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Carolina Journal Radio No. 838: Senate unveils its version of N.C. budget

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2019 10:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 838: Senate unveils its version of N.C. budget

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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June 10, 2019 10:00 am

State senators have rolled out their version of a $23.9 billion General Fund spending plan for the budget year that starts July 1. The Senate differs from the House in prioritizing pay raises for state workers. Neither chamber has included any money for addressing Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed Medicaid expansion. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, analyzes the Senate’s proposals. Whatever you think about the best way to fight crime, you likely support the idea that crime-fighting policies ought to work as intended. Brandon Garrett, professor at the Duke Law School, focuses on evidence-based criminal justice. He explains how his research could influence public policy. State lawmakers are debating a bill that would loosen restrictions on the state’s craft distilleries. You’ll hear why proponents are touting the measure as a jobs bill, while opponents want to preserve the state’s existing regulations. Fourth Amendment concerns cropped up during debate about a bill to help law enforcement agencies use technology to track missing people. The bill would allow authorities to proceed without a warrant in emergency situations. You’ll learn why some lawmakers raised constitutional objections. State government recently updated rules linked to N.C. livestock operations. The process causes concern for Donald van der Vaart, John Locke Foundation senior fellow. He explains why the revision seems to be based on discussions between state regulators and environmental activist groups, with little to no input from affected farmers.

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Cherokee ticker attack from 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 public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio I'm Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state.

Whatever you think about fighting crime. You likely agree that the policies in place ought to do what they say they're going to do chat with an expert at Duke University, who puts criminal justice policies to the test. Some state lawmakers want to loosen restrictions on craft distilleries in North Carolina. There, tying their arguments to the state economy, a bill to help law enforcement officers across the state track missing people more easily, has generated some fourth amendment concerns to learn why and will hear from an environmental expert who's concerned about new North Carolina rules dealing with livestock. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline. How will North Carolina lawmakers spend the tax money that you worked hard to earn and then paid into the state treasury.

One step closer to an answer to that question.

The North Carolina Senate has now proposed its plan for the new operating budget scheduled to take effect July 1. It follows the house and the governor doing the same. Joe Colletti is a senior fellow with the John lock foundation.

He's joining us now with a look at what the Senate leaders would like to do with the cash. Joe welcome back to the shop. Glad to be here give us an overall sense of how the Senate compares in terms of spending and priorities with the house and the governor. The Senate spends the exact same dollar amount as is the is the house was interesting so so that part is good. They both spend less and the governor. The Senate actually sets aside more money because after the house passed its budget. We got the April numbers for tax revenues and they came in much higher than expected with expectations for the rest of the year so that $500 million more that than the house had to do stuff with me, save that important in the capital instead of into the operating budget incident and read more on the bottom line so but the overall spending is the same with what a lot of discussion in the news media about time spending on education give us a sense of what the Senate does with education spending. Teachers pay raises, that kind of right so it's the same dollar amount as the house, but the way the way they spend the money is different because the house had larger pay raises for teachers. There is a little strike that happened to meet him on this, not a strength because not a union but there is a protest from the teachers from the teachers Association and Raleigh and I don't know if that had an effect but the Senate provide is providing less and pay raises in doing to use to teachers providing more and pay raises to state employees because there is also some talk over the past few months that state employees over the over the last 10 years have not done nearly as well as teachers and what they give to teachers and principals and it provides more money to principles, but they also do more in bonus payments and incentive payments to one-time payments to teachers and principals than you the house were the governor so they they take a different approach to God and teacher salary is the largest portion of what we spent on education that's to be fascinating because there's going to have to be a coming together, so to speak, between the house and the Senate, and if they use the money in different ways that could be a pretty interesting negotiation more than so that's that that's the next up is the is that the house passed its version. The Senate is now past, it's in the next week will have to come up with who is going to be on that conference committee from both from both chambers to come up with that compromise so that they can that they will eventually then pass send on to the governor so that he can veto. We've also heard much much discussion about Health and Human Services, how much money and in particular the issue of Medicaid and whether or not we will add 500 to 600,000 people to the Medicaid rolls. The governor's huge supporter of Medicaid expansion under Obama care what about the Senate leaders.

