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Carolina Journal Radio No. 731: Senate budget cuts taxes, builds savings, limits spending growth

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 731: Senate budget cuts taxes, builds savings, limits spending growth

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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May 22, 2017 12:00 am

The N.C. Senate has approved its $22.9 billion General Fund budget. It features a tax cut that would total nearly $1 billion over two years. It also limits the state government spending increase to roughly half the level recommended in the governor’s budget, while setting aside more money for reserves and increasing funding for high-priority items. Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation senior vice president, analyzes the Senate’s proposals and looks ahead to the development of a state House budget. The political world is still coming to grips with Brexit, Britain’s vote in 2016 to leave the European Union. Matthew Elliott, senior fellow at the Legatum Institute, was CEO of the “Vote Leave” campaign that supported Brexit. During a recent visit to North Carolina, he offered an update on the Brexit process and discussed potential implication for this state and for the national economy. Elliott particularly emphasizes the potential benefits of stronger, formalized trade deals between the United States and United Kingdom. One of the legislative ideas that fell by the wayside during this year’s legislative session was a proposal to lengthen lawmakers’ terms of office from two years to four years. You’ll hear why some state representatives pushed for four-year terms. You’ll also hear a response from those who argued that longer terms would violate basic constitutional principles linked to popular sovereignty. Legislators are pushing forward with a bill that’s designed to protect free speech on North Carolina’s public university campuses. The measure calls on university system leaders to devise a plan to ensure individual campuses do not shut the door on free, open debate. You’ll hear arguments for and against the measure. It’s attracted much less attention than the booming craft brewing industry, but North Carolina’s craft distillery sector also has seen substantial growth in recent years. Proposals in the General Assembly could pave the way for even more growth. Carolina Journal Managing Editor John Trump highlights key themes from his new book on N.C. distilleries. It’s titled Still & Barrel: Craft Spirits in the Old North State.

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From Cherokee to current and the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio amateur coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state British voters shocked the world last year with the bricks that vote to leave the European Union.

What could that vote mean for North Carolina. We asked the architect of the boat leave campaign that promoted bricks some North Carolina state lawmakers want to extend their own terms in office from two years before years you'll hear their arguments will also learn why those arguments fell short as colleagues raise concerns about the people's power to keep tabs on the general assembly lawmakers are moving forward with a measure to increase protection of free speech on college campuses. You learn why and you will hear from the author of a new book documenting the growing craft distillery industry in North Carolina. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline while it is down to the nitty-gritty detail time for state lawmakers as they negotiate a deal on a new state operating budget Gov. Roy Cooper released his plan. Earlier this year.

Now the North Carolina Senate has released its plan. Becky Gray is the John Locke foundation's senior vice president and she says that the Senate budget plan offers more tax relief. It saves more money and keeps spending growth in check.

She's here to talk about it. Becky welcome back to the program. Thanks. The description sounds like fiscal restraint, good stewardship and we see that for number and you cannot say you got yeah I'm actually here and on that and if there's a message with this, but overall message. This continues on the road and fiscally responsible budgeting we've seen come out of the general assembly really since 2011, said his continues us on the plat path when the significant thanks just the starting point was we had $580 million in revenue surplus. That's a big deal. I think it also speaks to the economic growth that these kind of policies being put into place have resulted in so just the starting point was wearing very good shape and working on a much better than many other states were just one of the few states in the country that has a revenue surplus and this budget continues on the same lines you mention tax relief. Tell us about the on the Senate would further reduce personal income tax that would further reduce corporate income tax that would increase the standard deduction which means that that's that.

Zero tax bracket.

The amount of money that you pay no taxes on starting out, particularly significant for low income earners and low income taxpayers and that they get a break on a significant amount of their initial income right off the bat. I'm also some changes in mortgage deduction changes per child tax credits to deductions.

I believe that you have some other things in there that again. Additional tax cuts as a matter of fact, over a number of years. This would result in $1 billion in tax cuts that North Carolinians get to keep.

