lawmakers this week have considered legislation that will teach our students cursive and multiplication tables in class, a bill that would require married couples wanting divorce to wait it out a couple years, and legislation that would address a statewide religion.
It made us question: What is going on in Raleigh?
UNCG Professor Thom Little says this is the way politics works.
"They've got to deliver. They can't sit there on their hands for three months even though you and I know that they're working behind the scenes, the general public doesn't, and they want to know 'What have you done for me lately?' And so they can deliver on these things, it's easy. It's something they can do," explained Little.
He says creating jobs, reforming tax codes, cracking down on DWI offenders isn't easy -- but that doesn't mean we won't see it happen.
"I've heard from teachers, principals, parents, school board chairs," said Rep. Pat Hurley of Randolph County.
She says they're all praising her education-driven legislation that requires teachers to put multiplication tables and cursive writing back in their curriculum.
"They say it helps you brain activity, it helps motor skills, it helps hand-to-eye contact," said Hurley.
She admits it's not sweeping reform but says our children need for their futures.
"There is no cost to it. It's not like you have to add another course, it's not like you have to add another teacher. This is a no pain, no cost change they can deliver to a constituent, and they have a constituency that's very happy about it," said Little.
Thom Little says politics is a process. The hard hitting bills will come later in the session but Rep. Marcus Brandon says the time is now.
"None of these bills create jobs, they create headlines but not jobs," said Brandon.
Brandon says he doesn't think there are any teeth to current DWI laws and he wants to change that.
His proposed bill is based off habitual DWI offender, Lance Snyder.
"He had actually killed a family and then had multiple DWIs after that, and our law said that that did not matter," said Brandon.
His legislation requires a judge to look at a DWI offender's entire criminal history, not just a certain period of time the current law requires.
"We are serious about DWIs, we are serious about people drinking and driving, and we're going to hold you accountable for that," Brandon said.
Rep. Brandon's bill passed the House last week and is heading to the Senate.
Rep. Hurley's bill is on the same course.
Professor Little says we are sure to soon see legislation about Voter ID laws, education reform and tax code reform.
WFMY News 2