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Carolina Journal Radio No. 837: Partisan politics and the N.C. elections board shakeup

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2019 9:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 837: Partisan politics and the N.C. elections board shakeup

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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June 3, 2019 9:00 am

Accusations of partisan politics emerged after the new Democratic majority on the N.C. State Board of Elections decided to fire state elections director Kim Strach. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes the politics of the decision. He looks at the potential impact on elections scheduled this year and in 2020. Many of government’s problems stem from an unwillingness to apply common sense to public policy issues. That’s a key tenet of Try Common Sense, the latest book from Philip Howard of the government reform group Common Ground. Howard explains how a dose of common sense would make government operate much better. Some N.C. lawmakers want to step up criminal penalties connected with gangs. You’ll hear highlights from their proposal, along with one critique. Lawmakers are also trying to do what they can to limit telephone number spoofing from telemarketers and scam artists. A bill moving through the General Assembly would give telephone customers a new way to report those who target them with fake phone numbers. Dental therapy offers the prospect of increased access and lower costs. North Carolina doesn’t permit the service today, but Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health care policy analyst, recently researched the process the state could use to allow patients access to this alternative to traditional dental office visits.

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From Cherokee to current attack from the largest city to the smallest town 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 why Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our stick. If you've ever responded to a government action by saying that doesn't make sense. You're not alone an author in good government activist explains how he's trying to inject some common sense into our everyday political debates. Some North Carolina legislators want to strengthen gang laws to learn how you will also hear some pushback another bill in the general assembly targets those fake phone numbers that are tied to scam artists and telemarketers learn how lawmakers want to fight that problem. Plus will learn about the growing interest in dental therapy.

How could it increase healthcare access and lower costs.

Those topics are just ahead.

First, Donna Martinez joins us and she has the Carolina Journal headline Kim Strack serve the North Carolina Board of elections for nearly 2 decades with the last six years in the role of Executive Director, but despite bipartisan praise for her work on May 13 Strack was replaced Gov. Roy Cooper has said that he never had any conversation about getting rid of Kim Strack but leading legislative Republicans are questioning the governor's potential role and what is occurred here Carolina Journal has been following this story.

Rick Anderson is editor-in-chief and he joins me now with an update. Rick welcome was Kim Strack fired because she's not a Democrat, and Roy Cooper is that that's the case because the board has the ability to hire and fire whoever it wants to serve on the staff management Board and Kim Strack was aloof because the board wanted to get a Democrat.

There is pretty clear that the back story here.

It looks as if the individual members of the board of the Democratic side, 232 majority Democrats met separately with the new Executive Director is Karen Brinson Bell and didn't make sure they didn't avoid the religion of eight open meetings law did violate them by leaving as individuals with her not enough to form a quorum of excellence could be the entire board. The Republicans never actually met Ms. Brinson Bell before she was hired now.

The Democrats control the board of elections is a three to situation Democrats to Republicans and then the whole makeup of the of the board is a whole story in and of itself.

I write the Republicans there basically said we were expecting this without blindsided. We still have two special Congressional elections and playwright mail.

So the timing of this was more than a little suspicious. The fascinating thing about this is that she has received praise from Republicans from Democrats about the quality of her work. Her expertise and her ability to really do things without political partisanship, including being involved in this District 9 race which ended up with the Republican who appeared to one race. On election night. Mark Harris not being certified. So is it just simply that the Democrats who now control the governor's office just simply wanted a member of their party and there was also some pushback as well because during the various iterations of the board that took place over several years. We discussed earlier will show about the way that the board was reconfigured in different ways and struck down by courts and reconfigured otherwise, all the provisions it was particularly galling for the governor and for the Democrats was the fact that the law that created one of many of the versions of the election board said that the current executive directors going to stay in place for a period of time.