They are own hard-earned money while at the same time. What this budget dies is I believe that it fully funds inappropriately finds it responsibly funds the core functions of government. It also saves some money and that's also been a theme the past several years and that's also a very important part of an important thing to think about just if you think of your own family budget important to put that money aside in case your air conditioner breaks the Psalm are other things, we certainly saw this in North Carolina with hurricane Matthew unanticipated something we didn't expect. We certainly didn't ask for it. Bought some real needs of their of our North Carolinians in the eastern part of the state. We had fires in the western part of the state. Luckily we had money set aside to deal with that offer. They smoke some relief didn't have to go back and raise taxes or do any of that that money was set aside general simile recognizes the importance of this kind of fiscal responsibility and again have set aside additional money into the savings account is a matter of fact, I believe that the savings reserve now is at the highest point that we've ever seen in state government to help us get through another hurricane natural disaster with the downturn in the economy Is Better Positioned Than Most Other States. This Is This Is What Fiscal Responsibility Is All about.

Based on That. We Know That North Carolina Has Become a Model for Other States. Now, There's Actually Some Similarities As Our Colleague Roy Coronado Has Pointed out in His Piece Recently between the Trunk Tax Plan. That Proposal and What North Carolina Has Done.

But There's a Key Issue at Play Becky and That Is You Talk about the Tax Rate Reductions That Are in the Senate Plan and That We Seen Previously, but They Have Also Reined in Spending, and That's That.

The Two Go Together.

You Can't Have One without the Other.

On They Have Set Priorities. They Are Your Teacher Pay Increases Their Point There Are State Employee Pay Increases There's Money for All Kinds of Important Thing Additional Money for Education Going into the Class Run on Money Set Aside for Medicaid Reserve to Make Sure That These Reforms We Put into Place over the Next Couple of Years. There's a Little Bit of a Cushion. They Are Forced Those Kind of Key Functions of Government on Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Plan. Also Some Attention on That on the Budget Take out Mean the Priorities Are. They Are the Money Is Well Spent, but the Money Is Restrained. It's on the Priorities in This Budget Are Very Similar to What the Governor's Priorities Are. The Difference, As the Senate Spends the Money Better. And What Happens Next at the House Needs to Take up Their Budget Plan Right yet. As You Mentioned at the Beginning of the Segment on Which Saying the Governor's Budget. We Now Have the Senate Budget. The Next Thing That Will See Is the House Budget and They Have Already Started That Process.

The House Is Now Looking at It, Starting from Ground Zero.

Because They Have What Was in the Gov.'s Budget That Got All the Numbers the Fiscal Forecasting Those Kind of Things. Also, Somebody's Really Good Policies in the Senate Budget. We Can See in the House Budget As Well, but the Hills Will Put Their Stamp on Things and Some Things We Expect to See Are on Perhaps Not Billion Dollar Tax Cut, but Something More Modest Maybe They're Talking 400 Million 600 Million Rather Than a Billion Something like That We Get We Haven't Seen the Plan yet. We Expect to See It Next Week so We'll See Those Kind of Things, but Again Think We Can Expect to See Teacher Pay Increases Principal Pay Increases on Something for State Employees against Funding Education, Making Sure That That Money Is in the Class Running That Affects Kids and Opportunities for Them on Also Shoring up the Medicaid A Lot Of Things We Saying in the Senate Budget. We Will See in the House Budget with Maybe Just a Little Bit of Shifting around of Things.

One Dynamic That Is Different to This Time around Is the Person Who Sits in the Gov.'s Slight and That Is Democrat Roy Cooper. Of Course It Was Republican Pat McCrory in Previous Years.

What Role Will the Governor Play in the Soil, the Course the Governor Has Done His Budget Proposal.

So We See What He Would Have Spent the Money and Give the Priorities That the Governor Laid out in a Money Being Spent on Education on Infrastructure Tax Relief for Middle-Class Families on Those Kind of Things Are in the Gov.'s Budget. She Does Have in North Carolina.

The Governor Has the Veto Power so You Know That's Going to Be the Million. The $22 Billion Question in a Couple of Weeks after We Get the Senate Budget House Budget That Will Come Together Put Together a Conference Report Which Is a Combination and a Compromise of Their Budgets. It Then Will Go over to the Gov.'s Office and He Has a Choice of Doing Three Things. Number One, He Can Sign It into Law. He Can Do Nothing in Which Fact after 10 Days, It Becomes Law or He Can Veto It and We Seemed Gov. Cooper Has Already Vetoed a Number of Bills He's Not Shy about Vetoing Things We Know That I'm Donna Right Now What I'm Saying. So Far, and of Course You Know We Just Got the Solid Facts of the Senate Budget in Front of Us.

