Under the Dome podcast: Talking about sports betting and taxes with a Raleigh Democrat


Each week, join Dawn Vaughan for The News & Observer and NC Insider’s Under the Dome podcast, an in-depth analysis of topics in state government and politics for North Carolina.

Each week, join Dawn Vaughan for The News & Observer and NC Insider’s Under the Dome podcast, an in-depth analysis of topics in state government and politics for North Carolina.

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.

N.C. Sen. Lisa Grafstein, a Raleigh Democrat.
N.C. Sen. Lisa Grafstein, a Raleigh Democrat. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan dvaughan@newsobserver.com

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.

Listen to our latest episode below and catch up on previous episodes. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Audible, iHeart, Pandora, Amazon Music and Stitcher.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan is the Capitol Bureau Chief for The News & Observer, leading coverage of the legislative and executive branches in North Carolina with a focus on the governor, General Assembly leadership and state budget. She has received the McClatchy President’s Award, N.C. Open Government Coalition Sunshine Award and several North Carolina Press Association awards, including for politics and investigative reporting.

Share post:


More like this

Masdar Joins Forces with RWE in £11 billion Investment to Co-develop Massive 3GW Offshore Wind Projects in UK

DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Masdar, the UAE's...

Kate Spade New York Stage a Christmas Tree at London’s Waterloo Station

LONDON — What’s better than a normal Christmas tree?...

Can the Lions right the ship against the Saints this week?

I’m Ben Fawkes and welcome to my latest sports...