The Senate leaders are not so the Senate and the house have and that's why I said is the were expecting us governor to veto this bill because the Senate in the house. One of the things I do agree on the sides of total dollar amount is that there is no Medicaid expansion. They don't see that is affordable. They don't see it as a good use of money. The sentence puts more money into some specific areas for the butt but Medicaid expansion is not on that list and it will not be on that list did the Senate budget include some sort of appropriation for folks who have Artie qualified for Medicaid but have been on a wait list you see as a result, there is action, how they approach it yet. Interesting that they don't want to expand it, though, to that to 500 to 600,000 people. That's gonna be another key point to mention the governor may well veto this if it doesn't end up having that unit. You've also been looking at borrowing and saving issues whether Senate leaders do with in that area so because there is a $500 million extra. There's also another hundred $90 million in expected revenue this year. The Senate rebuilds relatively quickly. The money that was spent last year from the savings reserve account saving service estates Rainy Day fund last year we had little rainy days with hurricane thorns and that and the food legislature took $750 million from the Rainy Day fund to to help with recovery and relief efforts met state money. It's not that we don't have to. We don't have to wait on like the federal money.

That's money that's already there and being spent, but the the house and the governor were were slower to to refill those coffers. The Senate because there is that extra money available, but they put it before million dollars side this year and not another $700 million aside next year into the state into the savings account they leave $709 on the bottom line which is still available to be used and and then they also put $1.3 million into capital funds, which includes debt service but instead of borrowing, which the governor would've done to build schools and community colleges induce water projects. The Senate pays for that from from the availability and so they'd talked about this for some time and this is this is the first step of that that there were $200 million over $200 aside for schools, community colleges, and other projects so sound like the Senate leaders have made good in their budget plan. What they talked about before they they endorse the so-called pay as you go right way versus borrowing money and having to pay back the debt plus interest right so get with with with using pay as you go.

We were paying down the debt service that we have on money on money that's already been spent in projects that already happened, instead putting that into new projects as they as they come up in the money is been spent and so there's less money that has to go into debt so future generations aren't gonna have to pay for what were getting. Now we paying for stuff that they're getting at the time Joe over the last number of years in these operating budgets we have seen a lot of tax relief, tax reform efforts from the Republican Landon Gen. assembly. I think Ken Ewing with their tax reform. Yes, they are there.

There are couple of areas that they're changing.

One is franchise tax. They have been working on the corporate income tax franchise taxes another business tax that is but based on the total value of the company and their reducing the rates and in transforming some of how that is calculated there also reforming how the corporate income taxes is calculated to make that an easier thing into and in both cases, it shares the Bible by reducing the franchise tax and changing how they do the corporate income tax shifts more the burden to companies that are on the state which encourages companies. The idea is to locate in North Carolina and to provide some some help to individuals. They increase the standard deduction by $1000 and this is called a zero hatchback write-offs doesn't get enough really conversation. Particularly, you would think that those who approach things more from the progressive side of ideology would endorse that because that helps the lower income people. The motherless it doesn't in our and are calling the Scott Coker has written a lot about that and in doing comparisons of the bank teller versus the banks for the versus the bank president right that the bank teller if it's a lot from an additional thousand dollars is taken off their income tax which which got out of their income, not their tax goes down by about 5% of that, but the CEO has less benefit from that because the tax burden is so much more because they have such a hard text because it be because they have more income to pay more taxes.

Lastly, Joe. We know you said that the conference committee will be formed in the house and the Senate will have to get together on this. What you think is can be the flashpoint between those two groups between the house and the Senate this the probably good the teacher pay question if the house will be willing to to have lower teacher pay and sit in some of the other issues related capital and things like that but there is largely an agreement so that should be not. Shouldn't be too bad for them once they come up with that will have you back.

