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The Party Line is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s elections, debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development. The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

Protesters Arrested After Disrupting Legislature

Protesters disrupted the state House of Representatives in Raleigh again Friday morning, chanting "All political power comes from the people." It was the second day of protests during a surprise special session that includes bills to limit the powers of incoming Governor Roy Cooper.

The interruption followed similar protests on Thursday, when at least 15 people were charged after they shouted, chanted and refused to leave the House gallery.

On Friday, about 15 to 20 protesters were seen being led away as House officials closed the gallery and briefly halted the session. Those arrested are being charged with second-degree trespassing and violating building rules. 

Lawmakers were debating a bill to combine the state Board of Elections and Ethics Commission and introduce partisan voting for supreme court justices. That bill eventually passed and now goes back to the Senate for final approval.

Demonstrators object to that and other bills which are moving quickly through the legislature. Another bill would require Cooper's Cabinet secretaries be confirmed by the Senate.