So basically the new board would not be able to appoint its own its own permanent staff leader and so that really stuck in the governor's cross that it really irritated Democrats allotted so I guess one thing that made it pop that made this almost inevitable as early as the orthotic to get away with and Israelis were thought to get away with it was just as soon as the ninth district primary was over and things were done with their some of the things that were said in reaction to the departure of Kim Strack were really curious that there were some Democrats who said well you know her husband does work for the Republicans and therefore maybe she ought not to be there. In this day and age. Rick, one has to wonder about the validity of a comment that a professional woman should be judged by what her husband does for a living. Yeah, that's that was rather just those rather disturbing in the way good with the party executive chairman's was well spoken about that and defended his remarks and again that was unseemly. I guess the other issue of courses that they place like Raleigh that so dominated by politics is very difficult for couples not to, both who have working spouse is not both to be involved in something related to the business of government. And so the fact that Kim struck would be judged in that way especially if you look at her bodywork.

She's has been at this as you said for nearly 2 decades started as an investigator with the board was input her investigations were integral in getting criminal charge referrals for back make Scott Phipps the former agriculture Commissioner for Jim Black, the former House Speaker for Frank balance, former Congressman Mike Easley, of course, the governor and then the beautiful Republicans like Fletcher Hartsell, the senator from the Cabarrus County area whose charge of campaign finance violations. It also overseeing this ninth district mass, which very easily could have been certified and could be picked up Washington, which is why it is we mentioned that she has had praise from both sides of the political aisle for not really getting involved in partisanship just doing investigations and letting the facts, take her to whatever the appropriate action was. Regardless, Kim Strack is out as a replacement. Her placement is Karen Brinson Bell. She's in Charleston, South Carolina. She someone who worked for another figure familiar to Carolina political junkies as Gary Bartlett, who was Kim Strack's predecessor at the state board of elections is Executive Director this group short for his report ranked choice voting resources, etc. this is an organization that advocates for things like instant recall voting for people to state preferences when they vote when they go to primary Hoosier first choice is your second choice is Joyce having the totals weighted in some way or another.

But anyway apparently Mr. Bartlett was was approached about possibly coming back and he said no but he said my deputy would be appropriate for the job and so she is now the Executive Director of elections for now. There had been no questions raised about whether or not Gov. Roy Cooper played some role in either requesting that people get rid of Kim Strack or that he essentially said I want her gone at the governor has said that is not the case that he hasn't had any conversations about that but legislative leaders are pushing back on well is quite possible he didn't actually go up to the Democrats and the board of elections as I get her out of here, but it's also quite possible that through surrogates the same message was delivered or the message was delivered. A very subtle way by by the governor or by those around him. It's pretty clear that this election cycle is going to be.

Again, another highly politicized one that is just beyond role. Partisanship is going to get into some news of nastiness and the whole role of the board of elections in the battle between the legislature and the governor over separation of powers is something that has been a big annoyance from governor before the time he was actually swearing office and so I'm sure getting what he considered to be a clean slate at the board of elections really. We should also say that after the departure of Kim Strack, the general counsel for the board of elections. Also just abruptly resigned and what we know about that very little heaved issued a very short letter of resignation was appreciative of his time to serve Josh Lawson, Josh Lawson, who was the was the spokesman for the board for a while there as well and he departed. Somewhat surprisingly, and as of now the board is not picked the successor of his chief deputy Caitlin love is been there for a while I was going to be the acting General Counsel until a new and support that we will see going forward exactly what the new leadership of the state board of elections may bring as that many many elections around the corner.

All sorts of consequential races and of course you can read all the reporting about this and those that election races as well and Carolina Journal.com we been talking with Rick Henderson as editor-in-chief, they witness much more Carolina Journal radio to come 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 at Carolina.

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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 go back to Carolina Journal radio line which Coke I if you've ever read or heard about a government action and said yourself that just doesn't make sense. You might like this next conversation. Our guest Philip Howard wrote the 1995 book the death of common sense is also founder and chairman of the group common good and is now written a book titled, try common sense book to the program is to be with you so understand this latest book really does focus on government being broken because there's not enough common sense. In many ways well is because we make common sense illegal and so I propose a new governing vision that gives back to people the freedom to use your judgment, including in public choices and to be accountable for how they do understand the part of this is basically a reset of how government works also yeah so you what's happened is that over the last 50 years the bureaucracy is grown in ways that nobody ever really intended this point it's in federal law alone is hundred and 50 million words.

