Share This Episode
Carolina Journal Radio Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai Logo

Carolina Journal Radio No. 762: Bad government policies could hurt fight against opioid crisis

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
December 25, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 762: Bad government policies could hurt fight against opioid crisis

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 213 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 25, 2017 12:00 am

Experts fear that poorly designed government policies could make a bad situation worse when it comes to North Carolina’s opioid epidemic. Carolina Journal’s latest cover story highlights the experts’ concerns. Editor-in-Chief Rick Henderson shares details from the CJ report. Free trade has taken a hit in recent public policy debates. Bryan Riley, senior analyst in trade policy at the Heritage Foundation, explains why free trade continues to play an important role in American economic growth. Riley rebuts dubious claims about the negative impact of trade. One of the most popular statistics in debates about public education is per-pupil expenditure, PPE, the amount of money spent for each student in the public schools. Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union, says an undue focus on PPE bothers him. He says the statistic can prove misleading in a fast-growing state such as North Carolina with a relatively young teaching work force. North Carolina has a state law designed to boost public access to government records. The state could take steps to boost that law’s effectiveness. That’s the argument from Elliot Engstrom, fellow at the Elon University law school. Engstrom discusses current challenges facing people who use the state public-records law today. North Carolina sets up multiple regulatory obstacles for people trying to get jobs. A recent Institute for Justice report shows that this state places a higher-than-average number of barriers in place for people seeking low-paying jobs. Another report explains how licensing barriers hamper people with criminal records who are trying to re-enter the work force. Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation director of regulatory studies, responds to the reports and offers recommendations for reducing unnecessary barriers.

Dana Loesch Show
Dana Loesch
Dana Loesch Show
Dana Loesch
Dana Loesch Show
Dana Loesch
The Charlie Kirk Show
Charlie Kirk
Dana Loesch Show
Dana Loesch

From Cherokee to current tack 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 public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Michiko got during the next hour Donna Martinez that I will explore some major issues affecting our state free-trade has taken a hit in recent public policy debates during a visit to North Carolina, a heritage foundation expert shares his thoughts about current challenges involving trade.

There's a popular statistic in debates about public schools.

It's per pupil expenditure you hear from one North Carolina lawmaker who labels that statistic misleading North Carolina state law is designed to help the public get access to government documents expert with multiple public records requests offers ideas for improving that law will assist to recent reports that highlight negative impacts from North Carolina's job licensing restrictions. They block people in low income jobs and those with criminal records. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline. It is a shocking fact. North Carolina is home to four of the 25 worst cities in the US for opioid abuse. But government won't solve the opioid crisis that is the headline on the front page of the December issue of Carolina Journal associate editor Carrie Travis goes in-depth on the abusive painkillers that has swept North Carolina just as it has the entire country.

Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal he joins us now to go over some of this data Rick welcome back.

Thank you.

I wish it was on a happier subject, but this is pretty serious. In fact, Pres. Trump recently described the opioid situation in our country is a national emergency right its us. There are many, many causes for current surgeon opioid abuse around the country and a lot of this has to do with problems of pain management and actual overreaction by some regulatory officials to issues of people who do have chronic pain they may have autoimmune diseases that cause them chronic pain and the best form of treatment is nope you're talking about. In that case what was opioid, we don't mean Carol and Francis were talking about drugs like Percocet, Vicodin, frequently prescribed basically opiate-based pain killing medications that do come with physical dependency so because of that people who may have chronic issues with pain or prescribed data. People who have surgeries rehabilitating our prescribed medications and sometimes they become dependent upon them. In other cases the doctors to follow various various regulations by the federal government are allowed to prescribe enough and so therefore one person is still suffering from pain.

The person goes to off label uses. If you will may go to street drugs and that's what cause is causing a lot of problems causing the deaths in the and the frequent illnesses in the interest of the lack of people whose basically out of society because I can no longer function properly without these medications send us the headline on the December issue of Carolina Journal government won't solve this opioid crisis right exactly the the notion that's been taken in the past of the started back in the 1990s while with the idea that we are soon going to move toward a different form of pain management in that we are going to start prescribing these particular medications very heavily because unlike what's a morphine or heroin. They were safe in some ways you can prescribe lower doses same amount of impact.

