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Carolina Journal Radio No. 736: Beaufort County community fights solar facility

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 736: Beaufort County community fights solar facility

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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June 26, 2017 12:00 am

As N.C. state government continues to consider policies that benefit the solar energy industry, residents of one Beaufort County community are fighting a proposed 600-acre solar facility planned near a local school. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, explains why people in Terra Ceia are raising concerns about the project. North Carolina lawmakers have been debating proposed changes in laws limiting the freedom of craft brewers to distribute their own products. It’s an issue that has attracted attention from Christopher Koopman, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Koopman explains why state restrictions on craft breweries in North Carolina and other states create impediments blocking economic growth. During a recent debate about state tax plans, members of the N.C. House Finance Committee tackled a basic question: Does it make more sense to build North Carolina’s General Fund or to devote particular funding sources to specific government programs? At issue was the use of money raised from deed stamps. But some lawmakers raised the larger issue of when it makes sense to tie specific programs to dedicated revenue streams. It’s rare for a legislative body to take an overwhelming public vote against a bill. But the N.C. Senate recently took that step to block a proposed Megaproject Fund for transportation. Senators explained during their debate that they fear the Megaproject concept would blunt the positive impact of the Strategic Transportation Investments reform. STI was designed to replace politics with data in guiding state transportation spending decisions. The N.C. Court of Appeals recently ruled against the estates of three eugenics victims. The estates had sued to win access to part of the $10 million state eugenics compensation fund. Jon Guze, John Locke Foundation director of legal studies, analyzes the court ruling’s significance.

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From Cherokee to current attack from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Muskoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. North Carolina lawmakers have been struggling with the best way to handle restrictions on distribution of craft beer will chat with an expert who recommends more freedom for Brewers. This would make more sense to build the state's general fund or to tie various state government programs to specific taxes, members of the North Carolina houses tax-writing committee recently tackled that topic.

The state Senate recently rejected a proposal to set up a new megaproject fund for transportation projects or my senators feared that new fund could threaten recent reforms and you will hear analysis of a recent court ruling linked to North Carolina's eugenics program will or why the court ruled against the estates of three eugenics victims. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline residence of a remote Beaufort County community say that upland a 600 acre solar facility could destroy the serene area that they live in, and could also kill a private school in that area. The story unfolded at a recent hearing of the North Carolina utilities commission and is now profiled by Carolina Journal reporter Don Carrington, the newspapers, editor-in-chief Rick Henderson is here to give us the details.

Rick welcome back. Thank you. Tell us first of all about the school in this area that is pretty much the subject of a lot of concern. I was to Teresita Christian school, which is a small private school that's in a very remote area near Plymouth, North Carolina.

It's been theirs for nearly a century ago about the 80 years old and it is a real anchor of that community places. It is agricultural. It's not just for sparsely populated with school itself has been those were the place where everyone goes for the community meets to get together to do all search of events and have gatherings that sort of thing. And so it's real important part of the community and that's typical of a smaller, more rural type area in any state in the kind of place a big big part so the school is there and it's very much a part of this area.

Tell us about the proposal for a very big solar facility right near that right. There's a company that's going to build a solar facility that's trying to get final approval for that that would cover 650 acres of land that is currently farmland in the print edition of Carolina Journal comes out in July will actually have an aerial shot of this in the farmland schools on 3 acres of property, the surrounding farmland is 657. As you can probably imagine, this is going to dwarf the of the territory the school currently covers and the company getting this has gotten.

This is giving us certificates of public works help nonpublic need with the certificate of of public acceptance to get to operate the farm and essentially what the people who were in the area who don't walk the solar facility there are arguing is that the process of that you have to go through to get a renewable energy facility approved by the utilities commission is very much biased against anyone opposing the utilities commission simply has to say that if this if the proposal meets local land-use restrictions.

