Data from the CDC and state DHHS show that North Carolina has not been suffering excess deaths from Covid-19 since mid-March 2021. While Covid-19 is still out there, its effect on North Carolina is no longer causing a statistical anomaly in terms of deaths, meaning it is behaving more and more like an endemic virus, such as a flu, not a pandemic. If North Carolina is no longer witnessing excess deaths owing to Covid-19, then why does Gov. Cooper still keep the state in the minority of U.S. states still under a "State of Emergency"?
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 This episode illustrates why North Carolina should join the 15 states that have already repealed their CON laws.
Research continues to find serious, deadly effects of lockdowns and severe government restrictions over Covid-19, such as Gov. Cooper's, while failing to find evidence of their purported benefits. From March 2020 through January 2021 (the end of available data), under Cooper's unrelenting orders, North Carolina has been witnessing a second excess death event other than Covid-19. It is disheartening to see evidence of an ongoing, non-Covid death event months and months after citing science and data to sound the alarm repeatedly in the hopes of warding off such grim results.
House Bill 495 (“Redistricting Criteria for 2021”) has several good elements that legislators should include in any redistricting plan they pass. But the bill falls short of ideal in how it mandates the use of political data in the redistricting process. It also fails to protect counties from being unnecessarily split and appears to define “community of interest” to advantage Democrats.
Occupational licensing imposes many costly burdens on would-be workers: taking hundreds of hours of coursework, passing required exams, logging job experience, paying license fees, etc. A bill that passed the House unanimously would significantly reduce the years of experience required for practitioners of cosmetic arts to qualify for licenses to teach those practices.
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.
The NC State Board of Elections is attempting to make our elections process less transparent. The state board’s attempt to limit the number of observers to two per day is contrary to state law. North Carolina citizens have the power to speak directly to the state board about their proposed rule changes.
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.
Innovators move fast, but bureaucracies are slow, and regulations to protect consumers can make them worse off by protecting old ways from new products and services. Legislation would bring regulatory sandboxes to NC, which waive certain regulatory obstacles on a trial period for fast-emerging products and services, helping speed innovation in a way that benefits consumers and the economy.
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