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 has a long-standing interest in the Map Act, which we have criticized for being “inefficient, unfair, and unnecessary.” We have repeatedly urged the General Assembly to repeal or reform it. We have also taken a keen interest in Kirby v. NCDOT and in the legal and constitutional issues that it raises.
This paper therefore proposes a state-based REINS Act as a key sunrise provision to prevent adding unnecessary and harmful regulations to the state’s regulatory burden. It describes aspects of a REINS Act for North Carolina.
posted November 5, 2015 by Paul Bachman, Michael Head, Frank Conte
This report is an attempt to identify the scope and cost of regulations in the state of North Carolina. The state’s record is mixed in terms of regulatory burden. One prominent index ranks North Carolina fifth in the nation when it comes to business friendliness. In contrast, the John Locke Foundation’s “First in Freedom Index” ranks North Carolina 36th in “regulatory freedom.”
Between FY 2009 and FY 2014, 81 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties participated in economic development activities. Counties entered into 776 contracts worth nearly $284 million in incentives over the five-year period. Actual payments, however, totaled $144 million.
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.
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.
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