If the local elected officials say it meets local land-use restrictions in local land use policies. Then, unless there's some major problem that is in the process of building the facility that's forcing is a design issue or something like that it is nearly impossible for these things to gets to get stopped in this project is almost certainly going to be approved by the utilities commission because it has no justification not to do so, it sounds like utilities commission really looks jet at just technical specifications ascend as a project meet a BNC or does it not, and if it does if it meets the rules of the area. Then it gets approved with your description of the facility juxtaposed against the smaller, much smaller school is interesting is at issue here with this school essentially be surrounded by solar panel. Yes, it would it would be surrounded dives on one corner the property and if you look in two directions around it. There would be nothing but solar panels on the solar panels themselves will be 6 to 10 feet off the ground so it would certainly be a visual issue. There is no requirement for the producer or for the contractors building this facility to provide any sort of visual barriers, no fence during the recent dancing but nothing attractive at all.

It would certainly prevent it from interfering with the with the view of the solar panels from the school itself and on the other two sides of the school of the road so it's not as if there's something else that can be done to shakier protect the school from the visualize for part of this, which is what the part of the complaint is the second thing is that because these solar panels are to be in former farmland then there is nothing going there would be no vegetation. You could tell necessarily growing there. You could have issues with water problems with vegetation issues with firm and with other sorts of things. Typically, you would be able to monitor pretty easily if the ground were open to other health concerns or concern about water quality potential are concerned about things like snakes and rats and stuff like that because her again. You know if you have open farmland you have issues with snakes and rats that take care of themselves or predatory birds to take care of those sorts of issues, or if you're actually telling the fields, the people who are attending the field will take your problems. Do we know who owns the land or own the land or is this being the least sterile history part of this that we have not the discovery and subsequent reporting Carolina Journal as it land was owned by a single form of a single individual who is is an elderly gentleman and his there's some dispute about whether or not he actually was of sound mind if you will. When he agreed to sell this property release it to the developer and so there sums the family members are disputing the basically the mental soundness of the circumstances under which exactly that took place as it seems pretty interesting to me reckoned and of course the John Locke foundation and Carolina Journal being the journalism arm of the Locke foundation very concerned about property rights issues, and so it seems like there might be a tug-of-war therebetween and owners right to do whatever they want to, essentially within legal requirements with their land versus the community and how they feel about the changes that would take place in the other issue involving two forces is the person who's making this decision, a capable responsible person who's making this decision reasonably or is this something was there some element of, if not coercion, at least of persuasion that was that was out of line with what the actual family wishes work in the other issue that we haven't even addressed is the fact that this solar power will not be going to help North Carolina meet its renewable energy requirement because it's not going to be connected to the local power grid that's used for this purpose is is not of they have not applied for any renewable energy credits, so therefore this is going to be much like the Amazon windfarm that was reported on regularly in which power is going to go on the grid is going to be claimed by some third-party some other entity. We don't know of yet. And North Carolina actually is not assumed would benefit from this energy all it's an interesting question about the whole solar industry in North Carolina.

Why are we seemingly ground zero for the growth of this industry.

Part of it is you have an awful lot of farmland, rural areas of the state that may not be as productive to be an agricultural resource as it would be to be a tax write off if you will, the, the, a lot of this land is leased to two sharecroppers if you will. Basically his lease the people who don't own the property and so the property owner is essentially figure what the best and wisest use. The use of his property and money, and it may well be to lease it to another company that will then use it for another purpose.

Whether or not it's agriculture and that's a real concern.

Also the issue of how much subsidy there is to renewable energy playing factor and basically yes because right now there's a federal tax credit. That's a big deal right now and that means that the people who develop this land put on solar panels I can get very, very, much of their tax liability relieved by using this renewable energy are using or performing so you can read the story that Rick and I are talking about it. Carolina Journal.com we been talking with Rick Henderson 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 Journal.com tackles those questions every day.

The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina Journal imprint each month and on the web each day at Carolina.

Journal.com 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 events@carolinajournal.tv and the voices of the newsmakers themselves at Carolina Journal radio imprint on the air and on the web.

You can find the information you need@carolinajournal.com back Carolina Journal radio I Michiko got craft brewers in North Carolina are trying to change a state law that pushes them to work with an outside distributor.

