• John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 3: “Mays” and “Shall Nots”

    posted August 25, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Political and racial data are appropriately banned from consideration when legislators draw district maps. Preventing "double bunking" of incumbents can prevent map drawers from following redistricting best practices such as maximizing compactness and respecting political boundaries. "Community of interest" is a nebulous concept and often less helpful to drawing good districts than many believe it to be.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 2: Geography

    posted August 24, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Congressional districts must be equal in population, but legislators have some flexibility regarding population equality when drawing state legislative districts. Districts must be contiguous, and the rules are precise about what counts as contiguous. Districts are required to be compact, but North Carolina's geography often makes that impossible.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 1: Political Boundaries

    posted August 23, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina's constitution and related court cases severely limit how counties can be divided when forming state legislative districts. Precincts sometimes must be split when forming districts but doing so is disruptive for election officials and voters and should be avoided. It is often not practical to follow municipal boundaries when drawing district maps.
  • 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

    An Overview of the N.C. House Education Budget

    posted August 12, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    House budget writers proposed a $25.7 billion biennial budget that would grant an average 5.5% raise to teachers and give multiple bonuses. The House budget would expand private school choice and ease regulations on public charter schools. Lawmakers propose extensive measures to augment academic transparency and accountability.
  • John Locke Update

    House Budget Plan Features Tax Cuts, Assertive Infrastructure Spending, and Pay Raises

    posted August 11, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The House budget plan, per previous agreement, would spend about the same total amount as the Senate plan. Differences exist, however, primarily with a less aggressive tax cut plan and more aggressive pay raises to teachers and state employees. Similar to the Senate plan, the House proposal would set aside significant funds in the Savings Reserve and Capital Infrastructure funds.
  • 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

    Teaching Future Educators to Be CRT Warriors in Five Easy Steps

    posted August 9, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Teacher training programs actively promote critical race theory (CRT). A white paper published in 2020 by three North Carolina State University education professors outlines a five-step process for transforming prospective English language arts teachers into disciples of CRT. CRT-informed English instruction prioritizes activism over student achievement.
  • John Locke Update

    Why the “Ability to Pay Principle” to Justify Progressive Taxation Fails

    posted August 6, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Top income earners pay the overwhelming share of state income taxes, so of course any tax cut plan will result in “the rich” receiving a larger dollar amount reduction in taxes. Basic calculations show that the Senate’s tax cut plan would provide larger percentage reductions in the tax bills of lower- and middle-class households compared with those of higher earners. Insisting that “the rich” should pay a higher share of their income in taxes because “they can afford it” is based on faulty and uneconomic reasoning.

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