by Brian Balfour
Senior Vice President of Research, John Locke Foundation
A new bill, SB 512, introduced this week would grant the legislature more authority over appointments for state boards and commissions.
The bill would impact a total of nine groups, which include the utilities commission, economic investment committee, board of transportation, and the board of directors of the UNC healthcare system.
For the most part, the bill would reduce the number of appointees the governor can make to these boards and committees, while including a number to be appointed by the House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tempore.
The bill would also transfer the Utilities Commission from the Department of Commerce to the Department of State Treasurer.
This bill makes sense for multiple reasons. First, it helps provide a check on unchallenged power of the governor’s office to single-handedly appoint allies onto these highly influential boards. Secondly, much of the power granted to these boards and commissions comes from the legislature, so it’s perfectly reasonable for the legislature to share appointment authority with the executive branch.