Right Now We Do Expect Similar Things in the House Budget Is to Be a Tough Budget for the Governor to Veto That Nina Will See Him. He Is Already Complaining That It Doesn't Spend Enough You Gotta Go Back to the Question of What's the Revenue and What's the Spending and How Can We Find That Balance and How Can We Appropriately Fund Things so You Know, Will We Don't Know but That That's What the Gov.'s Choice Is He Can Either Sign It in the Long He Can Veto It or He Can Do Nothing in Which Fact Then It Becomes Law about the Fact Becky. We Talked about Some of the Tax Provisions Them in the Senate Plan Also the Issue of Saving Money and Raining and Spending Growth.

What Other Things Are in That Senate Budget That You Think Are Really Good Anything to Do Criminal Justice -wise or Healthcare Reform in Public That Thank You for Mentioning That a Couple Things. One Is the Senate Budget Repeals Certificate of Need. If You're Not Familiar with That.

That's Where There Is Government Paying a Government Slip Required for Medical Equipment. New Medical Facilities We've Written Extensively about the about the cost in the limiting access that certificate of need laws Dick Senate budget completely repeals certificate of need over a number of years on that. That's very, very good news is good policies. The smart thing today also raise the age now this is something again.

We've written a lot about at the John Locke finish lots of information available. This would be where 16 and 17-year-olds would be tried as juveniles rather than as a dull gray things very much.

Thank you stay with us much more Carolina general radio to come in just a moment government plays a key role in your life affecting your paycheck the way you educate your kids the way you do business. How can you tell if government is doing a good job making the right choices.

Spending tax dollars wisely. Carolina tackles those questions every day. The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina journal imprint each month and on the web each you'll find exclusive investigative reports on topics. No one else is covering what else a rundown of the best new stories, editorials and opinion columns in North Carolina. John Hood's daily Journal news stories and important public and the voices of the newsmakers themselves at Carolina journal radio imprint on the air and on the web. You can find the information you welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko got the voters of Great Britain shocked much of the world.

Last year when they voted to exit the European Union. Now is the details of the reqs that are being worked out what might it mean for relations between Britain and Europe between Britain and the US. How about for North Carolina was next guest has some interesting thoughts on that topic. Matthew Elliott is senior fellow at the legato Institute was CEO of the vote leave campaign that pushed for breakfast thanks for joining us. Thank you so obviously this was something that sent some shockwaves throughout the political world you as someone who was pushing for breakfast.

I am guessing you work shocked you saw that there was a ripe opportunity for this to happen like I did an eyesore, especially towards the end of the campaign people realizing that she and I was supporting today for us.

If you back to Britain's relation with the EU.

We joined back in the 1970s, when Britain was available. I read Dalglish economy with a sick mother.

If Europe would do so well. We sold us the ocean. She joined a free-trade club that free-trade club 200 something very different, turned into a political union where I was take a loss of control from the UK with a situation where 60% of those in the UK will be made by Brussels people fully wants to take back control take back control of no making have elected politicians in the UK making rules while the other elected politicians in Brussels. So yes, I was slightly shocked in the sense that there is little something to do, but I knew that's where the public sentiment was now the reqs. It is underway. What sorts of things have to happen between now and the official break between Britain and the European well.

Prime Minister Teresa Mayo's trigger. It's also 50 about six weeks.

I've got means that to your processor to your negotiation to go through.

Now they suspect they will take the quick of about two point be done by about September 20 exceed leaving about three months for the national parliaments of the European Parliament trust you ratified the final deal so good with that believe on the new roof 2018 20 1900s, the negotiations will be. I think she will be straightforward results also to haul in the press the button was about 100 billion bill so Britain will have to pay, and how Britain has to be punished for daring to leave the EU but I said I think when they get down to the details as they will lace this year.

Once a general election struck the way I should they be registry food UK is the biggest export market for the rest of the EU so winos wouldn't they want to do a free-trade deal with the UK. Similarly, I don't think trees may will seek to punish the EU for Britain leaving I think should be willing to continue to give somebodies the EU for a short period of time to help them in that transition to the supposed bricks.

It will do as well. So the deal is that we don't. You have suggested what might happen. Relations between Britain and Europe help up Britain and the US what's likely to happen with Rex coast Britain Cody doesn't have a trade deal with the US because the US EU trade deal tea set collapsed and Joe isn't going anywhere. So there is a fragile environment. Yes of course we still your very reliance Alicia very overlapping in our economies so Britain is the biggest of invests in the US economy just like the US is the biggest investment UK economy if you Brits working for foreign companies likely to be an American company is your American working for British company for the phone company is likely to be recycled. This is a huge overlap between dots who called me at the moment so I hope that will be cemented and supplemented by having a free-trade deal, and I say please are told from talks about this most unusual during his presidential bid.

