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Carolina Journal Radio No. 754: N.C. continues to benefit from recent tax reforms

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
October 30, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 754: N.C. continues to benefit from recent tax reforms

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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October 30, 2017 12:00 am

North Carolina moves up to No. 11 in the Tax Foundation’s latest ranking of states’ business tax climates. Before comprehensive tax reform launched in 2013, the Tar Heel State’s ranking languished in the 40s. Roy Cordato, John Locke Foundation senior economist and resident scholar, discusses the reasons for the improvement. Cordato also outlines some top priorities for federal tax reform. Free speech will get additional attention and protection on N.C. public college campuses. That’s thanks to the Campus Free Speech Act state lawmakers approved this year. Jenna Robinson, president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, explains why this legislation means good news for students and faculty in universities across North Carolina. Better gas mileage in gasoline-fueled cars and the emergence of electric cars present significant challenges to North Carolina’s state transportation budget. N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon delivered that warning recently to state lawmakers. Trogdon says changing conditions threaten the long-term viability of the state gas tax as the chief funding source for transportation projects. Fans of North Carolina’s Campus Free Speech Act can give much of the credit to the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix, Arizona-based free-market think tank that has been pushing for similar legislation in states across the country. During a recent visit to North Carolina, Goldwater President Victor Riches discussed his group’s approach to enacting market-based reform ideas at the state level nationwide. Legislators returned to Raleigh recently to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of an election-related bill. The new law loosens restrictions for third parties and unaffiliated candidates who want access to the state’s election ballot. It also lowers the threshold from 40 percent to 30 percent for winning primary candidates to avoid a runoff. The provision that generated Cooper’s opposition eliminates 2018 primary elections for judicial races. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, discusses the new law and the political debate surrounding it.

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From Cherokee to current attack and the largest city in 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, luggage, coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state free speech will get more attention and protection on college campuses across North Carolina. The head of a higher education watchdog group explains the benefits of the campus free speech act and Arizona-based group helped push the priest rejected North Carolina the head of that group called the Goldwater Institute joins us to outline some of his other top issues. North Carolina will have to find an alternative to the gas tax in the future. That's the warning from the states transportation Sec. Laura why he has concerns and will discuss state lawmakers most recent trip to Raleigh. They overturned the governor's veto of a bill dealing with ballot access and electing judges. Those topics are just ahead. But first Donna Martin as joins us with the Carolina Journal headline North Carolina is now drying even more attention for its historic reforms to the states tax rates and tax burden. This time it's the tax foundation's business tax climate index that has people looking at our state, Dr. Roy Corrado is the senior economist for the John Locke foundation is one of those folks is watching all of this quite closely. Roy welcome back to the program. Good to be back. Donna tells about the tax foundation.

Why are they focusing on North Carolina well but a number of reasons we fed the day they publish every year there business climate index and North Carolina has gone from in the last three years going from his Lowe's 40s only up to 12 and then this year up to 11 insert S states terms of business tax climate so and I rep you are on the higher levels of the one the better. Why would we actually catapult coming from it just couple years ago at 41st, up to 11 well basically that's the most to do with our income tax. A dramatic decline in her income tax rates from 7.75. I guess a few several years back in 2012. Now down well headed down to 5.25" percent flat rate and does the personal rate.

That's a personal rate. Our corporate tax is going down to 3% is down at the 3% and that's from a 6.9%.

A few years back, so we had these very dramatic changes in our tax code which it looks very good to business. Roy, I think our listeners can probably just intuitively understand that if their personal income tax rates are going down that that's less of a tax burden on them, presuming you are making the same amount of money help us understand though on the business side. How is the average North Carolinian helped when the corporate income tax is lower. A number of ways will first of all, most obviously lower corporate income tax can be more investment and has the meaning more investment in the in North Carolina.