Now these medications quite often are combined with with Tylenol with acetaminophen and that causes all students of issue potential liver and kidney damage and so that was one area that was causing problems.

People were taking these medications to students solitude to deal with an actual medical condition, and they were having side effects because of the other additives that were there the drugs and so as a result, the federal government said okay we just can't stop scribing less up prescribing less often prescribed fewer or smaller doses, and they were doing the job and so there we have another unintended consequence of an attempt to make the situation safer with actually some cases made it much more difficult for those people who do have the do have a pain to be managed in whose somehow or another need relief. The four cities that we mentioned Rick at the top of this of this interview, Wilmington, Hickory, Jacksonville and Fayetteville North Carolina for North Carolina cities on this top 25 list for cities and that have a serious problem with opioid abuse. Do we have any sense of what those four cities may have in common through the four military six year Wilmington you have Jacksonville and Fayetteville so you will quite often military cities, you will have people who are being have been deployed overseas who have made in combat situations who may be in stress situations and who may then be prescribed these drugs for your actual recovery from being wounded or from having other pain related to military service Hickory. I'm not exactly sure what the case may be, but it is formally a relatively successful textile and industrial town that has come upon harder times and so we find in areas all across all across Appalachia and all across the. The Rust Belt also in the country you find stuff cities that were once if not thriving at least very vibrant industrial cities that have similar economies go south because of change in technology like and so people sometimes return to drugs is an escape from sadly that that's the case that that sometimes does happen now.

One of the reasons that Carolina Journal has chosen to report so extensively on this issue. Rick is because the state Gen. assembly is now taken notice of this and gotten involved.

Let's talk about a couple things that are going on their first of all I simply called the stamp act set to stay to take effect on January 1 right.

This is an attempt to monitoring keep a better handle on the actual prescribing of medications of opioids for pain management. This is something that has not always gotten favorable reviews from people in the medical community. Francis would think that it may well be to too restrictive in the way that it handles the issue of prescribing pain that medicine but it is again it's it's a very conscious effort by the state get involved situation. Then we also have representative Greg Murphy out of Pitt County. He wants to look at criminal justice reforms the issue there. Greg Murphy is a physician. For one thing in MD and what he would like to do is to look at ways the criminal justice system deals with people who are involved in taking drugs illegally. In this case were talking about drugs that might be prescribed, but that were taken off prescription were taken for uses for which they were not intended, and how the criminal justice system.

Quite often, as you stated warehouse people and this is a way to almost ensure that someone who has a dependency or addiction problem doesn't give her that dependency or addiction problem because there are there are drug courts in various jurisdictions in this state and elsewhere, and they treat much like the juvenile system treats adult offenders differently. The drug courts treat drug offenders differently that it might treat your breaking and entering your armed robbery conduct or whatever the sport this there are others access to counseling is access to drug treatment judges involved to get personally involved quite often in the lives of the people who come through their courts, and so they do things that they offer mentoring they do also to things to actively intervene in these people's lives and to help them figure out ways to get away from the psychological dependency even if they may still have some physical need to take the strokes. In addition to the Gen. assembly getting involved. To address this issue we have Gov. Roy Cooper is one of just a handful of governor setting is just three sitting governors who are involved with the trump administration work on this right. The president has set up his own commission to look into this issue by Gov. Cooper is one of the three governors on on this and it also is is a good fit anyways because he was Atty. Gen., North Carolina for 16 years beforehand and so so North Carolina soups perceived as a very important state for statistical reasons, obviously, but also because of our experience with this and experience of our elected officials are to be there a lot of different angles were going to go after here and in North Carolina.

Fortunately somebody that taken the lead in this issue, and Carolina Journal has devoted its cover story of the December issue to this challenge with the opioid crisis in North Carolina. You can read it Carolina course pick up the print edition Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief Carolina Journal thank you this much more Carolina Journal 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 day at Carolina. 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 and print on the air and on the web. You can find the information you welcome back Carolina Journal radio I Muskoka trade plays an important role in the American economy added North Carolina's economy just how important our next guest will help us answer that question Brian Riley is the J Van Andel Senior policy analyst and trade policy at the Center for international trade and economics at the Heritage foundation.