Also into reason they came to visit him in the White House shortly after his inauguration, and he's coming to the UK lecturing the euros coming in October but I'm hoping that the US UK trade you will be the centerpiece of what I talk about do you think that the fact that Donald Trump was such a supporter of exit and seems to have a captain to some of the same thoughts and attitudes that led to bricks and does help but improve the chances that this relationship will remain and become even stronger. I think it helps a huge way. You may remember that during the referendum campaign itself for students.

Obama said that Britain would be sent to the back of the queue free-trade deal it evokes to leave so you have a president who is actually supposed bricks.

It understands the motivations why people voted for it and wants to do trade deal with UK. I think that may be a good thing we are speaking with Matthew Elliott, senior fellow at the legato Institute in the UK.

He was also CEO of the vote leave campaign pushed for Rex. Some people here in North Carolina are going to be hearing us and saying well I enjoy hearing that nice British accent. This is interesting topic, but what is it really mean for me. If you are talking to average North Carolinian and trying to tell of why Rex, it is good to be good for them. What would you tell I see for two reasons. Your forcible. Did you know did they know that $1.4 billion so you of exports going from North Carolina to the UK. I hope that, and what I should go up if we get this UK US trade deal, I think. Secondly, another reason would be that I'm hoping to bricks. It will be the first step in having wider worldwide free-trade zone of increased prosperity form that I should fingerprint will be guiding lights in this, the EU is becoming more more protectionist over the side note, do you trade deal with the US for example your note be able to trade deal with China with India, only to try to do with Canada extremely slowly as really become a regional protectionist trade book. I think that if Britain leads the way in terms of being a smooth stunted veteran full free-trade use in Europe, but I fear the rest of the E will have to follow and that nothing will stop. See other countries around the world. Songs do trade deals get the things of really she schooled in the trade world really since the 1990s and trade is the best way to improve worldwide prosperity notes eight note giving money to different countries having trade deals with them as we're speaking this is just in the aftermath of the French presidential election that some are saying wait a minute. The way that France voted is sort of against the tide of this populist movement that led to bricks it into Donald Trump. I imagine that you see a little bit differently. I do you are you fully enough present Michael, the new president affronts to reinvent himself politically. So you have to be impulsive, Kristin Holmes, government is will the finance ministers he had to resign from the government about two years ago sets up a new political policy almost straight to trying. So show how he was in touch with the on to subsequent feeling and possibly new revolution to change friends who thought she had to do that to me was a win for populism in the sense that has a politician who have to go against the grain of the state described in the establishment will have to see if he lives up to his pace was he his rhetoric in the campaign you like the politicians also go back on his promise is about to go back to his roots as a socialist and adult yellow graduates from from France, but if he if he wants to stay popular. I fiesta realizing said this is speech when he got the presidency is realizable to listen to the people who voted for Marie Le Pen.

One person is going to be watching all of these developments very closely is our guest, Matthew Elliott, senior fellow at the legato Institute.

He was CEO of the boat leave campaign pushed for bricks and thanks will have more on Caroline internal rate of interest among are you looking to make North Carolina more free the John Mott foundation is in here are three things you can do today to help us make it happen. First, know the facts visit John Mott data work for data analysis, interviews, and more and read Carolina to learn what government is doing with your money. Second, influence the debate invest in the John Locke foundation's work with a tax-deductible donation you can get it done in and third make North Carolina more free by sharing the message of freedom. It's easy when you visit John Click on shareable's download past messages to freedom. Dear friends, print the messages and mail them, or if your savvy computer user share the message of freedom on Facebook and Twitter know the facts influence the debate and share the message three things you can do today to help us make North Carolina more free. Get started North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John lock foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John lock in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else. Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal.

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You'll also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy one idea shot down by the North Carolina Gen. assembly this year, four year terms for state legislators Republican representative Harry Warren made the case for asking voters whether to extend the current two-year terms into four-year terms.

