Commentary

A mostly dreadful night on Jones Street

State lawmakers made up for a sluggish (and, at times, even moderately encouraging) start to the 2015 session last night by passing a raft of dreadful and regressive bills that will continue North Carolina’s slide back into the pack of old confederate states that it once sought to lead.

Here are just a few of the lowlights of yesterday’s House and Senate sessions:

#1 – A bill that seeks to severely weaken the state’s Environmental Protection Act by dramatically reducing the number of public projects that will be subjected to an environmental review. This was the response of the watchdogs at the Sierra Club:

“We regret the disservice this legislation does to North Carolina’s environment and taxpayers alike. What’s troubling is that the House pushed this legislation through without any study or review of the impacts on the use of public funds and public lands.

There is no good reason to strike this historic environmental protection law. North Carolinians are looking for more transparency and accountability from leaders on the use of public funds – not less.”

#2- A bill to jump start executions by, among other things,  removing the requirement that physicians be present and shrouding in secrecy the drug cocktail that will be used to kill the condemned.

#3- A bill that would require teaching public school history students a list of so-called “founding principles” that are really just part of a the political agenda of a Koch Brothers-funded group.

#4 – A bill to weaken the state’s renewable energy requirement for electricity generators. According to WRAL.com:

“The proposal introduced Wednesday night as an amendment to House Bill 760, a regulatory reform measure, would cap the REPS requirement at 6 percent permanently and would allow a utility to claim energy-efficiency savings for up to half of that requirement. Power companies could seek reimbursement from ratepayers for any investments or contracts they’ve already entered into in order to meet the higher renewables requirements that the proposal repeals.

The measure would also repeal an 80 percent property tax break that solar farms and facilities currently receive.”

#5 – A Senate bill to make felons out of kids 16 or older who commit assaults on teachers or school volunteers. The bill passed despite the passionate opposition of Senator Erica Smith-Ingram who told an emotional and personal story of a confrontation she had with a student while teaching high school and how keeping the student out of the criminal system had, in effect, saved his life.

There were many other counter-productive bills advanced yesterday (and a few promising ones — most notably the proposal to partially rein in the misclassification of workers by bad actor employers). Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day as we sift through the “Crossover Day” results.

7 Comments


  1. Mark Stapleton

    April 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Don’t forget about the House Bill 562 which defangs and declaws a number of regulations on gun possession and use, including one to which NC Sheriffs are opposed (http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/lawmakers-vote-sweeping-gun-bill-20795.shtml#.VUJvWU10xEY)

  2. Rob Schofield

    April 30, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks Mark — I only left it off for now, because it has yet to pass either house. Am sure we won’t have to wait long to add it to the list.

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    April 30, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Well, numbers 1 3 and 4 are great news for NC.

    1. We get out from under the oppressive rule of the envirowhackos.

    3. Kids finally get another view of some subjects to offset all the socialist propaganda in the curriculum. Getting back to some of the founding principles of this country can only be good.

    4. I am finding it hard to believe that a measure to save the little guy massive amounts on their utilities is garnering hysterics here. I guess the envirowhackos take precedence in the communist progresso pecking order.

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    April 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Oh….and i just saw the post on the school board dude so I need to post it here too!

    So you want to ban a subject or content from a curriculum (#3)…..but you then go on to whine that it is bad for someone in the schools to want to ban a book. Hypocrisy, thy name is progressivism!

    http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2015/04/29/pro-censorship-activism-of-mccrory-board-of-ed-nominee-draws-more-criticism/

  5. Jack

    April 30, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    NCGA is making renewable energy a target of its anti-business and anti-free market belief. The NCGA legislate against any effort to have a free market that truly gives
    consumers a choice.

    The days of the Robber Barons have returned and the NCGA has lead the way. You will, says the NCGA, buy what we determine to be of value and nothing more in a free market we create for you.

  6. Alan

    May 1, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Can anyone define for me what this “socialist propaganda in the curriculum” actually is? I’d love to know…

  7. LayintheSmakDown

    May 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Sure, I would be glad to. Go to any government school and review the “social studies” curriculum. Heck, it even has a variation of the word in there for you. It is also possible to see if you compare what is not taught now with what had been taught say back in the 1980’s.
    ….
    I don’t expect you to agree though, that would take a bit of work and open mindedness on your part. And you are a liberal/progressive so that is not in your skill set.

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