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Carolina Journal Radio No. 709: Governor’s race resolved nearly one month later than expected

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
December 19, 2016 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 709: Governor’s race resolved nearly one month later than expected

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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December 19, 2016 12:00 am

Nearly a month after Election Day, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s concession confirmed that Democrat Roy Cooper would assume office as North Carolina’s new governor in January. Carolina Journal Editor-in-Chief Rick Henderson recounts some of the questions about the election process and looks ahead to Cooper’s challenge of working with a General Assembly dominated by Republicans. No one bats an eye when we trade money for food or clothing. The situation changes if we talk about spending money to buy or sell a kidney. Georgetown University professor Jason Brennan argues in the book Markets Without Limits that kidney sales should be no less acceptable to society, especially when a kidney market would lead to more kidneys being available to save lives. North Carolina could benefit from a thorough review of the state’s criminal penalties. That’s the assessment of Marion Warren, director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts. During a recent legislative presentation, Warren explained why he believes criminal regulation reform would help “right-size” penalties associated with the state’s crimes. North Carolina lawmakers have taken steps in recent years to rebuild North Carolina’s state government savings account. As they try to determine how much savings is enough, they’re getting help from people like Steve Bailey, senior associate for state fiscal health and economic growth at the Pew Charitable Trusts. During a recent legislative presentation, Bailey explained why North Carolina would benefit from establishing clear rules governing when money should be added to its reserves and when those reserves can be spent. Republicans will maintain supermajorities in the N.C. General Assembly after the latest round of elections. But they might have to run for re-election again after one year. John Locke Foundation Senior Vice President Becki Gray analyzes the potential impact on public policy in 2017, given a court order that will force lawmakers to redraw legislative districts and stand for election in a rare off-year contest.

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From Cherokee to current attack 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 of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio amateur coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state no one bats an eye when we use money to buy food or clothing will chat with an expert who thinks the same process should be used for buying kidneys and other more controversial transactions. The head of North Carolina's court system believes the state could benefit from criminal regulation reform.

Learn what he's talking about and why North Carolina has rebuilt its rainy day savings account. In recent years now and expert recommends that lawmakers adopt clear rules about when that saved money can be spent and will ask how a case challenging election maps will affect the North Carolina Gen. assembly in 2017. Those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline in less than a month.

Democrat Roy Cooper will be sworn in as North Carolina's next governor replacing Republican Pat McCrory Cooper will face a Republican-controlled Gen. assembly and a cadre of statewide elected officials pretty much split between Democrats and Republicans. What is this all mean for the new governor and public policy in 2017 and beyond. Joining with a look at all of this all of the challenges and the policy is Rick Henderson. He is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal Rick welcome back.

Thank you. Well, we finally have received the ultimate decision we had that a few days ago, but it's a very slim victory for Democrat Roy Cooper.

After many challenges by the Pat McCrory campaign.

Where is all of that stand out what was there.

Indeed, any problem with the vote and work well there a little of some slight amount of voter fraud was uncovered.

It was so fairly minimal, and it wasn't enough to be election deciding as far as we can tell right now is will recording this Republican Chuck Stuber is asking for a recount in his race against Democrat Beth Wood for state auditor Beth Wood has about 6000 vote lead over Chuck Stuber and since the margin between the two is less than 10,000 votes. The trailing candidate can ask for their so we'll see if there's anything to that recount. That makes anything change, but there were two counties in particular week that were focused on what was Bladen County Sterling County are two completely different challenges and Bladen County challenge had to deal with the person who portably, allegedly, was witnessing absentee ballots and possibly even filling them out because in this race for fig soil and water conservation District Commissioner. The winning candidate noticed that on the balance some absentee ballots. There was a write in candidate name Franklin Graham stated interesting by members and not not the Franklin Graham that well well who knows the Franklin Graham was written in on some 70 balance in the handwriting was very similar look like the same person was filling out these ballots not because of the state Bureau investigation to take over this particular race in the handling of it, so that remains unresolved.