No one can know what no small businessman can know all the rules that apply in such an is literally impenetrable. Even the people in government don't have the authority to give a permit or me know you're in the crisis in 2009 Pres. Obama got eight or $800 billion from Congress to stimulate the economy, including to rebuild broken infrastructure and he spent almost none of it because he didn't have the authority to give a permit.

It would take five or 10 years to give a permit to do it. Everybody knew was obvious. So if we have to do this reset. What's the first thing we do. Well I mean ultimately what's needed in the situation. Could Congress is hopeless, but frankly, most legislative bodies can't sit there with hundreds of people and for gosh, how would worker safety work that hers.

"You know, so the way this always works is you appoint a small, small recodifications commission and small group of experts us what happened with Uniform Commercial Code in this country 1950s come up with a plan and then it gets approved or not, or modified by Congress, but some book but a small group comes up with a plan that basically try to correct for 50 years of mistakes in each area of law, and from what I understand part of what the correction would evolve would be allowing people who are in government to actually do their jobs, make decisions, not have to try to comply with the bureaucratic dictates well yeah it it it gives everybody more freedom to adapt to the particular situation, but key to this is able to hold government officials accountable.

Somebody abuses their power there jerk they ought to be able to be fired and I just got a call from the White House recently asking me if I could help come up with a with a complete overhaul of that system of public employment which I've written a lot about and that's absolutely critical to this to this idea pushing the reset button so is the problem tied to the people involved or is the system if if the people were given more flexibility would we see better outcomes. Well, it's both the me the culture government saw awful Maumee, Washington I get a ration around, go over the bridge from the airport just a horrible place of people that they wouldn't take response they wouldn't know what responsibility was to be one of the things I suggested my new book, try common sense is that we move most agencies out of Washington and move them around the country so we could move Department of Transportation to North Carolina right in hopes every year. Why not it would work better. The Centers for Disease Control is in Atlanta. It works better than the agencies Washington but but for democracy to work you need to let the people who are elected make new choices and that includes choices about who's implementing the law and right now all the links in that chain are broken and the points that the make the people just don't understand the cure to red tape is responsibility and accountability. You don't need all this red tape. You don't need to spend five years on permit. If you let people use your judgment be accountable if they do a bad job up there on the take or something you know it's it's it's so the only way to actually alleviate the frustration and alienation mean loss piled up so much that everybody's not trying to go through the day saying can I prove what I'm about to do is legally correct.

You know businesses don't give job references and teachers will put an arm around crying child. This madness we are chatting with Philip Howard. He is the author of the book, try common sense you get a sense that the people who were working in government L want that responsibility and accountability, or do they like the system where they can write their way out of responsibility by making sure the just check the boxes. Responsibility is their worst nightmare. You absolutely don't want responsibility and the only way to make them take responsibility is to fire them if they don't mean that you know there are the frankly if you look at anything that works and not everything in governments broken your you can find agencies were people do a good job in such if you look at those agencies regarding the public school it works well you fine people wake up in the morning saying I'm going to go make sense of these choices make this work. So there you know nothing works.

Unless a person makes it work in the history of civilization. Nothing ever got accomplished because somebody followed a rule, rules are there to prevent bad things from happening. They don't make good things happen and so it is but but no note, no later. That's one reason that he was moving agencies out of Washington. Many new people understand that one of your arguments is that we have reached the political state that we have now largely because people have been so fed up with the system that that one of the things that attracted them to Donald Trump was the one to come in and rest assured the bad system jury may not trust just a symptom of this extraordinary alienation from government by the American people. They hated and yet if you look at the candidates. If you look at all the Democratic candidates are you can't find one who has any idea about how to make government work better. They're talking about socialism or Medicare for all the green new deal or something like that.