Thanks for joining us all think it's good to be John Locke today. The tray we've talked about for a number of years being important to the American economy and the North Carolina economy you actually take a look at some of the details of just how important it is what you people know will every year at heritage. We produce a report called the index of economic freedom while you rank about 180 countries around the world. Look at their policies compare them to US policies and I think a lot of people probably won't be surprised to learn that countries that are moral bonds have more freedom and more prosperous than those that are closed and I think one famous example of that is if you look at a map of the Korean Peninsula at night and you can just see the line South South Korea is all lit up and North Korea there. There's there's nothing there so a lot of people here in United States.

Instinctively understand more freedom is is a good thing. I thought we were founded on what turns out the same goes for trade policies. Countries that are more open to international trade and investment are more prosperous and is a little bit more controversy all the talk about trade policy. Sometimes in just the big picture economic freedom. If you look at a state like North Carolina since 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA took effect estates at about 50% to its manufacturing output's economies to 1/2 times bigger you added about a million new jobs nor those all because of NAFTA, no of course not.

But kind world president Reagan envisioned back in the 80s where there are few barriers to international trade and investment, creating opportunities here in United States and and creating stronger economies around the world to have more export markets. That's that's kind of the direction that I think we need to continue to move.

Now some people are going to hear us and say wait a minute. Ever since NAFTA came in. We heard about textile mills, closing down Ross Perot was right about the giant sucking sound of jobs to Mexico.

What's the response to people who think that that free trade is not all it's cracked up to be what is Grant's first let us face it, North Carolina doesn't have as many textile and apparel jobs as it did in 1993 doesn't have as many furniture jobs as it did in 1993. Now, does that mean we want to turn back the clock to 93 and trying get those jobs back. I think that would really be a mistake. The benefits of trade are really similar to the benefits of new technologies. We can complain about the lost furniture jobs.

We can complain about the lost blockbuster jobs because nobody wins videos anymore than they download it or restrain it and I think it's a real big mistake to focus on one particular sector of the economy slick overall what's going on. Overall estate has hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on exports. Many, many more jobs today depend on foreign investments that creates jobs for people here North Carolina then jobs in the financial reward textile and apparel industries. We do need to have good policies from Washington DC that makes it easy for people to find new jobs and easy for new industries to be created. I think that's what we need to encourage and not blame trade for problems that a lot of times a result of economic problems in the created by politicians. I really think it's important to emphasize the fact that with trade a new technology, there are winners and losers. How can we have an environment that allows for the creation of more winners and bigger winners so that so that overall, everybody's better off. That is the voice of Brian Riley who was a senior policy analyst at the Heritage foundation. You mentioned an interesting word winners which is a word that our president likes to use quite a bit, but Pres. Tromp has not always been a fan at least on the campaign trail and in his spoken remarks of free trade is. Is this something that is been an impediment to making the case for free trade. The fact that the White House is not always been is as vocal for free-trade.

While the president United States has the bully pulpit and people hear what he has to say and increasingly in the Republican Party.

More Republicans are skeptical of free-trade than they were before Pres. Tromp came onto the scene. I think that's because it's an issue where many cases people don't have strong opinions. I'm a Republican and Republican presidents is bad, it must be bad so far.

What we do at the Heritage foundation is trying to educate people about the economic facts so that they can make up their own minds.

I think the positives from the Tromp administration are twofold. First of all, their goal is to have a stronger, faster, going economy that creates jobs and to meet protectionist trade barriers that would restrict our freedom would undermine that: night I I hope they understand this and also behind the rhetoric a lot of times is a focus on opening foreign markets to US export so it's not fair is the rhetoric in many cases, there's right there at the right foreign countries do have better store exports of the focus is how can we encourage other countries to embrace economic freedom. So we have more more exports and more opportunities. I think that's constructive and the idea that trade is bad and we're losing. I certainly disagree with that trade by definition is consists of millions of mutually beneficial transactions when land transactions when loose, like some people seem to think when you have a chance to chat be With people and share this type of information do you find that the most people once they hear the facts are willing to to go along with the notion that free-trade's good will. Most people are there. Just some facts that some of us in the in the policy community.

No and assume that everybody knows. For example, US manufacturing output's never been higher, and they hear well we don't make anything anymore since it's simply not true.

