• John Locke Update

    The House Budget Had Good Ideas for Opticians, and the Final Budget Can, Too

    posted August 17, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    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.
  • John Locke Update

    The Perils of Multimember Legislative Districts

    posted August 10, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    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.
  • John Locke Update

    Bill Regulating Election “Zuck Bucks” Is a Good Start But Needs Work

    posted August 5, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    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.
  • John Locke Update

    How an Overzealous Licensing Board’s Threat Shows the Need for Structural Licensing Reform

    posted July 16, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    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."
  • John Locke Update

    “Need”? Health Consumers Don’t Need So Much Time Wasted, Money Spent on CON Shenanigans

    posted July 8, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    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.
  • 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

    The real lesson from Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights

    posted May 6, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    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,
  • John Locke Update

    Ten fat years

    posted May 3, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    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.
  • 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.

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