This point, but if indeed the same person was doing that sort of thing you witness can help a person completed ballot, but the witness is not supposed to actually write you fill in the ballot for voter and so the person involved here is actually found to have done. This is criminally charged and convicted of there could be some jail time involved. That was Bladen County medical 70 votes is not a big number of voting voters, but over in Durham County. The question was about many many more boats like there was a 94,000 votes called into question by Thomas Stark, who is an attorney who is a resident of Durham County and whose general counsel for the state Republican Party and he was questioning the handling of these 94,000 ballots from I think five or six precincts in Durham that that were reported very late on election night during Kennedy was related in reporting its totals and before reporting the totals government. Corey was ahead of Roy Cooper when the report came in from Durham County was 94,000 ballots.

All the sudden it flipped and Cooper was in the lead and was leaking never relinquished Tom Stark was saying there were's plot possibly some problems in the way these ballots were handled some problems with the election machines issues about whether or not the machines were properly shut down and guarded after the election was over and that went through state were the first of Durham County Board of elections in the state board of elections, but the awful resolution was not many votes changed. Can we feel comfortable in North Carolina based on what has occurred that there was not massive voter fraud interstate very much so there's there was 1/3 all of the don't get into just a moment. But the thing that that I think was highlighted for this is a Durham County was using election machines that were about 20 years old and they were essentially equipped to handle the volume of ballots that Durham County was producing back in the mid-90s return County has grown since the and so there's a very good are you with the Durham County needs to invest in improving and expanding its technology because that was what seemed to be the problem in Durham. Was it simply the machines didn't have enough memory to handle the volume of ballots or run through and that's why they basically just went off-line for a while. These shut down. Now the third issue was one that was brought up by the conservative sabotage Institute in a federal lawsuit that was dealing with same-day voter registration to something that was required by federal court of the Gen. assembly tried to remove it from voting laws. The court reinstated and civil toss was worried that people who registered on the day they were voting were not being verified properly. If there were not procedures in place to make sure somebody just who are you registered in one place was registering someplace else. Voting multiple times and with the concession of governor look for a the civil toss lawsuit is has been withdrawn, but the we did some sort of informal researcher Carolyn Journal just called selection sports and asked what their procedures were in their basic procedures were if someone registered to vote the same day they were voting.

Then they had to leave and a valid address and the like. And there were a series of up to three mailings.

It went to that address and if any of those mailings were returned. The vote wasn't counted and with that out from serving a few counties that the rate of return was basically zero, so that there was not at least an organized effort to bring a lot of people to the polls and vote fraudulently know course, it's always possible that some would do this but it didn't look like a straight campaign, Rick. I can recall during the debate over requiring a photo ID to vote in North Carolina that there were some critics of that said, folks, you're looking at the wrong problem.

Their contention was that it absentee ballots and handwritten ballots.

You know this going to door to door issue that was encountered with Bladen County and those questions that that was where there was really the potential for fraud would you predict going forward that were going to have that folks really looking much more closely at that that was what part of the multiple protests that were filed by the state Republican Party and some 50 counties was had to deal with the flow of money from the state Democratic Party to various local political action committees were basically get out the vote efforts. Terms of the one Bladen County was problematic but there were a number of other counties in which the state party essentially gave money to a local political action committees are quite often African-American dominated packs that were responsible for getting people to the polls getting them registered and it looks like there wasn't a discernible pattern of any issues with potential voter fraud with these other counties, but in Bladen. There certainly was one, that's one area that this can be looked at is to basically follow the money.

If you will swear our political parties campaigns, even interest groups investing their money are they doing so in a legitimate way you got what you get out the vote efforts from nonprofits and and and unions and then an employee groups and things like that but then you have these others that are more difficult to monitor that's that's good to be an issue going for now.