It makes it cheaper to do business in North Carolina plus for the average person look corporate taxes are not paid by corporations there paid by workers in the form of lower wages are paid by of customers and form higher prices and shareholders in the form of a small returns so it's hidden to hidden tax, which makes it bad because I think that a corporation bank while corporations communicate that they're just their paper entity. All money has to come out of somebody's pocket all taxes and so yours only a few places they can come we've seen all this tax reform over the past several years here in North Carolina now at the federal level right present trunk and members of Congress are now talking about some sort of tax reform and it looks like they might be looking in North Carolina for some ideas well these ideas are been floating around for a long time before North Carolina, embrace them, but we we've been pioneers in lowering our corporate income tax and clearly that's what they're trying to do with the federal level trump us to bring it down to 15% be happy if you got it that low happier. Even if you got it lower, but so that something on that would be an area where they would be overlapping following enough with the same same with them, reducing the personal rate and and collapsing it so that there's not what I guess seven rates now and they want us to collapse down to three, which is pushes upward direction. We went to one buttock of a flat tax, also are expanding the trump wants to expand the the month zero tax bracket at personal exemption and we did that dramatically in North Carolina sews a number of things that we did not, that the federal government seems to be pushing the same direction. Roy help us understand more about this says zero tax bracket.

What is that and well I did helpful. It's simply a way of making the vibrant about this.

We did and this is the way we been making the North Carolina system more progressive by allowing more and more of your income exempt from personal income taxes quality zero tax bracket. It's a it's a bracket where you don't pay any taxes on whatever whatever it is. So the first few thousand dollars to learn. I think it might be up to 17,000 something like that and so Pres. Trump is proposing also doing that in terms of the letter O yes federal level.

What else would you recommend Roy that the Fed said, take a look at if there really truly get to do some tax color. Couple things capital gains that have not been discussing capital gains. I think they need to reduce it at the federal level, and then at the state level. I also think this idea trump as of the of getting rid of the exemption for state and local taxes is a bad idea. I think it's a really unethical to tax people on money that is basically stolen from them by the by their local governments is not their money anymore. They have no control over.

Never had any control over it and right now that's exempt from the federal income tax trump and many conservatives. Unfortunately, I think we don't understand this issue. I wanted want to begin taxing that income again. Income goes to state income taxes and and property taxes help us understand that a little bit more so.

So what is it time at state and local income taxes in what you can or can't do on your federal tax write exactly, so help us understand that what what is deductible now.

Right now you can deduct your state income taxes in your property taxes, not your sales taxes used to build deduct sales tax, but so that money would come off of your adjusted gross index.

It would lower that that's correct that silence now and I think really it's a it's a revenue raiser to try to help balance the budget trumps plan puts it back in and a number of Royal Republicans agree with him on that and so would be question CFS stays in the reasoning behind that Roy that they want to change that. Did they give reasons that, but that don't really make a lot of sense. Real big one that's being thrown out. Is that well. It encourages us to high tax states right states to have higher taxes but expanding the base at the federal level, encourage the federal so it's basically it's hard. It's weird for a conservative to make that argument especially for you and be Federalist because what you doing you say well to keep the station taxing more than expand the power of the federal government to tax mortgages seems to make no sense from conservative work or or Federalist perspective.

The problem is it is not consistent with the economics of tax good economics of taxation which only should the tax consumed income. We talked about that before.

Plus, as I mentioned, look ethically your taxing money to people lose all control. It basically is no longer there money. It's their state and local governments money practicing it from. If you have no control over that money, it's not really yours but but so to tax. It is really quite unfair. I know you can be watching that one closely to see if that makes it time in the final proposal from, the president and Congress. I want to get you to explain a little bit more about something you mentioned a moment ago and that is sent capital gains help us understand this issue of double taxation. Because some people don't quite understand it when you talk about capital gains, and what happens that when you have to pay tax will double times, yeah, well, what happens is if you invest in something and your you've already been tax on that money and that reduces because you contact them on that money reduces whatever the return is in this case a capital gain from selling stock or selling a piece of property or anything like that. So then you get hit on that gain. So sorry been reduced once because your principles been tax and then it gets reduced again so that really capital gain should be tax at all in jail F proposal originally for the state.