We make more than we ever have coming out of the recession and in the 2000's. We have, we don't do much better. But when you throw those numbers at them and when you typically if somebody has an example close to home so I was just in Alabama last week, for example, and they had Mercedes factory Hyundai factory Honda factory and they understood the importance of having good policies to attract foreign investment in really concerned about the direction that we may be going with NAFTA negotiations. If those go south.

They are concerned they might not anymore auto plants in the future or here North Carolina are so many success stories of companies that have been able to to export our or the huge amount of jobs, millions or hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on foreign investment.

Those are typically good jobs that are not to take anything away from the furniture or Apparel Industries, but the New Jobs Typically Pay More Than the Old Jobs in the Catch Is That A Lot Of Times Need Some Training and Education to to Equip People for Those Jobs. That's Part of the Challenge That I Think We Face Will in the Brief Time That We Have Remaining to Think This Is the Type of Issue That Going to Continue to Need to Have Education about Moving Forward. It's Is an Ongoing Issue. There Are Always Special Interests in DC Who Trying Get Special Treatment and All Free-Trade Is about Is Really Not Giving People Special Treatment, Making It so That When People Is Not Showing You on Your Paycheck Tire My Paycheck I Get to Decide How to Spend My Dollars Not Not Somebody in DC Based on Who's Got the Best Lobbyist That's Going to Be an Ongoing Concern Think the Best Way to Address That Is to Have Good Trade Agreements That Is the Voice of Brian Riley, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for International Trade and Economics. Thanks Much for Joining Is Given a Lab on Carolina Journal Radio Just 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 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. 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 C 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 in C and at Carolina. Journal Did You Know You Can Now Advance Freedom and Free Markets Just by Shopping with Amazon It's True Online Shopping Is Now a Great Way to Support the John Locke Foundation Just Shot Using the Amazon Smile Program and Designate Asked the Work Foundation to Receive a Portion of Your Purchase Amount That's Right You Shop and Amazon Donates Money to Assess the John Locke Foundation.

So Here's How It Works. Log on to Amazon smile. It's the same Amazon you know same products same prices is much better. Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the John Locke foundation to try to be sure to designate the Locke foundation is a nonprofit, you want to support.

It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You'll also support freedom.

Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation book back Carolina Journal radio I Muskoka I in debates about school funding. One of the most common statistics is the amount of money spent per student. It's officially called per pupil expenditure or PPE Republican state representative Craig Horne explained recently why that number bothers him here North Carolina. We are one of arguably the fastest growing state in the nation. Certainly one of the fastest growing states in the nation. Therefore, we have a lot of Locke kids coming when you Locke teachers to teachers don't generally start at the top or even in the middle of the pay scale new teachers. Of course, start at the bottom of the pay scale. So if you ever increasing number of teachers and increasing are skewed and increasing number of students, an increasing number of teachers at the lower end of pay scale your PPE per pupil children will be lower, which does not necessarily at all mean that the quality of their education or that you're not meeting the needs of the teaching core matures per pupil expenditure same number of students even same number of teachers. The PP will go up, so I have a hard time personally using PPE as a benchmark of much of anything. Quite frankly, involving PPD are our the fixed costs of running your school will if the school is built to hold a thousand students and holds 700 your PPE is X just do the math. If your student population happens us go up to 800 or thousand euro fixed costs are the same.

Your PPE is going down but nothing's really changed it with regard to quality during a recent meeting. Horne addressed these comments to an expert from a group called the education commission of the states that experts response. There is no magic number four per pupil expenditure in the numbers can vary substantially from state to state. Horne responded. Maybe it's been on being a little thin-skinned as a policymaker I hear about PPE all the time I get beat up over PPE and I for the reasons that I talked about and you talked about time generally resistant to the what I see thinkers and inordinate focus on PPE because of all the variables that you mentioned an realities of doing education that's Republican state representative Craig Horne is one of the leaders of North Carolina's new joint legislative task force on education funding. Horne shared his frustration about an undue focus on just one statistic per pupil expenditure. That's the average amount of money spent teaching each student in North Carolina schools will return with more Carolina Journal radio in a moment real influence.

You either have it or you don't and at the John Locke foundation. We do, and that's not bluster in a private survey of more than 250 North Carolina political insiders 87% said we influence them either a great deal or a good amount.

So while others talk and complain. We get to work providing research solutions and help 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. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse that is the envy of every other state.

