In the last two years, academics and scholars of public policy have identified North Carolina as a state with an overly
complex criminal code that can ensnare small businesses, farmers, and individuals who unknowingly fail to comply
with regulatory rules. In 2014, Professor Jeff Welty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government published an article
in the North Carolina Law Review, “Overcriminalization in North Carolina”; and James Copland and Isaac Gorodetski,
directors respectively of the Center for Legal Policy and the Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan
Institute for Policy Research, published a primer, “Overcriminalizing the Old North State.”
The John Locke Foundation is continuing its tradition, started in 1995, of offering an alternative to the governor’s budget recommendation. Consistent with prior years, this JLF budget focuses on core government. This budget spends less in both years of the biennium than the governor’s, and only increases spending by 2 percent from the last fiscal year.
The creation of a Department of Information Technology would likely lead to increased government efficiency and cost savings. However, there is no compelling reason to create a new Department of Veterans Affairs.
Overall, North Carolina ranks 23rd in the nation and 5th among the 12 states of the Southeast in freedom. North Carolina ranks 16th in fiscal freedom, 18th in educational freedom, 36th in regulatory freedom, and 46th in health care freedom.
Along with hopes for new jobs and a stronger economy, the prospect “fracking” in North Carolina has raised concerns. Some are legitimate questions informed by responsible skepticism, but others are fears fanned by activists and pressure groups. This paper seeks to address those questions and concerns.
Policymakers in the many local governments of North Carolina face a host of important challenges. This issue guide offers solutions to problems that confront North Carolinians at municipal and county levels. The common thread in these recommendations is freedom. By increasing individual freedom, local governments can foster the prosperity of all North Carolinians and keep open avenues to innovative solutions from enterprising citizens.
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