The only changes if the voters approve would be the length of time that elected official serves with puts them in line with the other elected positions of counsel stay Gov.'s office of this would also serve to ensure a reasonable degree of institutional knowledge for our members is a serve in this capacity as it currently stands as you all know, being elected official. We get sworn in in January run the short session, ideally till the end of June. Sometimes the later but come the following February or filing to run again before the short session and it's just an endless cycle of campaigning and and fundraising. And I think the general public is tired of that and I think it detracts from the proficiency in productivity of the legislature to be involved in politics or politicking, and more than half the time that you're here to serve on behalf of the people. This will also reduce reduce the workload on local and state board of elections these bills across the addressing ours tenure 22 times since 1993. Every legislature before us is recognized the shortcomings of a two-year servitude here in the in the session Warren's idea ran into opposition from colleagues such as Republican John blushed. He cited the historical record supporting two-year terms for lawmakers. The founders were very adamant that anybody with the power to levy taxes on fellow citizens needed to face those fellow citizens very frequently in every second year. Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution says House of Representatives shall consist of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states in them later in the same article it said all taxing all bills to produce revenue must originate in that house that faces the voters very frequently so I think this is one of the fundamental tenets of our very system of government, our Republic, that those with the taxing power. Those that can run tax bills have to face the voters very frequently.

That's Republican state representative John blushed one of the lawmakers who helped kill an idea to extend state lawmakers terms of service from two years to four years. The idea is dead. For the rest of this legislative session will return with more Carolina journal radio. Are you tired of fake news. Well you won't find it here at Carolina journal. We don't make things up and we don't presume or assign motives.

There's no simpler way to put it then that were proud to say that honest, factual, rigorous journalism is the Carolina journal way our reporting team is focused on accountability in government and policymaking. No matter which political party is in power, and regardless of the person taken to task in the story, Carolina journal where the holding to the truth and to transparency.

Unlike fake news lies, innuendo, questionable sourcing all meant to create controversy not inform the debate. So the next time you're confronted with fake news log onto Carolina or pick up the latest print edition you'll find compelling news reporting from a team that knows what it means to be real journalists committed to truth Carolina you can count on us for the facts. Welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy some state lawmakers want to take steps to ensure greater protection of free speech on North Carolina public university campuses, Republican state representative Jonathan Jordan recently explained the idea behind the campus free speech act 1973 the US Supreme Court stated the mere dissemination of ideas, no matter how offensive to good taste on the state university campus may not be shut off and the name alone of conventions of decency.

Why is that relevant in North Carolina. First of all, there are no statues address free speech of the constituent institutions of University of North Carolina, the board of governors has adopted a broad policy. The quote supports and encourages freedom of inquiry for faculty members and students protects faculty and students quote in the responsible exercise of the freedom to teach, to learn and otherwise seek and speak the truth within the framework of the constituent university institutions may create their own policies that comply with the First Amendment.

What will Jordan's bill due that will require the board of governors of University of North Carolina to develop, adopt and implement various policies related to free expression. McCright Burley and skill of Orange County objected to Jordan's bill, I would probably be fine with this bill if it stopped on page 1 with the directing the board of governors to develop and adopt a policy for on free expression that. There, this is a solution looking for a problem really, I have followed the University system for a good many years we have had some ups and downs with free speech that we have ups and downs with everything young people come to college to learn about free speech and they do it best. Through experience, not through a set of rules. So I don't I don't like the sort of we don't trust you your not grown-up enough or not mature enough you don't have the legal expertise I don't like the set of rules setting. I trust our campuses their professionals there more experience than most of us of the sort of issue, and I trust them to make those decisions and to communicate. Also don't like the committee reporting to that that that also you have to report to the world how well you're doing. So I decided we hear when things go wrong.

We have, we hear that the newspaper sometimes these cases end up in court. That's where you deal with constitutional issues like I just did don't like this kind of regulation of a of the constitutional right goes opposition prompted a response from Republican representative Chris Millis of Pender County. Are you not aware that constituent institutions of the UNC system. Over the years. Recently, in fact, have been sued and have lost litigation against faculty members with her free speech rights of been suppressed by ministry to policies that existed under the board of governors policy and the statutes are mostly needed to preempt that protection and student groups as well have sued constituent institutions for the UNC system and have one costing taxpayer dollars because the statutes were on the books to protect both the students as well as the faculty. Are you aware that this may be a very good solution to a problem that most certainly exist not just across the nation. But even here in North Carolina. I believe the court system is exactly the place to solve these problems and that's where it needs to be done and I think that the world will survive. Best if we let the system work through the through the court system and through the institutions that are our our charged with helping our young people develop expertise through experience.