Our research is actually help policymakers make decisions and ensure you keep more of what you earn. Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities and improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future. The John Locke foundation were dedicated to making North Carolina first and freedom were dedicated to you.

Welcome back Carolina Journal radio I Muskoka North Carolina has a state law designed to ensure public access to government records.

But our next guest says that law presents some problems.

Elliott Engstrom is a fellow at the Elon University school of Law. Thanks for joining us at extremity forget to the problems remind people who are unfamiliar with it. What does North Carolina's public records law, do so.

Public records law basically just gives the public access to government records and by records. That means more than just paper.

That means recordings, videos, computer files, emails also to stuff so it's a really good way for people to escape the government accountable see what was going on in state government. So we have this law you have used this law you have looked into this law and you see that the. Despite this great intent that there are some issues and challenges what are that there are so one big issue that comes up is knowing who the custodian of a given record is the public records law talks about custodians and a custodian is basically just the person who has the record that you want. You would think that it be fairly simple to figure out who the custodian of a given record is, but it's not. So for example I'm a couple years ago there was a lawsuit over some emails at the administered office of the courts and they were trying to figure out who is the custodian of employees emails, and the court found that both the plaintiffs and the defendants have named the wrong custodian and these are people represented by will the plaintiff was a pro se lawyer and the defendant was lawyers from the Atty. Gen.'s office agrees not not dumb people and they couldn't figure out who the custodian of records was this is important because if you don't sue the proper custodian.

Your lawsuit is dismissed and so when you think about the pro se people bringing public records lawsuits of lawyers of the Court of Appeal can't figure this out. How are pro se people just bringing these suits on their own supposed to figure this stuff out and so there's a couple ways I think we can make it more clear for people to know who to go after one would be just to make agencies name there custodians like the name the process agents if you're to sue you if you're going to sue the Department of environmental quality.

For example, they have a process agents that you do that you serve process on bigoted name there custodian.

Another way to do it would be to do what Florida has done and say the custodian of records may delegate their duties to someone else and I think that would fit really nicely in the North Carolina's current system because anyone whose double public records laws at all knows that the people you really deal with the public information officers unit.

If you're going after Gov. Cooper's records don't deal with Gov. Cooper you do with his public information officer, and so next-door sense for that to be the person that you're fighting with in court not actually Gov. Cooper on and so this is one of the areas. Another would be for example, that in North Carolina you have to actually have a public records request denied. In order to bring a lawsuit and this presents this big murky area of what what if my public records request is been sitting there for nine months.

What can I do at least one court has found that you can do nothing. There's nothing you can do in North Carolina and I would think maybe there's a few things we could try but but at the moment, there's no cause of action for delayed access to records and so there's again different states we can look at Florida and Ohio have become adult with this and said if access is not provided to records in a reasonable amount of time to the cause of action for the and this is not, by the way, trying to open the floodgates so the governments of the suit all the time by everybody because we don't want that. That's not efficient to good use of taxpayer money for them to be defending frivolous lawsuits, but it is just a way for people to put a little more pressure on governments when you requested records after months and months and months nothing happened. That is the voice of Elliott Engstrom. He is a fellow at the Elon University school of Law and is worked on these issues of public records and public records requests using North Carolina's law you brought this up in this is worth delving into more deeply, and that is this notion of people just flooding the government would public records requests and we want to make sure that that that's not going to be happening. If we change the laws.

You think that the ideas that you put forward are ways to address the problem without opening the door to to major unintended consequences absolutely and so so one of the goals that I look for in good public records laws is predictability and efficiency on and so for example if you don't have the right custodian as we might spend a year and 1/2 litigating the case but have a dismissed start over. That's not a good use of taxpayer money is not a good use of government time on in terms of there being too many public records lawsuits on so in North Carolina.

We amended our fee provision for plaintiffs in 2010 and then what you can do is you can look at statutes and see what how much treatment of the receipt of the appellate courts.

There has yet to be one case in North Carolina where it is been litigated has does this plaintiff does, or fees, so I deftly don't feel like were on or near that danger point of having too many public records lawsuits on if anything, we don't have enough because nobody really knows what it means to the fee provision says that the plaintiff gets up attorneys fees they substantially prevail in this and other problems.

