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Carolina Journal Radio No. 727: House tackles hog farm nuisance lawsuits

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 727: House tackles hog farm nuisance lawsuits

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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April 24, 2017 12:00 am

The N.C. House has approved legislation that would limit the amount of damages neighbors could collect in nuisance lawsuits against hog farms and other agricultural operations. But a key amendment stopped the bill from applying to the hundreds of lawsuits already filed against the world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods. Carolina Journal Editor-in-Chief Rick Henderson analyzes the debate over new limits on nuisance lawsuits. North Carolina has seen dramatic improvements in recent years in the libertarian Cato Institute’s report ranking Freedom in the 50 States. The report’s co-authors are William Ruger, vice president for policy and research at the Charles Koch Institute, and Jason Sorens, program director at the Political Economy Project at Dartmouth College. Ruger and Sorens recently visited North Carolina to brief lawmakers on the reasons for North Carolina’s climb to its current No. 19 ranking. They also offered ideas for state policy changes that could raise that ranking even higher. North Carolina needs a full-scale rewrite of its criminal code. That’s the argument from Jessica Smith, professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government. During a recent public forum, Smith explained how recodification would clarify and simplify the state’s current system for identifying crimes. Prospective charter schools would get more time to amend their applications and secure state approval, under a policy change North Carolina education officials debated this year. Alex Quigley, head of the state Charter School Advisory Board, explained to the State Board of Education that the existing charter school approval timeline had created unnecessary obstacles for some prospective charters. State education board members signaled support for changes that would help more worthwhile charter school proposals move forward. Four Republicans in the N.C. House have filed a bill called Carolina Cares that would expand the state’s Medicaid program. It’s based on ideas Indiana employed to expand Medicaid when Vice President Mike Pence was Indiana’s governor. Katherine Restrepo, the John Locke Foundation’s director of health care policy, assesses the Carolina Cares proposal and offers alternative ideas for improving health care access in North Carolina.

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