We suggested capital gains be exempt. The federal government is not looking at that and I'm not. I'm not sure why. Goes right along with reducing the corporate income tax ago. So Obama raised.

I think it's a make a lot of sense to reverse that we been talking with Dr. Roy Coronado.

He is the senior economist for the John Locke foundation.

You can read all of his work on tax reform and tax cut plans@johnlocke.org I put this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment. Are you wondering where our country is headed. Well, so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20.

Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find details@johnlocke.org that's John lock with an easy.org or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history and Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there.

Welcome back Carolina journal radio hi Mitch coca North Carolina has a new law designed to protect free speech on public college campuses and that's good news to our next guest, Jenna Robinson is president of the James G. Martin Center for academic renewal.

Welcome back to the program. Hi Mitch. So tell us what the campus free speech act does it does several things.

First and foremost, it directs the board of governors to make sure that our campuses no longer have unconstitutional speech policies and some of the policies that are on the books right now he North Carolina universities include restricting speech to a very small area of campus and restricting the kinds of things that you can say in sometimes arbitrary and unusual ways and understand the part of this law calls on the University of North Carolina system to have some sort of policy in place to make sure that all the capsules are complying with right exactly and a lot of our campuses already are on some of them were early movers on this UNC Chapel Hill has gotten rid of all its unconstitutional speech codes seen a while ago now.

We had several universities. Just this year, knowing that this policy was coming. Go ahead and clean out their speech policies and so we do have a good idea of what's needed and some good examples. The system can follow in order to make sure that students have access to free speech on campus unit with reasonable limits for people who haven't been following this very closely. What were some of the types of things that campuses were doing that were unconstitutional, but worse blocking people from using their free space. So one of the most recent example happened NC State University. When a Christian organization was set up in the Brickyard and went and asked students if they can pray together in the Brickyard, which is a kind of a gathering space on campus and university administrators told him they couldn't do that because they didn't have the right write permissions to do so and it was kind of a faith essentially said it was soliciting and filled out some paper writing fill out the right paperwork. In any case the Christian organization then sued the University and the University lost and had to pay the organization's legal fees so that that's the most recent very clear-cut example. Another example recently was that one of our universities had a free speech zone that was essentially cordoned off in a really tiny inconvenient area campus and so when you have a free speech zone like that, it means that's the only place on campus.

You can do something like hand out of pocket constitution and so when you're preventing students from speaking freely or handing out materials except for one little spot on campus and that's another example that we see pretty frequently so you're talking about acres and acres of a college campus and only one little tiny out-of-the-way spot was the spot where people could have free speech right exactly the movement to get this campus free speech act in place. Is this something that the people outside the University system. Solve problem and said what we need to have a law that make sure the this doesn't happen absolutely and is not something that just happened in North Carolina. There is been a nationwide movement. Obviously, we've seen some problems outside of our state there much more severe than what's gone on here in North Carolina and those problems became evident when students start shouting down speakers physically assaulting speakers, preventing them from getting their message across and it it became a diff fact away to prevent speech. You could even students could threaten to riot and administrators were back down and say okay we won't have speech so all of those movements to prevent speakers from saying things that students didn't want to hear that was really it. Part of the impetus for this, we are speaking with Jenna Robinson, who is president of the Martin Center for academic renewal. One of the groups it was very interested in this campus free speech act. I badgered a lot of people are going to hear us and say to themselves what sounds like an easy proposition campus free speech. Everyone should be for this.

This law should've passed in a couple of days that almost unanimously, but there was some pushback. Why why are some groups opposed to the there was some pushback on one of the reasons for pushback is there was a provision in the bill to punish those who cut off the free speech of others.

So if you were one of those protesters and you either physically or by screaming prevented someone else from exercising their free speech rights there.

It laid out how that person would have to be punishing him up to and including expulsion and so there was some pushback saying that you know it's really not the Gen. assembly's place to decide what the punishment will be. And so that part was stripped out there it stills it still makes it clear that preventing a person from speaking is against the law but it doesn't lay out the punishments for doing that so that was one of the objections. One of the other objections from the University was a provision on institutional neutrality and there were two parts of that provision. One part is still there and the part that still they are says that universities can't require students or faculty to sign on to any statements of belief.