Nobody knows what that means because it hasn't been litigated at all on and so also what you could do is if you're going to amend the public records law to say that there cannot be unreasonable delay. You can add in defenses for governments so the government can say well I really have a bunch of public records request that I'm dealing with.

I don't and I have to deal with those of Oregon do with yours, that would be a valid defense or this is gonna take a lot of time on this is very complicated. Request all government has to do is assert one of those defenses and as long as it's reasonable there fine.

The ideas that you put forward. Sounds like they are really geared toward helping members of the public get more consistent access to these records or have a legal recourse if they are getting the axis, but it also sounds as if from what you're saying. This would help the government to because it would say this is what you have to do you have to have a custodian name you have to have a reasonably quick response. Or at least have some good excuse why you don't oh yeah because time and money are precious resources for governments and if they're spending time and money litigating cases on things like who substantially prevails, who is the custodian, etc. waste. What can we do say the custodian is this person name by statute, but for example on for a city the custodian. Mayor Wright the custodian to be a member of the city Council something like that on by the case. Recently where last year. I sue the city. I sued the city manager and the city itself. The entity, and the court ended up saying that the entity is the custodian of records which doesn't make any sense on, but I went with ecocide as needed. A defendant but so all the time that we spent litigating who was the custodian could just been dealt with the statute and I think I would be a better way to go because that way. Governments don't have to think about this is something is to be litigated Dealt with. You get a sense that some people within the government would welcome this sort of clarity or did they like the fact that it's kind of murky and if there if they're not really thrilled by giving out the records that got this excuse that while we we know yeah I mean I think the government sometimes do like it to be murky. I don't think that's because they're bad people or something like that should nobody wants is right and so you know government troopers in office now. He used to be the champion of public records law to wonder if he still would be no doubt he's the governor people are going to come after him but but but I mean I the murkiness factor though. I've met a lot of people from local governments, at least who don't like that because unpredictability is necessarily good for them. Unpredictability can be bad for anybody so so to that extent. I would say that maybe people in government don't necessarily like the murkiness factor will one person who's going to be watching as this hopefully becomes a little less murky in the years ahead is Elliott Engstrom is a fellow at the Elon University school of Law. Thanks so much for joining us will have more on Carolina journal radio just about full color throughout every issue more visual storytelling. We've revamped Carolina journal to make it easier to read a new look and a new feel. But one thing hasn't changed and it never will. That is our commitment to truth and transparency in government, you can still count on Carolina journal for investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles and vetting of corruption. No permission to shine the light on what North Carolina government and the bureaucrats who run it are doing in your name and with your money will never wane and because of that our reach and influence are growing through all of our distribution outlets we reach more than 1 million N. Carolinians every month so make sure you stay informed. Read the monthly print edition of Carolina journal. Then check in several times a day, Carolina that's where you'll find fresh stories, opinion pieces and updates on government politics and your money. Carolina journal. We hold government accountable to you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez why thieves might want stricter licensing rules for security guards.

That is the striking headline from a recent piece about the research into whether the public is safer when security guards are required to be licensed by the state and you might think that more rules about who can work as a guard equates to more safety but here to explain why this may not be the case is John Sanders he's director of regulatory studies for the John Locke foundation and he wrote this piece that I've referenced John, welcome back to the show next. Some people might say, but common sense tells you the more hoops that you have someone jump through before they can get a job as a very important job as a security guard that that means we get better quality people and you say maybe not so well is very well possible that week are getting better quality people that were not getting as many more that you raise the price and the price in terms of time, cost, dealing with hassles, etc. not just necessarily monetary price of doing anything, the less you're going to get out of it so the more strict to make it to get a license to get us to be a security guard. The fewer security guards to going to be and what this research found. This is from the arch bridge Institute was that the more strict the licensing for security guards were the fewer.

There were security guard firms and as a result, the more property crimes, the states had now that's really fascinating. Why more property crimes weren't as many people to keep property say it's that simple really that fewer guards then more property is open to be taken by thieves. Does North Carolina actually require this type of licensing yet we have a security garden and patrol license and that's just one of a whole lot give us a sense of some of the job categories or occupations.