That's Democrat Burley Ensco responding to Republican Chris Millis during a statehouse debate about a build up the campus free speech act. Millis set another question for Ensco is not responsible for this body to by way of our oversight of the board of governors in the UC system instead of having a student who may be enrolled in a university who their free speech rights are being suppressed to litigate against university that they are currently enrolled at or faculty member who is currently working at a constituents to show that our UC system may have to litigate against that institution is not better is not proper for us to have a set of proper regulations that may preempt or per unit or prevents those family members or those students from having their first minute rights violated in the first place. I still agree that the courts are the public a public debate that courts provide a public debate on these issues and that's where I think that their best handled Democrat Mickey Michaud of Durham blamed the bill on one conservative commentator Lysistrata what you called and called Dale and Colton got into question fight one of the other universities, along with a gentleman I can pronounce his name had a problem with them expressing their sentiments on the particular campus water by way that the university system in North Carolina is always head, basically.

And because of litigation or not policy of free speech on the campus. I call this a build and regulate free speech and that's exactly what it is and I don't think this this body or any body ought to be in a position of having to regulate free speech bill sponsor Jonathan Jordan took issue with his Democratic colleagues assessment regulating free-speech variance as a thank you for your comments from the show as a campus right now and University of North system that has free-speech zones on campus. The only places you have free-speech zones of the bureaucrats are set out for you is about .67% of the entire campus. I thought when I went to college as well as the two graduate schools.

I've been to that the entire university system with free expression, not certain zones based on what a bureaucrat wanted the faculty Senate Appalachian State University in February presented a statement of freedom of speech and it sounds like is pulled right out of our bill. They are very much in support of a look free and open inquiry in all matters, even if different members of the University community often and quite naturally conflict but it is not the proper role of university to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find and welcome disagreeable or even deeply offensive to some of the statement from the faculty Senate Appalachian State, in case you're wondering if we need this bill besides about this free-speech zones are Chancellor Appalachian have a very good relationship with.

By the way, made this comment is important to note the free-speech is encouraged. Our campus, but not all speech that may be considered protected under state or federal law is consistent with the University's values and mission speech protected by state and federal laws may not be consistent with our university's value and mission. Sounds like we need this bill very much on our campus to help provide some direction and some protection not regulation free-speech more free speech is good. I would regulate the free-speech I want to be available to all parties left and right that's Republican state representative Jonathan Jordan of Ashe County defending the campus free-speech act. The house approved the idea with the vote of 88 to 32 term with more Carolina journal radio in a moment.

If you love freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups all across the state. All in one place North Carolina one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement had North Carolina You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analyst plus opinion pieces and reports on higher education.

All of that from the Pope Center for higher education policy commentary and polling data from the Cintas Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all of that, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Log on today. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez, North Carolina's alcohol industry is a maze of rules and regulations that date back to prohibition. But our next guest says that despite all of that North Carolina distilleries are actually driving in his new book called steel and barrel John Trump traces the history of manufacturing moonshine whiskey, gin, vodka and rum. John, welcome to the program.

Thanks. Now your day job. We should let people know is that you actually managing editor of Carolina journal yes but down at night and on weekends. You have become an author writing this book quite right about what happened was we my wife and I are gonna the Kentucky bourbon trill a couple years ago and I was fascinated with the history of the tradition the sights and smells and I had gotten laid off from from another job, so I have a lot of time on my hands and my wife came home one day and through this piece of pamphlet at me and she's like you to check this out and on the Bourbons world is a passport where you can visit the stores and check them off in North Carolina had come to the same thing. I had never heard of this. I'm like wow so I started blogging about it and I did a couple blogs and visit distiller and Winston settlers, which makes gin and she's like an ad that I had done a blog so I thought well and she persuaded me that maybe if you do this you should try get paid for so I have all material are ready for book proposal and I submitted it to Blair Mayor excited about it and the they said once you have done. We talked about a little bit and it's being hot right now and one of the apoptosis behind us book was that people had written piece know about these the stores. Nobody had actually put it together a comprehensive manual or or Booker or God or nonfiction narrative piece so I said okay let's disc strike while the iron is hot so to speak, and we can get this by September 1, but it's now been published is called still ends barrel craft spirits in the old North state written by our guest stump John Trump.

