JLF Research Archive

Government Reform

Showing items 1 to 25 of 28

(4.16.13) COPs Evade Voter Scrutiny: Taxpayers on the hook for special indebtedness

The last statewide General Obligation Bond referendum was held in 2000; all debt since then has been issued without voter approval, making special indebtedness the sole form of debt in North Carolina since 2001. Special Indebtedness is more expensive than traditional General Obligation debt, thus creating a larger burden on taxpayers. Certificates of Participation (COPs) are the most favored form of special indebtedness.


(3.12.13) Take the REINS: How to return law-making authority to elected, accountable legislators

North Carolina has over 22,500 permanent administrative rules, which carry the full force of law but are not passed by legislators. The General Assembly should return major legislative authority to elected, accountable representatives of the people.


(7.18.12) Carolina Cronyism: Introduction, Overview, and Reforms

Cronyism is an umbrella term covering a host of government activities by which an industry or even a single firm or speculator is given favors and support that they could not attain in market competition. This report explains what opens government to cronyism, gives a brief rundown of recent examples of cronyism in North Carolina, and offers several possible reforms.


(7.18.12) N.C.'s Film Tax Incentives: Good Old-Fashioned Corporate Welfare

Once a popular off-Hollywood venue for filmmakers before state film tax incentives, North Carolina is now one of the leaders in a race to the bottom among other states and nations in giveaways to movie production companies. The incentives show that state leaders know that lower taxes and regulations attract industry. So why play favorites with industries? Why not just lower taxes and regulations altogether?


(1.13.12) First, Stop the Bleeding: Getting North Carolina Out of Its Unemployment Insurance Crisis

North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) administrators have vastly outspent revenues and generated a debt of $2.6 billion with the federal government—the third-highest in the nation, on a per-capita basis. This report proposes five ways for legislators to address this rapidly growing problem.


(1.05.12) Compensating NC’s Eugenics Victims: Five Ways North Carolina Can Help Right the Wrong

North Carolina forcibly sterilized approximately 7,600 individuals in the 20th Century as part of its eugenics program. Many eugenics victims are still alive in North Carolina. This report offers five ways that North Carolina should compensate the victims before it is too late.


(11.10.11) First Annual North Carolina County Privatization Survey

County governments all over North Carolina are saving money by privatizing services. In an effort to assist in the exchange of information about these activities, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of all 100 counties asking county managers to tell us about governmental activities that they currently supply privately. We also asked them if they had problems in the past with a privatized activity that had caused them to return the activity to government provision.


(6.02.11) No More Unaccountable Government: Legislators, not unelected bureaucrats, should make major policy decisions

State agencies should not be allowed to issue regulations that exceed federal requirements, and cost-benefit analysis should be required for all agencies. These two regulatory reforms should have a positive impact on the economy, but they are first and foremost about promoting good government.


(4.26.11) North Carolina's Auto Insurance System: Still Unfair, Still in Need of Improvements

North Carolina’s auto insurance system is unfair to low-risk drivers because it overcharges them in order to subsidize some of the state’s more risky and dangerous drivers. Every insured driver pays a hidden tax, and private insurance companies are guaranteed a profit. This report recommends reforms to improve the system.


(3.23.11) Repair and Reform Medicaid: Even more essential under ObamaCare

North Carolina has one of the most expensive Medicaid programs in the Southeast, and Obamacare will expand enrollment from 1.3 million people to potentially over 2 million people in 2014. Without Medicaid reform or tighter eligibility, North Carolina will need to cut some services and payments to doctors. Both options will mean worse care for every person on Medicaid. Gov. Bev Perdue and the General Assembly need to push Washington for exemptions from Medicaid restrictions and greater ability to innovate with premium support and encourage patient control of their own care.


(2.21.11) Protecting Families and Businesses: A Plan for Fiscal Balance and Economic Growth

This budget proposal would spend $18.4 billion and return spending to the same levels, adjusted for population and inflation, as in the mid-1990s. In addition to ending the temporary sales tax and income tax surcharges, this budget would reduce the tax rates on personal and corporate income, setting the stage for future tax reform.


(2.02.11) Just Not Worth the Gamble: The NC Education Lottery's many problems have a common solution

The North Carolina Education Lottery was sold as a way to boost education spending, but N.C. boasts the same problem found in other lottery states: a declining rate of spending for education, especially in comparison with the rest of the state budget. Furthermore, poverty, unemployment, and property tax rates remain the best predictors of lottery sales.