The other part was that institutions themselves had to be politically neutral on policy questions of the day, and that part was removed. So institutions can still take stands on political questions and that was something the University really pushback on getting that provision taken out because a lot of people in today's universities do want to be political, and it many departments themselves have statements affirming their commitment to fighting for social justice. For example, and if the institutional neutrality provision had gone through in its strongest form the University wouldn't have been able to do that this law has just come in a lie would've said signed the law by Gov. Roy Cooper decided not decided it actually went into law without his signature.

So were very early in the process.

What is the Martin Center going to be watching for to ensure that this campus free speech act actually acts the way it should. Right. So the next part is that the board of governors has to formulate their policy. The actual wording of the policies was left up to the board and will be watching to see that the board adopts policies that really does that really do protect student and faculty speech to the greatest extent possible, still in keeping with the rules of a campus obviously a university classroom is not a place for unbridled free speech university classroom is a place for learning. First and foremost, but it to the greatest extent possible. You follow the University's board of governors fairly closely. Do you get a sense that the members of the board or are on board with this idea protecting free speech. Absolutely they are and I think that they are ready and willing to look for all of the sources to make sure that they have their their policies exactly as they should be to really protect student speech campus free speech act is now law in North Carolina. One of the groups that's happy about that is the James G. Martin Center for academic renewal, its president Jenna Robinson has been our guest thinks of things mentioned Carolina radio just are you wondering where our country is headed while so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find details@johnlocke.org that's John lock with an E.org or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history and Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John lock foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John lock 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 in the sea 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 as the work foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop and Amazon donates money to us. The John Locke foundation. So here's how it works. Log on to smile.amazon.com 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 pass the John Locke foundation to try it. 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 will also support freedom. Don't forget log on to smile.amazon.com today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation will go back to Carolina journal radio I'm Ashoka North Carolina relies on the gas tax to fund much of its transportation budget but that revenue sources threatened state transportation Sec. Jim Trogdon recently explained why for state lawmakers. Two years ago. All of the corporate average fuel economy was 24 miles to the gallon 1 to 34 miles to the gallon by 2025 will be 54 miles to the gallon, and so you see, right there.

You know all things being equal, that will lead to a significant reduction in motor fuels usage but better gas mileage isn't the biggest threat to the gas tax.

The real burden is gonna come from all electric vehicles and I believe electric vehicles will be rapidly taking over the in the motor vehicle manufacturing process.

Most of the OEMs are vehicle manufacturers are looking at and they will have an electric full electric vehicle in the market between 2018 to 20, 21 engine efficiency type of follow-up service that it gives is tremendous. However, it creates a significant revenue challenge for us. So right now the energy information agency that helps all the federal government and works with the PO projecting fuel usage is still not accommodating. What's going to happen with the electric vehicle change everything off read it looks like electric vehicles may be the predominant vehicle sold by 2025.

That's one of those areas where I believe we better start planning for the future now or the future will be here before much faster than we anticipated and once again we don't want to be responding in crisis, we won't have a plan. Trogdon also notes uncertainty about federal funding and other factors. But he left lawmakers with one key message really need one question asked answered and that question is in its immediate word. We go to replace motor fuel taxes. One of the options and what should be its phased implementation because we know the time is going to occur when the motor fuels.I believe it's gonna start around 2021 may be off a few years the industry may adjust different ways. It might be more aggressive.

It may not be as aggressive. But the truth is we need the plan we know what's going to happen.