Joe Colletti is senior fellow with the John Locke foundation. You can read all of his work@johnlocke.org. Thank you. Same with this much more Carolina journal rainy in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up@carolinajournal.com you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month.

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You won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism.

We hold government accountable for you will get back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko got people hold a wide range of views about how to address crime but there's at least one area where there ought to be widespread agreement steps we take to address crime ought to do what advocates say they'll do. That's where our next guest comes in. Brandon Garrett is a professor at the Duke Law school.

He recently spoke to the John Locke foundation about research projects seeking to make criminal justice more evidence-based. Thanks for joining us. Thank you, thank you for having me. So we talk about making criminal justice more evidence-based. What we talk about Ms. number different things. So quite a bit of my research looks at wrongful convictions.

Obviously, it's not good evidence of its literally false evidence that's convicting someone and a lot of my early work of studying what causes eyewitnesses to get it wrong I'm not intending to. What causes people falsely confess how to improve forensic science and can be more accurate and so all those accuracy -related issues have to do with getting the evidence right so that we catch guilty people and clear innocent people, but a lot more work happening across the country looking at not just okay we don't. No one wants innocent people in jail. But how do we rely on better evidence to inform policy, how do we think about. One is imprisonment appropriate for how long and when it isn't it and what can we do to have better outcomes and people come out of jail or prison since almost everyone a medical leave. Does what are better ways to combat crime.

I would suspect that a lot of people haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about the role that evidence plays in here.

You basically think there's a crime there's a penalty because we've had crimes for many years. We all seem to know what the right penalty is but but does not hasn't necessarily been based on evidence we have so actually you know that a lot of the modern approaches towards sentencing and criminal enforcement are entitled. Things really changed in the 1970s because there's a huge crime wave both homicides. Other types of crimes.

People were overreacting. People are reacting to some really difficult problems and also in the mid-90s, crime started going down unless that's created more reason we will know why crime went up by the why or why went on criminologist don't really have a good fix on that which is also disturbing for those of us who think okay as lawyers know we want to get criminal laws right and that's a good way to deter crime or prevent crime. We don't know why crime goes up and of a lot of people are thinking about today is will how long distances need to be in all are there better ways to to prevent crime and integrate people to society when they inevitably do get out of jail and prison and we need research on that.

We need research on how to handle the connection between mental health and the Col. justice system. I think lots of people thinking about that today also. People also thinking about how do we handle addiction especially with opioid epidemic in North Carolina and around the country. You can't do know use jail or prison is a blunt instrument to rent the spread of addiction. There is certainly a role for further criminal law and criminal punishment, but were realizing there also needs to be a medical role. How to get that medical legal connection writers is another challenge we are chatting with Brandon Garrett, professor at the Duke Law school. I think some people might be listening to us and will save themselves. This all sounds good but if someone commits a crime face of punishment needs to be stiff enough that not only will they not do it again. But though it'll deter other people.

If that's the mindset that we are thinking about the evidence of what works and what what doesn't work. What kinds of problems is that create hello evidence that people for all types of crimes at least are deterred and think that way about this is what the sentences is what I'm facing. While people have no idea what's in these criminal sentencing statutes, and maybe a white collar offender know something about example access to lawyers and can get advice about work for you, for your prosecutor. This is what might happen next with the garlic all assembled funders on thinking about law either thinking about making the business successful in taking risks, but regular offenders often have no idea.

So here's just an example and I may sound trivial but there's research I'm working on with colleagues at Duke looking at this in about one every eight adult drivers in North Carolina has a suspended driver's license and that's an enormous consequence of music and get around can't go the doctor can go to work legally at least were finding those that huge numbers of people. This is in the hundreds of thousands of people have a suspended license is because that insulting court for a traffic case traffic ticket and a traffic ticket about refunding amenities. People talk, but nothing deterred had no idea that their license was suspended lately.