Come January. Roy Cooper will be sworn in as the next governor. He won the race by little more than 10,000 votes. So he will be taking office, but he's to be having to work with a Republican-controlled Gen. assembly super majorities in both houses can Cooper get anything done for Democrat part of it depends on how he approaches things. If he does so in a very confrontational manner. He may have difficulty.

However, there's another issue that's involved here and that is what how aggressive is the general assembly going to be in trying to restrain the power of one thing that the John Locke foundation is talked about repeatedly did so during the McCrory ministration was the notion of making it more difficult for administrative agencies to enact expensive regulations without some sort of accountability. Of course Carolina Journal will be reporting on all of this. Rick Anderson is editor-in-chief.

Thank you very much. Thank you stay with us much more Carolina Journal radio to come in just a moment, 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 lot foundation and Carolina Journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina Journal. Follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina. Journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else.

Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina Journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper 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 welcome back to Carolina Journal radio I Michiko guy when is it wrong to buy and sell. How about when it comes to your vote or kidney or bets on terrorist attacks or natural disasters.

Our next guest has an interesting approach to answering those questions. Jason Brennan is a professor at Georgetown University's business school.

He specializes in politics, philosophy and economics. Thanks for joining us threatening so wicked people do have sort of an interesting approach to when it is okay or not okay to be involved in commerce or to sell things. Your approach is something that is probably provocative. The people from all different perspectives tell us how you approach this question so all my co-author Peter Jaworski are trying to show in our book markers the limits is if you can do it for free you can do it for money. So there are things that you shouldn't sell the other things you shouldn't do anyway. So when should sell child pornography or assassination services or stolen goods because those are things one shouldn't have in the first place, but otherwise her view is it is permissible to do it for free than the exchange of money does introduce evil into the world where there wasn't any to begin with. So let's put this into a concrete example something that someone might find controversy old to to buy and sell that you think is okay yes take our kidneys. I would always assess people whenever I'm giving a talk on this home if you donated a kidney. No one ever has to than I say. One thing I know about you is your not kind and caring enough to save other people's lives for free. Even though most of my talk is healthy enough that they could do that then I'll ask them what would you be willing to give away kidney for say $50,000 and roughly half of people would. So as an economist would say we have a supply curve prior to price the more people supply and I think would you going to buy a kidney for so your children if they needed an excellent way to get it.

Most people would.

But the government sets the official price of a kidney is zero dollars, which means that the there's a big shortage, people don't supply it, and in the US, the shortage of hundred thousand people per year.

Right now there's hundred thousand people in the waitlist in the vast majority of them will never get a kidney of either die or get too sick to get a kidney and fall off the waitlist.

Another example that we mentioned in the lead-in was a vote what your approach that yeah so most people think it is kind of strange.

If if you don't know anything about voting and all you know anything about politics and you go and cast a vote for the worst possible candidate.

You do it for free. People think all that's great that's to be celebrated, but harder caught my buddy Warren Lemanski who never votes, but it's one of the world's leading political philosophers and ask them to vote his conscience and say you know what you $50 to vote your conscience. People think that's evil so my view is there's an ethics to voting their good and bad rose in her ways people should vote, but as long as you're voting in a responsible way. It doesn't really matter to you getting paid to do it in the same way that you don't think that firefighters have to donate their services or police officers or military people out of donate their services. Why think that voting is inherently wrong to be sold. We are chatting with Jason Brennan but a professor at Georgetown University's business school. Some people are going to be listening to us there. The alarm bells are going to go off no say wait a minute. I understand markets buying and selling, but things like voting things like kidney that's different that's different.

We should not have buying and selling of these items. Why are they wrong almost. I think most people have an objection to these things. They're not really worried about the market itself to worry about contingent features of the market that we can remove so take the C kidney sales again what people say okay will hold on I'm worried that desperately poor people will sell their kidney for too little money I can say if you really think that oversaw effect if you're not desperate and that's the best option. You take away from them you're not really helping out. If that doesn't convince you, I can say what about making a law that says you can sell a kidney, but only few makes over $30,000 a year so we don't help exploit the poor or somebody says I'm worried that people will rush into selling their kidneys without knowing what they're getting into. Okay will have a gift to go tested to be licensed to sell. The test requires you to understand the costs and benefits are some of my say.

One worry that that's really poor people won't be able to afford a kidney.

If they're priced on the market.

First of all, right on the US only rich people get kidneys. It turns out that you are supposed to be a lottery.

It does actually work only rich people get kidneys poor people never got them.

But even if that were the case we could know some people can afford food. We don't decide to nationalize food production or make it illegal to have a supermarket.

Instead we have food stamps so I maybe could've kidney stamps as well Silly in favor of annuals regulations. But the point is that if you are someone who's averse to kidney markets. Those regulations should take care of the problems we have with them. People who are down the line libertarians I could see them hearing what you're saying. Say yes. Okay. This obviously makes sense because this is just not interfering with people's really made transactions, but there are a lot of people who have sort of a libertarian sensibility, but say some parts of our society and lives should be off-limits for this. What how do you make the case that these people who say you know I'm just kinda queasy about about putting these things in market settings. Yeah, it's true that most people feel repulsion literally repulsion when you look at the language that people use to describe the smart markets they say their ugly, tawdry, nasty, disgusting vial use this visceral language and some we have to ask how how good is your stomach at discerning morality. People say things like buying and selling kidneys inherently shows disrespect for the human body communicates disrespect is to treat the human body is a mere thing and I have this or to wonder was it written into the fabric of the universe that it is by and subleasing shows disrespect for the human body is a maybe just a way we happen to think about money and we can start asking is there a better way to think about money so take if I was extend my middle finger to a person that would show disrespect but suppose we learn the following when use extend your middle finger to somebody. It causes strange vibrations in the air and the strange vibrations and up killing cancer in people.

We would then change the meaning of giving the finger remake that like an informal salute walk on getting people to finger all the time why think the meeting that we attach to organ sales is in a sense, destructively treated as if it's the sacred thing and a result of that is that lots and lots of people die so maybe we should revise the meaning attached to the body rather than forbid the market you touched on something I think does probably play a major role in this.

That is, even among people who are of the conservative nature, there is this the same sense that there's something about money and the involvement of money in a process that dirties it or makes it somehow not completely ethical that is that a major problem with dealing with these issues, I think so. And one thing that was surprising to me. Usually when I'm using the language of economics and people expect that but I I did a lot of research for this book and to my surprise the sociologist for the people that came to my aid here sociologist have gone all over the world studying how people think about money, and it turns out that the view that Westerners have of money is just a kind of contingent view that we've only had recently read and always have.

So for typical Westerner regardless whether they're left-wing or right-wing they regard money as this profane thing that only has utilitarian purposes and put a price on something is to say that it's merely of instrumental value. The rest of the world and even West and other times in history people in think that way so their parts of the world where after you have sex with your wife. You are required to give her money or failing to do so would be disrespectful there parts of the world where to give a money gift is seen as more respectful and more caring than to give the so-called thoughtful gift. Their parts of the world where people put prices on all sorts of things and failing to do so would be seen as disrespectful and I think maybe the way we think of money is as dirty, utilitarian thing is the problem and that's the thing that has to go. Do you hope that this book will help you people look look at money in a new way and look at these transactions in a new way. Yeah, I do hope so we try to be very careful in the book, in going through all the objections people have to these markets just methodically going through the Mets are saying here's what your objection gets right, but here's how to handle it. And even what does money mean and why would economists think it's okay to put prices on thing and they turns out you really understand economics video pricing things is compatible with the idea that some things really have sacred value. There isn't actually a conflict there, despite the claimant people think there is all right. The books title once again markets without limits and its co-author is Jason Brennan, professor at Georgetown University's business school. Think so much for joining us and you will have on Carolina journal radio just at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades.

