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.
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.
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.
Even though state agencies craft rules on authority given them by the General Assembly, it's very difficult for the legislature to disapprove a rule. HB 327, a bill to clarify the process by which legislators can review rules, should add the legislative rules ratification process that's worked well in Florida for over a decade.
Senate Bill 326 would stop the privatization of election funding, require absentee ballots to be returned by election day, as is required in most states, and provide funding to help people get voter IDs.
On March 17, 2020, Gov. Cooper used emergency powers to shut down restaurants and bars to in-person eating and drinking, and he did so without concurrence from the Council of State, as required by the EMA. Cooper then claimed authority elsewhere in state law, setting a dangerous precedent that legislators must fix by reforming the EMA.
"I am a Democrat. He’s the governor, and a Democratic governor.” And with that explanation, North Carolina state senator Paul Lowe cast the deciding vote to sustain Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a bipartisan bill offering in-person learning for kids.
John Locke Updates by Year
John Locke Updates by Author
by Update Type
John Locke Updates by Category
Copyright 2021 John Locke Foundation. All Rights Reserved