Find out because please stop them for something else and they say your license is suspended is only me and say I don't have a license with my license. I have a license but you know when you're when people don't show up in court because they don't get the letter in the mail and other. Therefore they live in rental housing exchange addresses the court has the wrong address on file. They don't get the notice I'm supposed to show up then then there these terrible consequences.

And you know obviously if people lose their jobs because they have a drivers license that doesn't help us get the tickets. And there's a lot of thought going into okay.

Do we need to be imposing these fines and fees across society, which may trap people and make it harder for us to get the thing the good things that we want out of the law.

Obviously this is a topic that is right for a lot of academic research how much is the research translated into actually getting policies changed so that that's obviously a goal whenever you do research. You hope that if you come up with good solutions of people of all them. One area of research that I've worked on, a lot is on eyewitness memory and in North Carolina.

Actually, it's been many years now that good lineup practices have been in place and it was can really prevent wrongful convictions it's it's been slower going in Virginia but one thing that I did with my research team as we gave advice to the crime commission and help to inform a model policy that went out all law enforcement in Virginia to describe what steps you need to follow to sell photos to an eyewitness to make sure that you're not affecting the member that you just testing their memory without potentially changing it. That's one area where I feel like we had a really good impact in Virginia on the mental health side. We did some research starting two years ago trying to identify rural jurisdictions that were doing a really good job of using best practices to early intervention people, maybe not convicted of anything, but first encounters with the police and police have a feeling that someone might have serious mental health needs. They were for that person to services before things get bad, and so we we provided budgets to the legislature and the lawmakers but it ended up awarding substantial amount of money to replicate what those rural districts are doing is that of the rural districts that don't have lots of psychiatric services could start to provide mental health services to avoid justice problems down the road in the brief time that we have left when it comes to adding evidence-based methods to criminal justice or we are. We picking at the at the edges here, or is there substantial room for improvement in terms of adding evidence-based tools to what we do. I think there substantial room to do new work there.

For example, in Virginia, and other districts are looking at this we can use risk assessments to identify low risk offenders and so now if all you care about is just wish to impose the same punishment on everyone to deter anyone use that approach. But Virginia what lawmakers thought in the 90s was if we know that there are people who are really low risk are really unlikely to do it again. Yes, will convict them but they can serve their sentence supervised in the community at enormous cost savings and and and with social benefits that we found is that judges are using that as often as they could ignore many thousands of people who can benefit from that.

But the chances that they will do anything again or a remote and number prosecutors here North Carolina thinking about the same thing. What can we do to do diversion if there people who are low risk. Do we need to have them in jail. Can we supervised in the community can provide better treatment than we could in a jail setting Brandon Garrett. He is professor at the Duke loss thank you, thank you so much more North Carolina journal radio just about if you love freedom we got great news to share with you now.

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One specific proposal would grant more freedom to craft distilleries. The idea doesn't appeal to Republican state representative Pat Hurley of Randolph County.

This is just another exception to IBC system. This would allow decelerate spirits just like ABC stores control system is what it should make retellings fears to be left to the local ABC boards control versus private system access to the control is predicated upon the need to control the retail sales. If distilleries are allowed to sell spirits at retail and who will be next, convenience stores, Walmart and Sam's Club United States already has serious problems with alcohol and particularly with under age drinking, but it has not reached the point of an epidemic like to get the UK. This can happen in the US and is very possible at any time with it being appearing today that is pushing market forces push prices lower net Alcohol there very much of available I beg you to please please stop some of this that they're trying to do. On the other side of the argument. State House Republican leader John Bell of Wayne County Bell asked colleagues not to think of the craft distillery proposal is Justin alcohol Bill, I was involved in the distillery legislation years ago and unloaded by some of the bills are run here. People think I'll probably partake a lot of this, but I tell you that I don't I don't this baby craft beer drinking drink good real beer light the fact is, is that this is the industry. This is a booming industry in our state and if we took the word alcohol away from our use of C while you subsidize crying anything like that every single one of us will jump on board yes yes we want a job with the revenue you want to watch was happening in and are small towns of the still distillers Republican growing we will all be for that which is the word liquor in there and it scares people. Fact is, is a booming industry in our state. We need to unleash it just like we did the wineries now. Now we have all along Alana Caucus will we promote grapes and promote wine and we talk about the wonderful things are happening, what are wineries all over the state same situation happened years ago would with the crimper loop with the breweries have done for downtowns all across our our our our state booming breweries booster coming back distilleries or try to do the same thing. This will unleash the because this is a actual jobs bill don't get a little alcohol appeal is actually a jobs bill advocates group. The distillery proposal with other proposed alcohol reforms.

