• John Locke Update

    Fight regulatory dark matter by defining terms properly

    posted May 7, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Regulatory dark matter is an executive agency's policies, guidelines, memos, or interpretive statements of rules that the agency then enforces as if they are the rules themselves. House Bill 361 would make any agency policy, guideline, interpretive statement, etc. implemented as a rule to be "unenforceable." The bill would require any such policy treated as a rule to be formally adopted as a rule first.
  • John Locke Update

    State elections board is trying to make elections less transparent

    posted May 4, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    The NC State Board of Elections is attempting to make our elections process less transparent. The state board’s attempt to limit the number of observers to two per day is contrary to state law. North Carolina citizens have the power to speak directly to the state board about their proposed rule changes.
  • John Locke Update

    “Lowest cost generation available”: legislators seek to help NC’s electricity consumers

    posted April 26, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    NC's standard in law for electricity provision is least-cost, reliable electricity at the flip of a switch. State electricity policy, however, is too often directed by "stakeholders" whose desires clash with that legal standard, to the detriment especially of poor consumers. House Bill 529 would restore and boost the state's protection of electricity consumers from unnecessarily high costs.
  • John Locke Update

    Regulatory sandboxes: Test runs with lighter regulation for innovative products

    posted April 22, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Innovators move fast, but bureaucracies are slow, and regulations to protect consumers can make them worse off by protecting old ways from new products and services. Legislation would bring regulatory sandboxes to NC, which waive certain regulatory obstacles on a trial period for fast-emerging products and services, helping speed innovation in a way that benefits consumers and the economy.
  • John Locke Update

    Election Board’s cavalier attitude towards illegally transmitted ballots should be corrected

    posted April 21, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Under North Carolina law, absentee ballots can be delivered in person legally only by the voter or a near relative. Regardless, the North Carolina State Board of Elections requires county boards of elections to accept illegally transmitted ballots, no questions asked. Either the State Board of Elections should modify its no-questions-asked policy or the General Assembly should clarify what should be done with illegally transmitted ballots.
  • John Locke Update

    Legislators consider ways to encourage broadband expansion into unserved parts of NC

    posted April 16, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    SB 689 would take up recent Locke recommendations for broadband expansion. It would charge broadband providers fairer rates for utility-pole attachments, including the net book value of any pole needing replacement, and expedite resolution by the NC Utilities Commission of any pole-attachment disputes.
  • John Locke Update

    Buttress rules review in NC with legislative rules ratification of costly rules

    posted April 7, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Even though state agencies craft rules on authority given them by the General Assembly, it's very difficult for the legislature to disapprove a rule. HB 327, a bill to clarify the process by which legislators can review rules, should add the legislative rules ratification process that's worked well in Florida for over a decade.
  • John Locke Update

    Why EMA reform is so urgent: Cooper’s abuse of emergency powers is a year old

    posted March 17, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    On March 17, 2020, Gov. Cooper used emergency powers to shut down restaurants and bars to in-person eating and drinking, and he did so without concurrence from the Council of State, as required by the EMA. Cooper then claimed authority elsewhere in state law, setting a dangerous precedent that legislators must fix by reforming the EMA.

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