We can't predict exactly which month and year, but it will happen list be prepared for the occurrence and let's have our strategy in place so it's important that we act now and develop the plan. Between now and the next two years. That's Jim Trogdon, Sec. of the North Carolina Department of Transportation is outlining challenges facing the state gas tax is the main source for transportation funding will return with more Carolina journal radio really 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 that 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 to Carolina journal radio I'm Ashoka. If you're happy to see a new state law protecting free speech on North Carolina college campuses. You can give much of the credit to group based in Arizona, called the Goldwater Institute and campus free speech is just one of the issues the Institute has been advocating recent years joining us now is the Goldwater Institute's president and CEO Victor reaches thanks for joining us especially appreciated. So first of all, before we get into the campus free speech act tell us little bit about the Goldwater Institute for those in our audience who don't know the group sure the Goldwater Institute is a free-market think tank were based in Phoenix Arizona but we pass legislation all around the country. We also have a very vigorous litigation department so the model that we like to use and it makes us a little bit different from some of the other think tanks around the country is will will develop an idea first will pass it in a state. Often times in Arizona state would start with than we start moving it into other states and move the idea all around the country and then as is inevitably the case nowadays laws always to challenge the law of any consequence gets challenged in the courts. We will ultimately defend that law in court and on top of that we do a lot of private property lawsuits sharing economy lawsuits, licensing, regulation, lawsuit, so were were really a one stop shop for developing ideas, passing them in state legislatures and then defending them in court. One of those ideas deals with free speech on college campuses.

We just saw North Carolina legislation passed that that the deals without issue that crop up is something that Goldwater thought was very important. Well, as is probably all of your listeners have seen over the last last several months there's been a lot of issues on campuses where you have free speech being just blatantly attacked and and and the reality is it's usually coming from the left, usually attacking folks defending free markets free-speech property rights of those kinds of basic principles and so when when we saw this happening around the country.

We really felt it was important to try to develop some type of legislation to combat what we're seeing is a real abuse of power around the country and Soviet. The idea behind this bill is in you, for you've probably seen a lot of the states will create these safe zones and they and they say will here's were free-speech exists in the safe zones, but no place else on the campus argument is the entire campus should be a safe Sony should be you should be free to speak your mind any place on the campus and so that that's really the gist of the bill is to determine the entire campuses into a safe zone and as you mention it, passed in North Carolina and we are working on it in several other states right now. What are some of the other issues that are really percolating in that regard I remember from from past discussions with folks. Goldwater right to try education savings accounts of those things are still working on a cross-country yes and in fact education savings accounts. We we just passed the first universal education savings accounts in Arizona and for for folks may not be familiar with that term. And that's that's universal, school choice, and in Arizona.

It's the first state to do it and so we will be moving that bill into other states and we have passed sort of smaller versions of the bill and other states, such as for low low income families. Children with special needs, but this is the first time that the bill is actually pass. It opens up school choice to all students and so that that is one of our big measures. It's happens to be an idea that we've developed several years ago and we actually defended it in court already.

So we already know it's constitutional. That is a measure will be moving into and other states in charge right to try goes, I have some pretty exciting news there. We've we've we pass right to try in 37 states and the just the right to try as it allows terminal patients have a terminal illness to use medicines that haven't gone through the full FDA approval process will literally just last week right after the United States Senate failed to act on skinny repeal they actually did act on a federal version of our right to try bill since the first time we've we push legislation at the federal level, but it did actually pass out of the United States Senate, which can be moving over to the house were very hopeful will get it passed in the house and if that happens then write to try will will be the law for everyone in the state, not just those 37 states that we've successfully tested and so far that is the voice of Victor reaches he is president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute we budget several ideas so far are there others that are either in one state and we haven't heard about yet or North Carolina or even those that are percolating that haven't been thus try to many states, yet will will will one bill that all mention goes right in line with the right to try and we just pass this and Arizonans. It's another issue will be will be moving into other states in the near future is free-speech in medicine and and it's very similar to write to try in the sense that the federal government right now prohibits pharmaceutical companies from sharing information with doctors off label prescription uses with with doctors. This bill says makes it so that at the state level, you can do that pharmaceutical companies can share that information and this is very important particularly to Torah cancer patients that are looking for treatments and so so this bill right along with right to try. You have instances where the federal government is really exceeded their bounds in the states really have to step in and change the law for the better and this is another example of a measure that will be able to move into several states, and fortunately we have a lot of legislative friends around the state and a lot of really great think tank allies around the states were looking forward to working with them to move this issue across the country think some people listening to us might think these are all interesting ideas. Maybe some very good ideas. This is kind of a hard way to do it.