John did that people not realize require a specific license and sometimes all sorts of testing and in fees attached. In order to work in the field. There are, for example, there are 13 different licenses for lower income occupations in North Carolina has that fewer than half the states have the one that I was thinking of. In particular, would be like sign language interpreters and you can see a reason for that you want your silent which interpreter to be able to interpret sign language, but North Carolina not only requires a license which one of only were one of only 22 states.

It doesn't but also among the states to do it. Our fees are about $300 more, and they require at least about a year of schooling more than the other licensing states just one example and people may not realize that you're talking about.

Not only sometimes am having to go sit through particular courses and pass tests, but money give us a sense of how much money does it cost to get a license and some of these fields.

It can get quite expensive and mean it depends a wide variety fields. There a lot of construction trades in North Carolina that are licensed that half the states don't really bother doing licensing form, but regarding them.

North Carolina's fees for those are not near as expensive as other licensing swimming balances out in some ways and 70s can run hundreds of dollars for vehicle to be and how to actually just to receive the permit even once they pass all the necessary and schooling attesting in all that done in your writing on this subject over the past few years, you have made a pretty consistent argument and that is that workers should be subjected to the least amount of regulation and rules and hoops, so to speak as possible why necessary for the for the job and one of the main reasons why's the North Carolina Constitution, North Carolina protects a right for people to enjoy the fruits of their own labor.

That is one of the self-evident rights that is enshrined in the North Carolina Constitution we see not only the rights to life, liberty and The Pursuit of Happyness in were guaranteed that were attested to in the Declaration of Independence. We put it in our Constitution and then we added the rights to enjoy the fruit of their labor. So I think that is a very strong case for protecting people's rights were to earn a living. So that's one of the main reasons, and another is the research is clear that more licensing leads to less opportunities for people higher prices for consumers. And that's just not what we need.

And speaking of fewer opportunities and another fascinating piece of research that you've been a writing about is data coming from the National employment Law Project.

In this organization was looking at folks who have some sort of arrest record or criminal conviction, and they have paid their dues to society so to speak and are trying to reenter society and get a job.

Tell us about that that was a very good study and I think one of the most interesting factoid to come from it is first of all, people entry reentering society from prison. Most of them are not going back to prison than we do worry about recidivism rates but it still fewer than half the people who get out of jail or going back in. So they have been rehabilitated in the terms of we like to think up. They want to get out and work, but it's very difficult if you're in a state like North Carolina that has a lot of disqualifications to get a license for any kind of conviction record. Some states about 25 states have things written their law that say essentially that the conviction has to be applicable to the license. So for example you and want to an accountant to be astute to be in jail for writing fraudulent checks you wouldn't want a tow truck driver to be a drunk driver Things like that that would deftly get to safety issue that the licensing is supposed to address but if you got someone who was made some foolish choices is as a teenager to be impacted. The rest of his life from is not something I think we should want as a society, and you noted that out of this data that was released by the National employment Law Project. They look specifically at North Carolina and they said that down. For example, 641 separate disqualifications in the states occupational licensing laws help us understand what a disqualification is the disqualification means that if you have a conviction record.

You cannot get this particular license so it's not like you're applying for a job with somebody and the employer that you're applying to decides they don't want to take a chance on you because you have a conviction record.

You still have a chance with somebody else. In that case or worse comes to worse, you going to business for yourself but would stay licensing without the license.

You can't have the job.

So without a license. All of the employers including yourself. All of your potential employers will not be able to hire you to work in the state in that field and that report actually also notes that North Carolina has the 11th most disqualifications in the country and the second in the southeast.

Sometimes we move forward and I next year when the state legislature comes back into session on this issue tends to come up there tends to be some discussion about taking a look at the states that licensing regime what your recommendation to them.

I would recommend something like what Texas has with regard to the criminal ordinance to make sure that any criminal disqualification for conviction record. The stated directly and linked directly to the licensing provision and I will continue to put to promote getting rid of is much licensing as possible and leaving it only for the most extreme safety. Examples that we have. John Sanders is the director of regulatory studies for the John Locke foundation.

You can read both of the pieces that he's written that we discussed in this interview John time. Thanks very much. That's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost, kind, and Donna Martinez.

We hope you come back again next week for another edition of Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John learn more about the John Locke foundation including donations support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke call 1866 jail left info 1-866-553-4636 Carolina Journal radio nation airline is maintained running opinions expressed on this program nearly nation about Michelle or other foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime