As we reported in this space last week , the General Assembly is advancing a last-minute “regulatory reform” bill  in the session’s waning days that is chock-full of dozens of special favors to industry lobbyists, including several new provisions to further restrict environmental protection.
Today, however, advocates discovered yet another hidden gem in the bill — a provision that will prevent forward-thinking local governments (like Asheville and Durham) from requiring contractors to treat workers decently.
Under the changes (see Section 5 (a) (b) and (c) on page 6 of the bill ), counties and cities will be officially barred from enacting ordinances that require all city or county contractors to pay living wages or provide paid sick leave to their employees).
Got that? Even if citizens of a city or county and their elected officials want to do the right/decent thing to help workers, the conservative leaders of the state are having none of it.
Next up: a plan to peg the wages of all government employees and contractors to the starvation wage scale employed by state Budget Director Pope’s Roses and Maxway stores.