(1.27.11) Blocking Eminent Domain Abuse in NC: It’s past time for well-crafted constitutional amendment

There is optimism that an eminent domain amendment will pass this upcoming legislative session. This Spotlight explains how to craft the amendment carefully to best protect property owners.


(11.12.10) The First 100 Days: Eleven Action Items for the 2011 Legislative Session

This report highlights eleven action items that North Carolina’s new General Assembly should seek to implement in the first 100 days of the 2011 legislative session. These items touch upon a cross section of public policy areas, including education, economic development, property rights, energy and the environment, health care, the budget, and transparency. We at the John Locke Foundation believe that these items represent straightforward actions that would greatly enhance the liberty and prosperity of North Carolina’s citizens.


(10.27.10) Perdue’s Regulatory Executive Order: A step in the right direction

North Carolina’s regulatory environment is poor, especially in comparison with other states’. Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a new executive order to modify the rulemaking process and help reduce the costs of regulation, which is a good start, but much will depend on how it is implemented in practice. For true regulatory reform, the legislature needs to build upon the executive order and apply reforms to all agencies.


(7.20.10) Budget Crisis Is Opportunity: Bigger budget for FY’11 shows need for policy reform

The final budget for fiscal year 2011 spends $20.56 billion, $153 million more than the budget for fiscal year 2010. General fund availability in fiscal year 2011 excluding federal funds is $17 million less than was available in fiscal year 2010. A $7 billion shortfall (accounting for federal bailout funds, temporary taxes, pensions and retiree health benefits, etc.) in a $20 billion General Fund requires fundamental reform of state government.


(12.17.09) Trust But Verify: Open government is better government

Governments have been seeking ways to adopt or advertise their efforts at open government, sunshine, and transparency. Recent history is rife, however, with examples of how they have failed - such as Gov. Mike Easley's financial dealings and the hole in the state health plan.


(12.17.09) Why Transparency? Creating trust in government

Open government is just as important in a modern republic as it was two centuries ago. Larger bureaucratic states threatened to overwhelm the ability of citizens and their representatives to keep track of government.


(2.12.09) Meaningful Services and Proper Oversight: Two Common-Sense Annexation Reforms

Even those commission members who would have wanted a proper definition of “meaningful services” had to oppose the weak definition provided to them by the legislative staff. The chair prohibited commission members from amending the definition.

The recommendation was so weak that it would have allowed municipalities forcibly to annex areas without providing water and sewer service.


(12.01.08) North Carolina's Beach Plan: Who pays for Coastal Property Insurance?

North Carolina's little-known Beach Plan imposes an enormous fiscal liability on the state. Intended largely to provide windstorm insurance for coastal residents unable to find coverage elsewhere, the Plan has grown to become one of the nation's largest entities of its type.


(11.18.08) Main Street, Not Jones Street: The real greed menacing North Carolina is government greed

During policy discussions, much is made of the greed of private individuals, but rarely is government greed mentioned. Government greed is the lust for power that consumes policymakers — the desire to do whatever it takes to stay in power and to give government more power. In the North Carolina legislature, government greed is alive and well. Ten policy examples discussed in this report reasonably attest to this lust for power.


(10.15.08) Mental Health Reform: Steps Toward Improvement

Mental health reform began in 2001, but has had disappointing results. This paper examines major areas of the mental health system – care management, criminal justice, provider networks, supplemental services, and payment. It offers some evolutionary steps toward improvement.


(7.29.08) North Carolina’s Unfair Auto Insurance System

North Carolina’s government-controlled auto insurance system is unfair to good drivers because it overcharges them in order to subsidize some of the state’s more risky and dangerous drivers. Every auto insurance policy written in the state has a hidden tax – which averages 6 percent – that goes to the government-mandated, privately run insurance pool.

Download PDF file: North Carolina’s Unfair Auto Insurance System (544 kb)


(9.20.07) Goldsboro in the Rough: The city government has no business being in the golf business

Over the past six years, Goldsboro’s city owned and operated golf course experienced operational losses of over $2.5 million. The city unfairly competes with seven private courses in the area.


(9.20.07) Gastonia's Golf Losses: The city government has no business being in the golf business

Over the past four years, Burlington’s city owned and operated golf course experienced operational losses of over $1.2 million. The city unfairly competes with 14 private courses in the area.


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