Once they've grown beyond a certain size one person is taken it interest in this issue is Chris Cooper and he is a senior research fellow at the Makeda center at George Mason University.

Thanks for joining us. Thank you so much Remi on why is this something that the Makeda centers interested yet, so I think quite wise or something that I'm interested in and I think it's it's a great example of of a couple of things I think it's a great example of the way that entrepreneurs can can create amazing products. You look over the last 10, 15 years and you see the booming craft brewing across the country and you see people who are trying new things and they're experimenting and you see someone who takes an idea and turns it into a business. So you have people who who go from homebrewing to micro brewing to to craft brewing and returning hobbies and into career site I think is just a great example of of the entrepreneurial spirit in the way that people can be extremely creative and create products.

Quite frankly, that consumers love as you can tell and also then an example of where government steps in and and creates an obstacle for these out right. That's the other side of the story here is is the obstacles that a crapper faces so just to put this into context the craft beer brewing in general but craft beer is regulated at the federal estate in the local level.

So before you can become a craft brewery have to go get what's known as a brewers notice from the alcohol, tobacco tax and trade board that the TTP it's within the Department of treasury if you go through a number of steps and then once you get that from the federal level, you can go to your state so here North Carolina you go to the TTP then you come to the state they give you permission you go through another another round of hurdles and pay fees and wait times and then you go through your local level. All of this in addition to the regular natural startup costs that any business faces, you know, becoming really good at at producing your product buying all of the machinery and technology necessary to do this. All of those are faced by craft brewers but also facing some tremendous regular Tory barriers to entry. So much so that the wait time's fees and costs added up here for a craft brew. It's a North Carolina is about is equivalent to starting a legitimate business in China or Venezuela. So I mean just extraordinary barriers to entry that that these these entrepreneurs are facing on a daily basis. There are a lot of things the craft brewers could be challenging but the one that really is drawing headlines is this distribution requirement that once they grow past a certain point if they want to continue growing. They would have to work with an outside distributor. What's your take on that requirement. Yeah so II think to to seize the self distribution exemption at the small birds are able to distribute their beer themselves if not first understand the three-tier system so the way that it works in most states is Ike as a brewer. You cannot sell directly to consumers. Typically, the brewer has to sell to a distributor. The distributor sells to the retailer and the retailer sells it to you as a consumer. Now a number of states have created exemptions over the years.

So these are laws that were created 1930s post-prohibition when the power to regulate alcohol was given back to the states. States created these in the name of consumer protection right to raise the cost in increase the distance between brewers, people making alcohol people consuming alcohol for their own good, but the market is dramatically changed and so in recent years, states have come up with these self distribution exemptions and save your small brewer.

If you're making 20,000 barrels a year. 25,000 a year.

You don't have to go through distributor you can sell directly to the retailer you can sell directly to the consumer.

Now is brewers have gotten bigger that is both the number of brewers and the size of these breweries have gotten bigger there been more calls for increasing the I think at the end of the day every hundred. Your distribution owns your business as a brewer if if you're not in control of getting your product to consumers. You're not in control really of your business, so I would say any mandated restrictions like this are getting in the way of allowing these entrepreneurs. Again, these are people taking hobbies, sometimes entering into amazing products that consumers like they should ultimately be in control of when, where, and how they're sold to consumers. They should be able to have direct access to their consumers. I think it makes for a better product and ultimately creating these the three-tier system may be well-intentioned. Eight years ago probably doesn't make sense anymore.

That is the voice of Chris Koopman. He is with the George George Mason University's Makeda's center and you mentioned that this is something that's not unique to North Carolina. But how does North Carolina's Stack up with others across the country is ours particularly egregious or is it unfortunately right in the mainstream dances about mainstream you know II think North Carolina's pre-average one it comes to self distribution. I think North Carolina's a little better in some states but again there are other states that are that are doing a better but again, even the things that North Carolina's getting right it's still a far, far cry from just opening up the market and allowing these craft brewers to experiment producing distributor. People who wanted based on where things stand now, and what the craft brewers are looking for.