Those ideas need support from both the state House and Senate to become law, will return with more Carolina journal radio with among where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes and@johnlock.org/podcast headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well.

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Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Mitch coca fourth amendment rights got the spotlight during a recent debate in the North Carolina House of Representatives. The discussion focused on House Bill 608. It would allow state law enforcement agents to use technology to track a missing person without a warrant. That last provision bothered Republican state representative Keith Kidwell of Beaufort County referencing initially the United States Constitution fourth amendment rights of the people to be secure in their persons, house papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizure shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause, I don't think I need to continue on that this would circumvent the warrant and probable cause violating your fourth amendment rights. Also, Benjamin Franklin is noted to have said, those who give up their essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety will say this also violates Benjamin Franklin's thoughts in regard to this I've also contacted several attorneys in reference to this and all of them agreed that this would be the Regis violation of your fourth amendment rights.

I encourage you to protect the liberties of the people you represent, which is what you were sworn and sent here to do Kidwell's protest prompted a response from the bill sponsor, Republican Alan McNeil represents Randolph County. This bill actually raises the current standard in the law that has been in the ineffective Norco for probably 20 or 30 years, it raises it from reasonable suspicion to probable calls. So it actually makes it harder to give the next forte order so it is not lowering the standard is actually raising the standard, and it the only changes in it is adding on emergency emergency situation for a missing person, a runaway child that is in imminent danger. There is a process in the bill for the emergency order past that as soon as the trap and trace. The agent has to contact the judge to begin the process of giving an order and it's that the judge turns it down the price trap and trace is to be immediately cease and then also the bill has a process for destroying the evidence. I believe this is is very well written and obligate protects rights Republican representative Pat Hurley of Randolph County also sponsored the bill. This will help find people who are kidnapped who are gone away from home a runaway. This will help people that law enforcement that to find them quicker to give them a chance to live that you will support this video and that yes on this because it is important that does have your why does Probable cause. I do hate that you will support this more than one representative raised fourth amendment concerns Republican Michael speciality represents Craven County and act to allow the SBI to conduct warrantless use of register and trap and trace device. Warrantless use for those that are sitting around saying it doesn't violate the Constitution.

It does. This is the first one we've seen for the first type of deal that we've seen were seeing cameras on the roads and in all kinds of things that are violating our privacy the contractors through a city that can now were looking at warrantless do we trust the FBI after what's what we've seen that's been going on over the last few years up there in Washington. Do we trust our government. The whole point of the Constitution is because we should never put us ourselves in a position where we allow government to cross certain lines and you and I are government and it's up to us. Our number one primary duty. Our primary duty is not the budget is to protect the rights and liberties of the citizens in the moment that we forget that we don't need to be up here and while there's a million things that we can do to make it easier for law enforcement. There's a million things we can do in this individual case so that individual case. The bottom line is, at some point these things to get abused.

That's the purpose for the Constitution. That's the purpose for the law so that we because we are a nation of laws and we must follow those laws and we must follow our Constitution.