I moved here from Arizona and I was a NASCAR fan when I moved here so my connection to North Carolina alcohol was really NASCAR and moonshiners is that part of the impotency will write him in NASCAR got its start from moonshiners Junior Johnson outrunning the revenue numbers and outlive that's true that's how it happened in some of the bigger bootleggers.

The guys who transported you know they were all in of the cat. That is, they are all you know, Sue, Sue, Sue could be faster. Sue could outrun the law. The best thing you know this is that a time when you can actually outrun the law which technologies you to do that anymore.

You know that have these friendly competitions were not so friendly and the in a race each other and that's kinda how you know they built North Wilkesboro in the not NASCAR can permit a NASCAR will probably as separate itself from that moonshine heritage, but none in Junior Johnson is is is the big one and will likely call. For example, Buck Nance Geiser was coming now gorgeous will will he is died, but his sons Brian call the moonshine its original recipe goes back 100 years in Wilkes County. So it's all all from the tradition off from here about actually sold me a car was a thing as a New Yorker, a 60 something New Yorker about a giant giant pillow where you could fit. I forget how many gallons of you know, plastic bottles of moonshine in the back and while you drive around town. You know, looking good, but didn't know it is hard to know what was in the car so yes, that's the that's, you know the run and how this hall. NASCAR got started with the moon trench moonshine tradition goes way back. Of course, will tell us about the industry today.

You say it's thriving.

I mean how many distilleries some are there. They make a guess. Thriving is a relative term there getting some are doing well summer doing better than others, but you know it it's an evolution. It's a process you know there's there's people who obviously they start off with a clear spirits with the vodkas with the with the moonshine which is an aged with gin. Some people are very successful Macon gin the sweet potato vodka which which is become Army sweet potatoes were the biggest producer sweet potatoes.

I think in a world North Carolina's inner that's another point it plays off the agriculture because a lot of these distiller's or as many as they can.

One is even grown his own corn to get locally sourced wheat capo in Chapel Hill could suite from Scotland that God startled medic who didn't know what to do with this red organic we in the top. It was like maybe we could make whiskey out of it so that's all that's how that starts in its evolve so North Carolina agriculture apples. There's a farmer in around the Wilkes County low orchards that supplies apples to keep your keys more in the Carolina distilleries so are these all products then that we would just buy in the store.

I mean, are they selling to North Carolina. They sell inside the state or even outside the country. The liquor itself.

They say there's there's there's different strategies that you could be good for.

For example, muddy river in Belmont which is around Charlotte makes wrong makes very good, but he doesn't go outside Mecklenburg County because there's you get to a point where you can produce much member. These are small distiller's new system where it got warehouses with hundred thousand barrels in it.

So they've they've got a continent, targeted know some bigger ones quote unquote bigger like capo and Piedmont have grown Troy and sons are the windowsill outside the state but I think the strategy now is you gotta be big in your community will shelf space because remember an ABC store you're competing with Jim being rejected was competing with Crown Royal and Smirnov McCarty so the key is you know to find a way to get into these ABC stores and and get people's attention so I don't so you can grow too quickly, but I think the idea now is to hit the neighborhoods hit the base build a following and go from there. What did you find when you started investigating some of these these businesses are they in it because they love gender. They look they love from our these entrepreneurial that's a great question it.

It's a little bit of both. I think with people like the calls and Jeremy Morrison Benson it's it's about legacy there. There descendents made it a howling moon in Asheville. It goes back to the Scots Irish and in Western Pennsylvania. So you know it's a legacy it's it's a tradition remember being weed and allow alcohol beeped to be made more curling to light 79 winning at the first distiller 2005. So it's a nod to that legacy tradition and now leasable we can we can do this a big impetus was a lot of people were buying it intensive. For example, some of the bigger makers were buying it in an Indiana mass-produced commodity alcohol just plain ugly goodbyes commodity like this taste like vodka. This is awful. Gotta make our own and a lot of this is entrepreneurship and a passionate desire to succeed and do something special.

While Ted really interesting new book it's been written by our guest John Trump and by the way, no relation to the president and he is actually managing editor of Carolina Journal. The book is called still and barrel craft spirits in the old North state.

John's been a pleasure. Thank you Greg that's all the time we have for Carolina journal radio this week.

Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez come back again next week for another edition of Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke done call 1866 Jayla 166-553-4636 journal radio nation airline is running all opinions expressed on this program nearly mentioned about Michelle or other programs foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again

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