If they get the lifting of this And can grow more without having to work with the distributor. What could be some of the positive benefits we'd see economically. So you could see a number of things right for the lower cost to getting into the market might mean that more people might decide to create craft breweries you might see more selection even in this this world we live in today where it seems like you have have a new beer every day and still never drink all of the new craft beer that's popping up to Stephen in a state like North Carolina. I was I was in Iowa a few weeks ago just to give you an example in and there was a bar that only sold I will beer and they had something like 60 beers on tap be just a crazy amount of selection. I think what you'll get is more selection and more competition, which means a higher quality product and ultimately lower cost for consumers. So people who enjoy craft beer will be able to get more of it if they want that will be able to have more selection if they want that in the be able to have it at lower cost than they are probably paying today because you're cutting out two and three levels of the distribution chain, and quite frankly aren't serving much of a purpose other than to stand in the way between consumers, brewers you mentioned Iowa would you list that state or any others as an example to which North Carolina should really turn for for ideas about how to do this right so I hate to say it, but there's really not a good example right like no snow. One state has the ideal system they all have some problems.

They all have quirks, but I would safer for North Carolina and people interested in improving conditions for craft brewers. The focus should be on holistic reforms, not just creating an exemption under 200,000 barrel exemption for self distribution. It should be getting to the root of the problem in saying if if it's okay for small brewers to self distribute washing it be okay for larger brewers to self distribute and creating an even playing field were all brewers can compete on the same that the same level field and not have to worry about what what particular law may or may not be there because when you focus on the self distribution caps in you seen this in a number of states. For example, is all of a sudden they decide to lower the self distribution caps. So then all of a sudden a brewer that was brewing thinking never have to worry about a distributor or district distribution contract or anything like that. All of a sudden the legislature says you know what we change your mind and now you're to be a part of the system.

So I think removing uncertainty and allowing croppers to invest in their business to expand opportunity for people to work in the industry and in choice for consumers.

One person is going to be watching very closely, as this issue moves forward in North Carolina and across the country is Chris Koopman. He is senior research fellow at the Makeda Center George Mason never said thank you so much for having 11 North Carolina internal radio just are you looking to make North Carolina more free the John Mott foundation is in here are three things you can do today to help us make it happen.

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Lawmakers haggled over a tough question, does it make sense to tie specific revenue sources to specific budget items.

The conversation started with Republican representative Julia Howard. She wanted to change the way the state divvies up money from deed stamps. 30% would go to Parks and Recreation 30% to the clean water 30% to the client coastal storm water mitigation fun and 10% to the North Carolina agricultural development and farmland preservation that is that it was the purpose. Originally when the date stamps were increased. The statehouse's top budget writer Nelson dollar objective basis.

Lawmakers have made a conscious effort to eliminate small dedicated funding streams.

One of the things it was determined between the house and the Senate was to pull in all affairs revenue sources are number of revenue sources out there that were dedicated to specific items or programs and when you do that you don't strengthen your UI serve a particular purpose.

But you're not strengthening your general fund. The determination was that in the long-term best interest of the general fund in the best practices in terms of budgeting, not simply North Carolina but in any state is to have as strong a general fund. As you can possibly have is that's where your main appropriations were actually going to be done.

Republican representative Jeff Collins cited with dollar first saw this I really didn't have strong feelings for only the other book more think about. There is a certain amount of wisdom tooth funneling her revenues into a general fund and then appropriating amount from that rather than having a bunch of little individual funding sources want to specific targets. The reason for that is there's no guarantee that the amount of money coming in through one of these revenue sources is not actually match the need of the departments or funds that your fund explains why dedicated revenue sources can cause problems for lawmakers problem that we been true that we tried to drift over course of a number of years pulling all of these funds into the general fund. All these funding string, you have little funding string funding this and that some bells and some mouse and some else, and what you do is you weaken your general fund. And you know it's not just the issue that we deal with in North Carolina this issue that's dealt with in in most states and best practices no matter what state you're in is to strengthen your general fund that's that's the fun were you want to make sure it's a healthy fun so that you can afford to do. What are your absolute past priorities you been listening to debate about the best way to spend North Carolina's state revenue put as much of it into one large pot as possible or dedicate specific taxes and fees to specific program will return with more Carolina journal radio. Are you tired of fake news. Well you won't find it here at Carolina journal.

