• 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 This episode illustrates why North Carolina should join the 15 states that have already repealed their CON laws.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.
  • John Locke Update

    Election Board’s cavalier attitude towards illegally transmitted ballots should be corrected

    posted April 21, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Under North Carolina law, absentee ballots can be delivered in person legally only by the voter or a near relative. Regardless, the North Carolina State Board of Elections requires county boards of elections to accept illegally transmitted ballots, no questions asked. Either the State Board of Elections should modify its no-questions-asked policy or the General Assembly should clarify what should be done with illegally transmitted ballots.
  • John Locke Update

    Legislators consider ways to encourage broadband expansion into unserved parts of NC

    posted April 16, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    SB 689 would take up recent Locke recommendations for broadband expansion. It would charge broadband providers fairer rates for utility-pole attachments, including the net book value of any pole needing replacement, and expedite resolution by the NC Utilities Commission of any pole-attachment disputes.
  • John Locke Update

    It’s Time To Amend the Emergency Management Act

    posted April 15, 2021 by Jon Guze
    Reforming the Emergency Management Act is about good governance, regardless of who resides in the governor’s mansion. No individual should have the power unilaterally to deprive citizens of their liberty for an extended period. Reforms would still allow for rapid responses for true emergencies.

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