It’s another busy week at the North Carolina General Assembly, with major legislation on the horizon. Listen to our latest News & Observer politics podcast, Under the Dome, for the week of March 27, 2023.
Host Dawn Vaughan talks with Sen. Lisa Grafstein, a freshman Democrat whose district encompasses much of North Raleigh.
Grafstein is a lawyer who ran her own firm for 16 years, then joined Disability Rights North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of people with disabilities. This is her first time in elected office.
Vaughan interviews Grafstein about sports wagering legislation, ahead of the gambling bill hitting the House floor, and corporate taxes. The state budget is likely to include tax cuts, and the House’s version of the budget comes out Wednesday and is in committee on Thursday.
Grafstein opposes House Bill 347, which would legalize online and mobile sports wagering. The bill lost by one vote in the House last session, and it’s back this year. There are several sponsors from both parties, and Gov. Roy Cooper expects it to pass.
“It’s been a really interesting thing to watch sports wagering come through, in part because it’s an issue where there’s not an obvious partisan split,” Grafstein said. “People are kind of all over the place in terms of what their thoughts are on it, that they don’t really break down on partisan lines.”
She said she sorted through two competing values with regard to the bill.
“On the one hand, the idea of personal freedom — that people should just be left alone to do what they want to do. And on the other hand, ideas around consumer protection, which I think is a real consideration with regard to the sports gambling bill,” Grafstein said.
Listen to the podcast for why she thinks the bill would set up a monopoly.
Plus, hear what Grafstein thinks about the corporate income tax rate and what it means for North Carolina.
Headliner of the Week
Listen to the end to hear Grafstein’s menu choice from the Legislative Building Cafeteria — hint: it’s a vegetable. Plus, Vaughan and Grafstein’s picks for Headliner of the Week are both about local government in the Triangle.