We don't make things happen and we don't presume or assign motives. There's no simpler way to put it then that were proud to say that honest, factual, rigorous journalism is the Carolina journal way our reporting team is focused on accountability in government and policymaking. No matter which political party is in power, and regardless of the person taken to task in the story, Carolina journal where the holding to the truth and to transparency. Unlike fake news lies, innuendo, questionable sourcing all meant to create controversy not inform the debate.

So the next time you're confronted with fake news log onto Carolina journal.com or pick up the latest print edition you'll find compelling news reporting from a team that knows what it means to be real journalists committed to truth Carolina journal. You can count on us for the facts.

Look back Carolina journal radio I'm co-guy when the bill is struggling to win support in the North Carolina Gen. assembly. It's rare to see a vote. Advocates usually ask instead that the vote be delayed, but observers of the North Carolina Senate witnessed an interesting scene recently. Not only did senators vote against the bill. They voted against that bill with near unanimous agreement. The subject of their opposition was House Bill 110. It started like as a bill requested by the state Department of Transportation and the division of motor vehicles, but Republican Sen. Jim Davis explained to his Senate colleagues how that bill changed in the house basically is an agency bill to clean up some policy and is pretty self-explanatory. If you read the bill.

The only difference is in part three which was added in the house.

A section was added dealing with megaprojects megaprojects are defined as those projects above $200 million that have regional and statewide significance that could be paid for with the Highway trust funds, and it would be determined by if you look at section 17 of the bill.

This would be determined by workgroup, in consultation with the DOT and the section 17 defines how the so workgroup is going to be populated but after Davis's brief explanation. It was clear that House Bill 110 faced some problems we are in the process of preparing an amendment. My apologies.

We are that amendment is not ready. And so we won't be running so I'll be glad to attempt to answer any questions about the bill. So if I and some other individuals within transportation might be able to give you some historical perspective on the megaprojects funding so I commit the bill to and be glad to answer any questions.

Thank Republican Sen. Kathy Harrington served as a lead sponsor for the Senate's version of the original House Bill 110 but Harrington had nothing good to say about the amended version that added the language about megaprojects, not that long ago just a few years ago I said in this chamber and asked my colleagues to support House Bill 817, which is we now know as the STI is in place and it is working this deal with the DOT DMV portion which I would support do not support the megaprojects portion because in my opinion it goes directly behind the back of STI, which is currently working on the STI is some of the best work that we've done since I've been here, and I would urge you to vote against this bill.

STI stands for strategic transportation investments. The program was designed to add data and remove political considerations from decisions about transportation building projects across the state. Harrington wasn't the only Sen. to raise concerns about the impact of the megaprojects bill on STI Republican Bill Rabon echoed Harrington's remarks (some of the things of Sen. Harrington's and go a bit further. Just a few years ago North Carolina was not seen as a good place to do business. Now it is saying is one of the best places of not the best place in the nation to start a new business. A lot of reasons for that long touted original mix is one of one that we should all be proud of. Because we have a very competitive very good tax code and start now with reference to Joe Dominic's refers to retired State Sen. Bob Riccio leading state tax reform a better tax code isn't the only positive reform.

In recent years, according to Rabon another one is and I'll give you an example of the moment is the STI passage of that building as we did that on a bipartisan way and we do that in a big bout ours. We have done all of our transportation issues since we came here in a bipartisan way and I hope that continues. Because the transportation policy affects every county and every person in the state.