One of the just go to DC and pass a law through Congress. What's what's the idea and why is it a good idea to to approach this on a state-by-state basis know you know we we get that question quite a bit and and and really the reason is in and I think the unfortunate recent failure of the Senate to to pass skinny repeal or anything else in that regard really shows you how difficult it is for the United States Congress to pass meaningful legislation and so our experience has been that it's good that the states are much more receptive to unique ideas to ideas that are sometimes go way outside the box and our strategy is if we can get these passed in as many states as possible. At some point Congress does notice and a lot of times they will act on it right to tries a great example if we were successful in getting that through the United States Congress, I can say with 100% certainty that it never would've happened had we not started started at the state level.

A more basic level, I would suspect a lot of people say hey this is part of the soul laboratories of democracy thing the week that we've been talking about constitutional basis have the states try different things see what works. See, what does it imagine that that fits in with the philosophy as well.

I think I think you're you're exactly right the states.

The states are much more willing to try legislative approaches that that are that are unique at the federal government. You see, when they do pass bills. A lot of times there just additions to things of their past and in the in and in the past. It's very rare that you see the federal government passed something that's really revolutionary or unique or even clever at the state level. There are a lot more opportunities to actually pass meaningful rate regulatory reform measures licensing reform, tax reform school choice.

You can imagine. If we try to pass universal school choice at the federal level. You could probably put every every penny of your budget into that effort for 100 years and you probably never get any place that the states there's actually a chance. Victor Richards is president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute. Thanks much for joining us.

Thank you very much will have on Carolina internal radio. Are you wondering where our country is headed while so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find details@johnlocke.org that's John Locke with an E.org or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history and Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. Welcome back to Carolina internal radio I'm Donna Martinez changes are coming to how North Carolina selects judges and who can qualify to be on a North Carolina ballot. These election changes came to fruition during a recent special session of the Gen. assembly. Carolina Journal was there when it all came down and editor-in-chief Rick Henderson joins us now to talk about the details. Rick welcome back. Thank you for so let's talk about the issue of ballot access for third parties, and those who registered as unaffiliated first and important thing is said that the Gen. assembly had to override a veto of the governor to get this done right.

This was all part of Senate Bill 656, which was a bill that initially started off to expand ballot access for third parties and affiliated voters and of governor vetoed the bill and both chambers came back and overrode the veto. Now the ballot access part of it was the least controversial because what it did was it ease access the ballot both for third parties and for unaffiliated candidates who would like to run for election for parties. The old threshold used to be that you had to have 2% of the vote of the total vote will save you running for your real statewide ballot if you were the Green party. Let's say you have have gotten 2% of the vote in reactive signatures from number equaling 2% of the voters in the previous editorial election. This reduces threshold to 0.25%.

That's a huge reduction that is easier. It's much easier that right now would put that down to about 11,000 signatures you have to gather. That's because for years and years and years.

The ballot access requirement was 10,000 signatures statewide. Got up to close to hundred thousand 90,000 so that pretty much brings back in line with earlier requirements for unaffiliated's. If you are let's a one run as an unaffiliated candidate for governor or for Secretary of State or something like that your old requirement was getting 2% of the vote from the number of 2% of signatures from voters.

The previous statewide election of recall that now that goes down to one and 1/2% so it's a slightly easier qualification but not a lot easier and there a lot of the technical things regarding how how how how you help broaden your support has to be statewide is for geographic concerns that something with those the big numbers. The interesting thing I think Rick is about the unaffiliated's really because we seen in terms of raw voter registrations in our state. The those who registered as unaffiliated now surpass those registered as a Republican I suggest just pass them at a huge block of people now are we likely because it's a little bit easier now to get on the ballot to see more those folks saying hey I'm a UA they will do that because for one thing, not only was interesting is we know we originally were looking at those that the veto Senate Bill 656 we prepared story that we would run the time waiting to see the general sum would come back, override, and from the time for the two week period from the time he veto the bill until the override. The unaffiliated's actually added more voters than Republicans lately actually gained in their league of Republicans is the second largest block of voters in North Carolina.