They're not talking about actually making government responsive and if you go to the Trump administration. They have the kind of right instinct about your fiction government. But they know their only idea is for deregulation, which is which is good in some areas and something we should be regulated, but what is it it's not the cure for redtape cure for red tape is responsibility and accountability, and so there are lots of things that people people want clean water and clean air shouldn't drive people nuts.

You know you shouldn't have inspectors giving finds the farmers because there is insignificant runoff you been watching this for years you been writing about it since the 1990s. How convinced are you that at some point we are going to take the steps to reinject common sense and the system. Oh, great question. I can't make change. You can't make change changes happening. Donald Trump is a symptom of change to Washington mice will be the court of Louis XVI is collapsing people hated so it's going to change them.

But look at where the needle is going look at where the left is going to lunatic.

What's needed is a radical centrist platform to change the force of the change will come from the people. What I'm worried about is that there's no coherent vision of what the change to be and what I'm preaching. If you will, is a system that gives back to humans.

The freedom to take responsibility where law is a framework for freedom is not an instruction manual that tells us how to live our life correctly just absurd. Well, if you want to get a first step toward that path toward more freedom book is titled, try common sense, its author thinks of what you're doing is nice being with you will have more on Carolina journal radio department. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping. North Carolina's freedom movement and North Carolina conservative.com.

You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James Dean Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Try it today. 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 Locke 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 Locke 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. Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke NC and at Carolina journal.

Who knew you could shop and invest in freedom at the same time it is true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shop using the Amazon smile program and designate the John Mott foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop Amazon donates money to pass the John Locke foundation Curaao Long Island to smile.amazon.com Amazon smile is the same Amazon you know same products same prices. But here's what's better. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John Locke foundation to try it. Be sure to designate us as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy.

You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to smile.amazon.com today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got some state legislators want to step up laws against criminal gangs, Republican state representative Ted Davis of New Hanover County explains there is a real problem.

Gangs not only in New Hanover County but throughout the state.

We develop health bill 633, which will revise a criminal gang nuisance abatement act to revise a criminal gang suppression act will increase penalties for use of a firearm and getting criminal activity or a felony increase the penalty for possession of a firearm by a felon. In some instances and create a new evidentiary rule regarding evidence of criminal gang activity Democratic state representative Marcia Morey of Durham County question.

One provision of the bill okay gang members identified by attitudes, behaviors, demeanors without a charge of criminal activity because they say they're in a gang or they throw a gang sign without any criminal activity. They are then designated a gang member and this statue could be used against him.

The statute is a path claims that a criminal gang is a public made sense say this, they have to find a gang is a nuisance, but if they do, the gang members can be subject to the injunction against the activity. Republican representative John Faircloth of Guilford County explains why he thinks tougher laws make sense just want to point to those of us who've been in law enforcement for the past 34 years.

Is this gang thing is developed over time in our state. We've all learned a lot we wouldn't do this, not really knowing what a gang would something we saw in a movie back in the 50s were somebody through an eraser against the blackboard gangs are real. There are ingrained in North Carolina as there are other states and we as we go through our experiences between law enforcement and these games were learning more and more. This is just one more step in the progress you're making in coping with these gangs.

I have not been defeated there doing a lot of danger they're hurting a lot of people and we need to work together with this, and that's what this latest tool is and I think we will find that the general public is behind this, no matter where you live in in town no matter where you were the color your skin. There are people out there in gangs will hurt you. That's representative John Faircloth, a former police chief had a supporter of stronger gang laws for North Carolina. The idea need support from the state House and Senate to become law overturned with more Carolina journal radio in a moment 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@johnlocke.org/podcast headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges the 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. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with that's listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to headlock@johnmott.org/podcast or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation.

Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got. If you've ever accepted a phone call from a local number only to learn that it's really a telemarketer or scam artist might be interested in an idea moving through the North Carolina Gen. assembly. It's an idea that started with state House Speaker Tim Moore he's a Republican from Cleveland County.

