An earlier version of the House budget would have relaxed some of the restrictions North Carolina places on its licensed opticians. Those reforms would have followed some of the John Locke Foundation's principles for reforming occupational licensing, including universal license recognition as well as moving the state in the right direction toward a least-cost-state standard. The reforms were not in the final House budget, but they could be restored in the final conference report.
Multimember districts for the North Carolina General Assembly were once common but were struck down over how they diluted minority voting strength. Multimember districts disconnect representatives from their constituents. Multimember districts force voters to consider many more candidates, making ballots more confusing.
The rush of “Zuck bucks” into North Carolina election boards in 2020 exposed the danger of private election administration funding. The General Assembly should ban direct private election administration funding, and a Democrat-sponsored bill could be the vehicle to generate a veto-proof majority in support of a ban. The bill has several flaws that the General Assembly should address before passing it, however.
The state licensing board for massage and bodywork said reflexologists didn't practice massage and bodywork — then they changed their mind. House Bill 434 would ward off this licensing threat by creating a state healing arts commission to oversee reflexologists and music therapists, with other practices sure to be added. North Carolina needs structural overhaul of its occupational regulation, especially a careful, thoughtful approach in law to make sure any future regulation of a practice is the "least restrictive regulation necessary to protect consumers" and "demonstrably necessary and narrowly tailored to legitimate health, safety, and welfare objectives."
In 2018, the state Division of Health Service Regulation determined that the people of North Carolina "needed" one — and only one — new mobile PET scanner. Three years and a fight in the courts later, we still don't even have that, but we do have a record of the bad behavior inspired by this "Soviet-style" central planning. This episode illustrates why North Carolina should join the 15 states that have already repealed their CON laws.
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.
In the decade for which Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights was fully in effect, its economy far outperformed the national economy. In contrast, during the decades before and after, Colorado’s economy fell short of the nation’s. Also during the TABOR decade, Colorado taxpayers received more than $3 billion in refunds,
Over the last decade, state legislators held government growth to the rate of growth in inflation and population even while increasing spending on teacher pay and Medicaid. Their restraint made room for rainy-day savings, tax reductions, and economic growth. A constitutional Taxpayer Bill of Rights would preserve North Carolina’s positive momentum.
Debate over North Carolina’s recently proposed Taxpayer Bill of Rights will begin heating up soon. Opponents will likely try to portray Colorado’s experience in a negative light, but their major claims are easily debunked.
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.
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