The Democrats also what's happening is that people are gravitating away for a lot of different reasons from the two political parties, and they may actually start going to existing third parties that may form new centrists parties or parties aimed at the voters really don't like either Republicans or Democrats will see how that all plays out as the ballot access portion of what occurred at the special session of the legislature and then we got into the really controversial stuff.

This has to do with the election of judges. First of all, no judicial primaries tell us about that and why right there will be no Jews primaries to say in 2018. The reason for that stated was that when the Gen. assembly comes back next year, presumably in January what the members will do is take up a series of possible constitutional amendments or statutes that would change the way people get on the bench in North Carolina and they have the members the general assembly have been very coy about this and that they have said that they might change some of the election rules they might change the system from the correct election system to one that has retention elections for incumbents with mom and right now we elect judges right now we want judges. That's right district court judges served two years of leave magistrates probably do the same and then numbers of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court in Superior Court serve eight year terms so they said there's going something different. It could will be at the Goodwill system in which the governor appoints and the sin the general civil confirms or the Gen. assembly appoints will just see how that all plays out. And in fact another possible change that were looking at is a constitutional amendment that would shorten those terms right no matter how they get there to shorten the term that was one that really started all the fireworks because within hours of the veto override being enrolled in the state statute book. Then the two rules Committee Chairman Sen. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County and set and representative David Lewis of Harnett County outsourcing propose a constitutional amendment to make all judicial terms. Two years starting in 2018 and people who have been elected for terms that were scheduled to run until 2020 year 2022 return 24 W. run for election immediately so that really kicked up the old In fact you had some Democrats saying hey all these Republicans are just trying to break the system because they don't like the fact that the Democrats have have one some racist right that's that was yard with the Democrats were making about that in the part of it with the right with their vacuums will we went from a 43 Republican majority on the Supreme Court to a 43 Democratic majority, largely because of the ballot filing glitch that was all the Republicans fault whether they have the order of Candidates appearing on the ballot so it appears. And so the Democrats are saying what the Republicans will just want to make sure they get the majority back. They also were sliding a poll from the civil toss Institute, which came out back in February that said that very large margin, people would like to have judicial races much more frequently than they are right now and so this could be a big point of contention and whether or not Republicans really are going to put a lot of emphasis behind this or they're just throwing it out there is sort of a stalking horse for an actual merit-based report with system of judges is remains to be seen. Right now I'm guessing that the entire judiciary in the state would oppose this because Chief Justice Mark Martin, who is a Republican would like to go toward merit selection of judges. There is, I think. I reckon an interesting argument to be made that as shorter-term holds that person more accountable to the voters as it is now judges the other serving long terms in in at least some cases, on the higher courts in our state so that could be an interesting discussion have less but we were in a popular stage) that would have a lot of people populist step elections were frequently argument that some of that some of the Democrats, the general civil who used to be judged by the way, are making the other side is that the judiciary especially at the appellate level when you're dealing with issues of constitutional law more than facts of cases should have longer terms because that way they would be might be less likely to be swayed by the political trends of the moment and they won't be running for reelection. The second I get for it. And lastly, real quick, Rick.

This set had to do with a a veto override that's now happen 10 times the governor has issued vetoes 13 times in 10 times the votes have come back in and overridden that veto this writing, there really are only two more bills left that might be overridden that may be overridden and will see what happens in January but want to prevent zero so far. And of course you can watch Carolina journal.com for the very latest on all of that, Rick Henderson, editor-in-chief. Thank you. Thank you. That's all the time we have for the show this week. Thanks for listening on behalf of Mitch.

Okay I'm Donna Martinez. Join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John to learn more about the John Locke foundation, including donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development job done. Call 1866 GLS info 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio nation airline is thinking running all opinions expressed on this program nearly mentioned about Michelle or other programs foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again


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