Moore took the rare step of speaking from the house floor about his bill. When I was out campaigning like all of us this last year he would be what you would wonder what kinds of things would folks ask a member the house or the speaker the house, that when they're out talking to you here and there and believe it or not, this issue came up more than anything else. I would spend a lot of time talking about everything here from the budget Medicaid, you name it.

I heard more about this issue than anything else this year and discover how bad of a problem. It is in terms of the spoofing phone calls and these text messages and it's a real problem and save most for most of its is an annoyance as a nuisance you hang up the phone. You go on, but for some people actually get to lose a lot of money. They may get a call and it may even be there number.

It could be the number of family member or loved one is they get a call and I think all this is so-and-so calling. Turns out somebody trying to get money from woman you've all probably seen things online of the scams of people do without getting to give up their credit card numbers are information to do things and and and and steal from. So that's already against the law. But there's actually some who even under lawful services will try to use the spoofing technique on the number to make it look like it's a local call Moore doesn't like that deception. That's why he drafted legislation to address the issue. My belief is what this bill does basically says that is an unfair and deceptive trade practices. You do that and if you do that you can be sued.

You can be held liable. You could be held liable for attorneys fees, treble damages, all those things under chapter 75 that's what this bill does it'll protect our North Carolina citizens and consumers. Moore's idea attracted support from his colleagues in the statehouse publican Chris Humphrey represents Lenore County to regulate telephone solicitations made through text communications as well. Republican Dana Bumgardner of Gaston County added his support to the measure.

I tell you.

Anybody who's ever gotten a call, a sales call late at night from the Philippines from your own phone number.

I know what this is about and so absolutely support this and I wish I had thought about Democratic representative early Ensco had some questions about how the bill would work in school address those questions to the state House Speaker. I am curious about how this works in England. What do I do I think this bill is going to scare these people always want to have a private right of action that you could bring which also could report to the Atty. Gen.'s office in the Atty. Gen.'s office to its civil enforcement would now have the opportunity to get at treble damages and punitive damages. That's the biggest thing is not perfect because part of the problem is if you're getting a call from offshore. There are some real challenges to enforcement on that because how you are you going to get that person what I can say is that the feds are also working with this at the Federal Communications Commission. This is something that working with particular when it comes to offshore violations. So my supposed to look at the screen and copy the number down and report that to the general, the Atty. Gen., what do I do as a person gets a lot of calls. It would be you would get that in and of course the carriers through the subpoena power. The Atty. Gen.'s office or through frankly private right of action you could get at where that number came from their ways to track that electronically so it may show. For example ribs in this answer your home number but it actually came from another, that you have the capability to show where that number at where the call actually originated from Republican Jason St. of Lincoln County offered his colleagues some national perspective on the issue like ribs and I wish I thought of first. Luckily I was standing there speaking when he did think of it yesterday on the bill with you as is diluted by several intradermal intergovernmental advisory committee for the FCC were not the only state as you might imagine the struggling with this and all the time here to find ways to combat this is part of it to my house and were I did a lipoma left it on her phone calls the house and built to this is not a silver bullet, but it does give us a starting point system should be should not is calling them should should be of us to be something that we we cannot decipher them and not not have our our of our oldest and youngest motors played upon scams come across Singh told colleagues that this bill might represent just a first step in addressing telephone number. Spoofing scams really watch this legislation. See how what once implemented what surpasses out how this will work and if it is a solution is more to be done is doing some research and working with me on that with so the telecom companies and and and others to make sure that we get to this problem. So this may not be the final part of what you hear is a good starting point will will certainly work perfect. This is hopefully this diminishes. But it's something that really all states are struggling with not appreciate the bipartisan support for Democrat Greg Meyer of Orange county supports the measure. He suggested other ideas for the Gen. assembly to pursue agree it's important problem and step in the right direction is saying just mentioned we were looking at, what might the next thespian we know in the legislative process we have to take things sometimes you one step at a time.