We can't just sit around and keep saying yeah let's do this. I support law enforcement I supported a thousand percent but not at the cost of my liberty, not at the price of my freedom and not at the price of your freedom and we gotta quit. Remember me, we better start remembering that as we look at bills like this that can do this or can do that or should we put a GPS on somebody's car without a warrant or should we do this or that we are responsible for protecting the rights and freedoms. The liberties of the citizens and the minute we forget that we start crossing these lines and if we vote for this bill we are crossing yet another line. Other lawmakers pushed back Republican John Harvester of Guilford County asked bill sponsor Alan McNeil about the bills safeguards. This will only apply an emergency situation that is very important for public safety and that there's procedures that would govern the process present McNeil, would you mind explaining the procedures in the bill. I don't mind at all.

The court procedures not warrantless except for him in the emergency situations. If a person is missing what the procedures are is that when an agent installs a pen register or trap and trace, pursuant to this subsection, the agent must immediately seek an order approving the installation or use in accordance with the statute so sick and or manges got immediately start the process with the judge to get to get the more in the absence of the authorizing warrant the use of the pen register or trap and trace shall immediately terminate so he doesn't get it. He's got. He kicked him go forward Republican representative Carson spent the Pender County weighed courses in certain emergency situations. If there is an imminent threat to your life, your family's life. We can go as far as to entering your house. If we think something anywhere is about to happen if his just say this to get the location immediately of the cell phone of a loved one is in danger while you're still working for the process again the court order.

I don't believe is abolishing the Constitution an official family member that you won't law enforcement define your standing right there.

You will want us to do it. Publican representative David Rogers of Rutherford County explained could understand both sides of the argument. I agree with Kidwell.

This Constitution of the protection of rights when most important things a group represent them just to show that we need to guard this is much as we possibly can. And this is definitely a row that we need to be very careful about our group representative McNeil when I first heard this thing mentioned when he said the standards can be raised from reasonable suspicion to probable cause and thought, good that standard needs to be raised and that's what this bill doesn't raise the standard from just the reasonable suspicion is that the maybe going to probable calls and is much as offer protect all of our rights.

If my daughter is missing or some risk of dying. Please, somebody let the police paying her phone and find her and do whatever they need to do to find her to save her life. Discussion about safeguards didn't persuade Michael speciality someone who served a career in the Marines. It hurts my heart anytime I hear any American say.

For this I would gladly give up my my rights. One thing that has made this country unique is that the American citizens control their government and we are a we are a government of laws and the laws start with the Constitution regardless of fourth amendment concerns the bill cleared the statehouse by a vote of 101 to 11 support from the state Senate to become long term with North Carolina internal rate of real influence. You either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina. So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more.

We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse envy of every other state.

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We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio and Anna Martinez costly new groundwater monitoring requirements traveling new exposure to lawsuits. Additional layers of record-keeping. They are the new triple threat to North Carolina farmers who raise hogs, turkeys, and cattle in an op-ed published in the Fayetteville Observer. John Locke foundation Senior fellow Don Vandermark writes about state regulators update to the permit that's required of animal feed operators. It's an update executed. He says behind closed doors and without the benefit of scientific studies. Don joins us now with this curious some it's a troubling story, shall let's make sure people understand what were talking about here. When we talk about these animals were talking about raising animals that farmers would then sell animals that will be slaughtered for food correct right North Carolina has a very large and cultural industries from 17% of our budget.

A lot of that is raising hogs and cattle and poultry so this is a huge component of our economy and people who live in the more urban areas of the state may not really realize how important it is to North Carolina except for me. When you're driving along Interstate 40 from Raleigh over to the triad.

You may see the truck carrying some of those pigs right but it is it it is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and employs a lot more caroling now our listeners might be thinking, Don. Well, when you're talking about animals then there should be some rules and some regulations set there might be issues of waste or issues of odor on the farms what's caught your eye about this new update to this general permit that's required of these operators will Donna for your entirely correct. North Carolina being a leader in the United States. Both Hogg and poultry industries already have a lot of regulatory procedural protections in place 20 years ago.

More than 20 years ago. Gov. easily spearheaded an effort to put requirements on specifically swine operations that led to a lot of scientific studies being being performed, including overt into state and we have rules put in place for odor prevention and the like, and so yeah we are one of the we also have this permit the talk about, which is one of the most protective permit regimes in the United States.

Dino themselves DEQ themselves admits it's one of the strongest out there just were trying to let our listeners know that of course you are, the former Sec. of the North Carolina Department of environment quality served under Gov. Pat McCrory, Senior very knowledgeable about these permits requirement right I was there over those those decades where we did develop these regulations. So this new permit gets updated every few years and that makes sense as well.

But you're saying that this latest update really did not involve the farmers at all. As I mentioned that it's not impose a lot of new rules and costs on them and they had no say well what happened here was what appears to be a soon settle sort of strategy.

Yes, the general permit gifts renewed every five years and typically it's tweaked to updated based on things of mine of Kurt over the five-year period.

In this case we see significant additional requirements being placed in the general permit and the substance of those changes were actually developed behind closed doors.

As I said in the article with to the exclusion of the farmers in a settlement negotiation between the department and some third-party special-interest environmental groups.

The results of that negotiation, then did get taken out public notice, but ultimately, the majority of those those requirements ended up in the general permit sounds inherently unfair because it sounds as if the critics of the industry were in helping to make the rules, but the people who would be impacted directly to farmers were kept out.

And that's right.

And typically when you develop environmental requirements. You'll see some scientific basis. Scientific findings that have occurred because there's a concern department will go and do the monitoring do the testing. Try to get an understanding of what the problem was the both the level and the source and then if they decide to go on. There is a legal or procedural path which the department goes through in the in the idea there is to include everybody who's going to be impacted by this requirement.

It seems that in this case the substance of this general permit was developed without the benefit of either of is that mean then that were not really sure whether or not these new requirements set groundwater monitoring additional layers of record-keeping really are necessary with this is the problem. You know, about 10 years ago there was a study done commissioned by the environmental management commission here in North Carolina by the United States geological survey and that the idea there was to find what kind of issues there might be in the water quality due to these kind of farming operations. The study was exhaustive and was completed after a number of years and it showed that none of the water quality standards were being violated that we can do more studies and that's a great idea always for more science, but in this case it's not clear that there was a problem that this is intending to address. Similarly, there are some odor requirements and there we already have odor regulations in place that are protective. So again, this looks like a soon settle type of strategy where you got a third-party set of individuals who critics of the industry right to sue the department who sympathetic to them but who haven't been able to get these requirements in place to pass both under Democrat or Republican regimes, and they then settle agreeing to do these things without the protective scientific findings or the protective regulatory procedures in place. We just bypass the cell.

In this case, rather than see you and settle somehow or another. It's ended up that the critics must've had such a friendly audience within the regulators who are now running the show.

That's what it appears.

Ordinarily amend this happened 10 years ago they did petition the same group addition in the EMC very wisely. As I said commissioned a scientific study. In this case. That was all bypassed and it is a little troubling, but it seems that the department is fine to go after our farming industry without the requisite safeguards having been followed. Don your scientist at yourself. You've also been in charge of the D state agency that regulates here in North Carolina and you writing your piece that was published by the Fayetteville Observer that environmentalists should be the staunchest defenders of science before rulemaking, but it seems like at least in this case that that is been completely flipped on its head. So what gives very troubling and the good news is I understand that the legislature has picked up provision to to slow this process down until it's been looked at both from a scientific standpoint and then the procedural steps to make sure that they are in place to protect the industry.

That's gonna be impacted. Let's hope that goes forward, what's been the reaction of farmers who are now subjected to all these additional requirements. Knowing that science has not been done yet that might very well either endorse the rules or reject one deed.

They have filed the petition as well in the office of administrative hearings, which is their right. When the agency has made a final agency action as I have so will see that play out in the court. It's just it's just unfortunate that we have to follow.

But these the farmers about to follow that path in the legislature to interject themselves into a process of well known for 30 that's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening. Join us again next week for another edition North Carolina general radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John life foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke done work.

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