It is not a one-sided issue ever took the politics out of transportation now is a huge step in the world took notice when we did that and to go back on that and put politics about back in is is is a step backwards is not a step backward. Last year was the year before. It is a step backwards into the last century and what was going on. A couple decades ago. I don't think we can afford for that to happen. Rabon pointed to a specific example of the way in which STI's lead to benefits for North Carolina in recent years, functional CSX came up from Jacksonville, Florida when they were talking about putting in their project over in Johnston County and then amassed down in his van around with us were going to see that this could be a great boost to the state of North Carolina and the executives of that company sat down with Sen. Harrington and me. They didn't have to.

They came up and they came up to say this, they came up to say thank you that was a big gesture for them to come up with the down to state senators and say thank you and what they wanted to thank us for what they had to say was, we believe in North Carolina because when you folks make a promise to business you keep your promise and industry like ours that has to plan into the future. We need certainty in the North Carolina Senate has given us certainty because we know that you will not go back on your word to go forward with this measure. Today would be going back on our and I don't think that something that anyone in the Senate must go home say Republicans weren't alone in praising STI and panting the megaprojects plan. Democratic Sen. Floyd McKissick added his voice to the chorus only.

Thanks, Sen. Raybon Harrington for their remarks were absolutely on point STI was a process that was well needed. That was well-deserved and tried to depoliticize road construction in the state and I supported 200%. We cannot turn our back on that process, we establish rules process and procedures. We need to follow them even if they don't always create the outcomes that we would prefer that we are safely doing here is creating a new set political slush fund is the wrong way to move it. We need to reconsider this language that's been added to this bill because it takes is a giant step backwards in terms of prioritization of DOT projects in the state.

So how did the bill fair Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest called for a vote. After a brief debate since passage of committee substitute House Bill 110 on second reading old neighborhood. I know five seconds. Bill a "record vote to having good in the affirmative, and 43 in the substitute House Bill 110 second reading is on the table 43 to 2 against the bill got worse. One of the yes votes changed his mind. The final tally was 44 to 1 against the house's proposal for a new transportation program targeting megaprojects.

It was a rare case of a legislative chamber taking such a lopsided vote against the bill also marked a bipartisan endorsement of the strategic transportation investments process will return with North Carolina journal radio in a moment. If you love freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups all across the state. All in one place North Carolina conservative.com one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement 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 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 conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Log on today. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio and Donna Martinez. It was a horrific. In North Carolina history ended in the 1970s it was state sanctioned sterilization of thousands of North Carolinians against their will, and North Carolina was just one of many states that engaged in eugenics and now North Carolina Court of Appeals ruling inscribes yet another chapter in the history of this terrible program and is a is the John lock foundation's director of legal studies. He's been following the eugenics situation and joins us now with an update time. Welcome back.

I don't know any other way to describe it, then horrific that period in history remind us of what the state of North Carolina did, to whom and why. Well the program started in 1933 when the Gen. assembly created the eugenics for the state exporting gave them the power to involuntarily sterilize anybody they thought was not fit to procreate. It went on for over 40 years. The eugenics Board wasn't suspended officially until 1977, they were certainly still engaging in involuntary starvation into the 1970s almost a thousand people that we know of were sterilized under this program. In the summary and sterilized without recourse to the state eugenics board, but simply by local authorities. It was a shameful business but it wasn't uncommon. Most states did similar things at least up until the 1940s. What's unusual about North Carolina that we went on doing it for so long. What was the thinking behind this because when you say sterilizing people so they can procreate. Essentially, were saying there were people who were deemed to be unfit to have children exactly it was one of the major planks in the whole progressive program was to not only redesign society, but to redesign humanity and the way they do that back then because of course it didn't have things like genetic engineering that will do it by preventing unfit people from having children, and ascended in the 1970s several years ago, the legislature put forth a program that was approved in order to compensate the living victims of eugenics in North Carolina give us a sense of what it was that the legislature decided it wanted to do.

They appropriated $10 million and they said that any living victim who qualified and came forward and applied with us before a certain date would get an equal share of that that compensation amount now is that this was something that the legislature done that was wrong and this was their way of trying to make at least partial amounts.

The legal battle began over the fact that the law talks about wanting to compensate the living victims of eugenics correct Karen that created a question in the minds of those folks who are errors of people who have been victims of eugenics that I went to the court system and we've had a recent Court of Appeals ruling, the North Carolina Court of Appeals tell us what the court decided where the court decided, as I expected them to do that the errors of people of eugenics. Victims who died before the cutoff date would not be eligible. Their argument was that Libby back up and say that the point of the important element of the law was that it limited compensation to people for eugenics victims were alive on a certain date and the reason they did this was because lots of reasons, but one of the main one was that they wanted to help people were still alive, who'd been harmed.

Now, because there was going to be a gap in time between when the law was passed and when compensation could actually be paid because it was implemented, people how to apply decisions had to be made, and so on. There was a concern about people who work living victims. At the time of passage, but might die in the interim, so the lawn also stated that then there would be a vested interest in the compensation amount.

Whatever it turned out to be, and I could go to the heirs. This was the argument on this was what concerned the heirs of people who did died before the cutoff date is that why should we go share of the compensation if the heirs of people who were alive at the time the legislation was passed, but died before the compensation was paid got share that was the equal protection argument. They said where the were the same.

We should be treated equally. Court of Appeals didn't agree. They said they're not the same. In any case, the relevant comparison is between the heirs of people died before the cutoff date and heirs of people died after the cutoff date the compensation programs about living victims, and you can't equal protection doesn't mean that there is one group art should be treated equally with the actual living victims of eugenics program with this Court of Appeals ruling.

John does that mean this is an end to that question, but we don't know yet. It's possible that errors will appeal this was a Court of Appeals decision they could appeal to the state Supreme Court, which would cause further delays, but I hope they don't and I'm somewhat hopeful that they won't because this was a unanimous decision by the panel of three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals. It was also a very emphatic decision written by Chief Judge McGee very well reasoned, full of historical information about the thinking of the legislature at the time the language of the legislation in a very thorough equal protection clause analysis. My hope is that they'll accept defeat at this point, and that this shameful chapter in archive history can finally be closed.

Other than this issue and whether or not they will will appeal other than that legal question John, is there anything that would now hold up the compensation program from going forward. Weather was another line of cases involving at least one plaintiff, who was sterilize but not under the state eugenics program because the county involved didn't actually take the necessary legal steps to get it approved by the state eugenics board that's a very sad case. People like that certainly are deserving of compensation but the law is clear there excluded because the law was written to compensate the victims of involuntary sterilizations by the board of eugenics, so that case was over a year ago and hasn't been appeal, but I guess it still may be a possibility that I could come back to delay things as well. Does that mean then that you're saying not only was there an official state program for eugenics any state board, but local officials across North Carolina were in some cases just making these decisions themselves and well we know for sure it happened at least once because we have a case for my understanding from talking to some of the plaintiff's attorneys as there are several other at least a few other cases where the software thing happened.

I don't know that this was a case of knowingly violating the law by those County officials as it might have just been sloppy bookkeeping, but they didn't go through the mode the proper legal steps to get these particular sterilizations approved by the state board the compensation program.

He said there's a $10 million fund. Let's talk about the numbers here. Do we have a sense of how many people applied to have their case reviewed to see if they qualified for this and and how many have been approved whether actually almost 8000 victims that we know of the D task force that originally promoted the composition program estimated that there were between 2000 and 5000 living victims at that time, over 700 people applied for compensation of the program.

About 250 were actually actually qualified. So that's the number were looking at something around 250 qualified recipients we are going to keep our eye on the situation with this particular case, said that we just had the ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals on to see if those folks decide they are going to appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court, or if they're going to accept this decision will have you back on to talk about then what happens next with this compensation program. A very sad awful chapter of North Carolina history I guess is been John to say he's director of legal studies for the John Locke foundation sure and follow him and John Locke.org and read his analysis. Thank you. That's all the time.

We have Carolina Journal radio this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez will join us again next week for another edition of Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke donations that support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke done work, call 18661665534636 Journal radio nation airline is maintained. All opinions expressed on this program nearly mentioned about Michelle or other foundation airline sponsored Carolina radio again


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