I once raising estimates must be to the body but to make sure that the telecom throughout their listening to this important bill to them understand how important this is to the people of North Carolina and that this bill approach is trying to go after the people that are perpetrating the calls. But in order to do that word in any of the telecom's participation and so we need we need to work with them to figure out the way that they can use their best technology to trap these numbers and stop these numbers so that you don't get harassed as a consumer, and hopefully this helps us going the right direction to work with them when you come back and look at more you have a future Republican Michael speciality. Often bucks, legislative leaders, but in this case, he offered full throated support of state House Speaker Tim Morris proposal on phone number spoofing. I would think the speaker for coming up with this bill because I know is not easy for me all the time standing up, take a lifetime to think things out with.

It is very annoying. During went to answer the phone one time and I look at my phone number so you can imagine, when I answered it and realized it wasn't me.

How surprised I was question somebody has a question about you know if the numbers is beautiful.

What number you give them you just give them what you got to give the date and the time and they can figure out the date and time with that phone call came from. I think it's a great idea and I think is past due bill even generated some lighthearted debate Democratic representative Elmer Floyd of Cumberland County lot. The question at the state House Speaker representative will support you video but have gotten so many of these call that I thought I was important to note this will make me less important represent fluid. You are very important, sir. In the end the measure attracted overwhelming support in the house.

The clerk will lock the machine to record the vote with 113 voted in the affirmative, and not in the negative hospital. 724 has passed a second reading and will without objection. 1/3 time. Vote on the third and final reading was also unanimous. The measure need support from the state Senate to become law, will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment real influence.

You either have it or you don't and at the John Mark foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms in 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. When you 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, the envy of every other state. Our research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you earn. Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors.

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We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez.

I knew professional pathway is emerging in the dental field with the goal of addressing North Carolina's shortage of dentists and thus limited access to primary and restorative dental care services. This afflicts particularly areas of our state that are more rural as well as some of our more vulnerable populations.

Jordan Roberts is the healthcare policy analyst for the John Locke foundation. He has just released an analysis that he cowrote on the subject of dental therapy and dental therapists in North Carolina. Jordan joint is now welcome back to the program think you got to be okay so tell us first about this dental care shortage in our state. Well, as is Smitty May know we have a very rural population. One of the biggest in the country and in these rural parts of the state tends to be a real rock of our health professionals, and that includes primary care providers mental health professionals and especially dental professionals, and so you data shows that are out of North Korea's 100 County 74 of those counties don't have an adequate number of dental professionals to serve the nearby population, so fixing these phases the more rural parts of the country or state really have a tough time accessing care, which is why there is an effort underway and you are one of the researchers and analysts. It's been looking at this. So what can we do, what are the options for trying to make sure that people do have access to this type of care and the field that has emerged is in a couple of other states is called dental therapy, and the people who engage in a circle, dental therapists and tell us what that means. So despite what the name means there's no psychologist or psychiatrist in a quality dental therapy. So these are mid-level dental practitioners their highly educated and highly trained professionals, their think of nurse practitioner if physicians assistants they can't quite do all the things of the dentist can do, but they have a wide scope and more than a dental hygienist and they and another states that they've been allowed to practice in the benefits of been grade they tend to serve underserved populations because they when the regulations run the profession are very flexible. They can have what's called a general supervision contract with the dentist, which allows them to travel outside of the dentist office and serve the populations that they want to. So these are educated folks are not just people who want to try to help people in general.

I mean, they have specific skills, not the skills to the level of a full dentist, but they know how to do certain things like what well.

They specialize in preventive and restorative care units and carrier to youth and other can do some other things like feelings and you know a lot of things that people routinely need to have some way, but which doesn't necessarily require the time of someone who is certified as a full dentist right and so we dentist can have these professionals in their practices. They cannot utilize them at a higher rate to offer these preventive and restorative procedures in the dentist can focus more on the highly complex procedure so there's benefits throughout the whole spectrum of the dentist I practice Jordan.

Why is it then that in North Carolina we have not seen this field and the specialists well. Just like with a lot of other policies that we don't have farm regulations in place that allow the practice of dental therapy. So in order to bring that here in North Carolina. What we need to do folks down the Gen. assembly would have to pass passing legislation that would amend a part of the North Carolina Gen. statutes and it would grant the North Carolina dental board of examiners power to issue and regular oversee these professionals issue licenses and oversee these professionals and basically creates a new designation of dental health professional and you know lay out what what they're allowed to do and that's that's the process and so that's kind of the legal and regulatory side of it and then let's say that that were to occur, and then I decided I want to become a dental therapists I have to probably go to school. Some what's right so there's you know it's this process would take time, so we have to pass legislation.

We have to lay out the guidelines, the regulatory framework, and then educational institutions would have to create a curriculum and then they get accredited by a dental is dental Association that oversees the education and once you know different states have different requirements for how much education but generally it's around two years of education that you can go to and you know different levels of degrees but no one's once we get the educational curriculum and place it gets accredited and people go through them we can, we would see the delivery phase on the ground practice of these professionals again in your new spotlight report which by the way, is available@johnlock.org and you can just search for the phrase dental therapy and you'll find Jordan Roberts report right there you lay out the fact that other states that several of them are now leading the way.

Minnesota and Alaska are into this and it would take time right Carolina do this but if you start the process.

Then you can do that it would take time but there would be definite benefits you lay this out in the report really well. Talk to us a bit about the kinds of people. Or maybe the areas of the state that would benefit yeah so like I said before, with if the supervision requirements are set up to allow these professionals in a flexible operating ability. They have the ability to go out and you know visit rural centers, schools, nursing facilities, so they can really address the dental needs of the population to talk about the report are the more rural areas. Lower income seniors see in years and you know the people that really could benefit from just having more access to preventive and restorative care that they just aren't getting serve right now and so I will be seeing in Alaska where this profession really got started was the American Indian population, they they are primary risk recipients of the benefits of this profession in Alaska and the benefits of been well documented and tremendous increase access lower weight times better overall outcome health outcomes and then in Minnesota I will.

The studies have found is that I observed clinics in this one study they treated 6000 new patients and 84% of them had public insurance meeting, Medicare, Medicaid, and so for North Carolina with 2 million Medicaid recipients and just half of Medicaid recipients who are under 21 received some form of dental visit in 2017 they could really benefit from increasing the number of practitioners that serve these population that's an interesting point that you make in the report about the Medicaid population.

We have what several million people, and yes airlines every 2 million who receive their health insurance through the publicly funded program Medicaid and yet while they do have a dental benefit.

There's a huge percentage of those sad people on Medicaid never do see a dentist for all sorts of reasons that you go through in the report, but perhaps if there were practitioners that could I dental therapists who could go to them right or simply increase the supply of the number of people who are able to to provide this type of necessary work.

More people could actually benefit absolutely and you know what we find is North Carolina's arm.

The amount of dentist North Carolina to participate. Medicaid was far below the national average, and so when dentist office can bring on these, you know, lower cost personnel to increase the volume, then you may see a newfound benefit in treating Medicaid patients when there's the demand for that in their area so like you said just increasing the supply here is the goal, and you know what the market forces work and you bring the benefits these population. What I love about this idea Jordan is that it seems like it is a no-brainer. So dismayed that folks send no matter your ideology. Whether it's left, center or right you should be able to agree. One would think that allowing this to come into North Carolina making the statutory changes getting the education in place.

This would really help folks. It would be a big benefit to so many people in our state. Absolutely, thank you very much your problem.

Thank you.

That's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez. Join us again next week for another edition. Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John lock foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation including donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke done call 1866 JL left 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio is the John lock foundation airline is maintaining an Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are solely those did not merely reflect the station formation about the show.

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