The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying. In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interests. The special interests.

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Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio amateur yoga does North Carolina need to re-examine the penalties it assesses in connection with state crimes recent state legislative committee meeting raise that possibility. The conversation started with Republican state representative John Faircloth. We have 37,000 people in prison right now yes or dare say we hard to disagree with me. If I were to say some of those folks have probably played enough bit there they probably have been we do as much for them as we can where they are in that box over there with the bars around probably could do a lot more as a society to get the mouse and how we get to that point. That's our challenge is Marion Boren directs the state administrative office of the courts responded to Faircloth. I think what you're actually talking about is criminal regulation reform looking at penalties and rightsizing the not being soft on crime but loose looking at existing penalties and applying them correctly to the right cases. Instead of creating a new classification every to have a unique problem happens, we are turning our criminal code into a writ-based system instead of a code that makes sense and can be applied to both prosecutors and the courts and the defense attorneys can understand their options when they explain their cases to their client. A prime example we have 1499 which is embezzled by state employee right below that we have 14 100 which is obtaining property by false pretenses. The penalties for the amounts embezzled or taken are exactly the same. Why do we have to always beside why do we want to create another anomaly from my perspective. Listed down the District Court if you sail a child a pack of cigarettes. The penalty for that sale and that child may need someone under the age of eight to a pack of cigarettes is greater then if that very same child somehow comes into position of drug paraphernalia, or the mayor want the marijuana paraphernalia. This class will marijuana that the paraffin they would be useful scholastically for a list of one half and class one for the road by first class when the cell cigarette. I think you're exactly right laws have changed, but the sentences remain. And I think that's clearly a policy what you've raised as a policy consideration for the general simply to take a look at you been listening to a recent legislative discussion about criminal penalties in North Carolina changes to those penalties would require action from the general assembly will return with more 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 one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement North Carolina You'll find links to John not foundation blogs on the days news Carolina 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.

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Log on today. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio amateur coca North Carolina has rebuilt state government savings reserve.

It's now roughly $1.6 billion. Is that enough if not, how much should that reserve grow say lawmakers are seeking help answering those questions.

Stephen Bailey of the pew charitable trusts recently offered ideas mainly focused first on North Carolina's revenue history. The revenue growth like in the mid to thousands also. So revenue drop weight during the great recession, and in many ways this line of unpredictability or volatility is like to call if you is the reason for saving.

That's because imagine if you had the budget in this revenue environment without savings each year. Your budget would be at the mercy of these revenues would you spend everything in the bad years we have to raise taxes or cut programs just to get by.

And so, in other words, your budget would be reactive to volatility states have different ways of coping with volatility. What separates the good ones from the bad ones are policies and law set aside a portion of higher than normal tax revenue growth. So what this means is that when revenues come in above normal level. The state has a way of identifying and then saving some of that revenue in second point is that the clearly identify conditions in law when reserves can be used in other words to properly define what rain means for the rainy day fund. So both of these elements might seem like common sense but we found that only 15 states are doing.

Number one, and 17 states are doing that second point, Bailey returned to his first point, why is it important to save a portion of revenue when it is above normal will first of all by doing this it prevents unreliable revenues from funding the general budget.

Just think about it any time you are spending a level that is higher than your normal growth rate, you're setting yourself up for structural imbalance list because that by definition when tax revenue is higher than normal and spending all that is understandable, so savings rules tied directly to that revenue growth ensure the state saving the most during those growth periods set of bacon it into the general budget second saving above normal revenue growth allows you load up those reserves in the best times to use when financial stress is the greatest. In other words, it ensures your savings policy is connected directly to ops in the business cycle. There are 15 states currently save based on above normal tax growth and while there's a lot of variation in those 15 states.

Generally those states have two things in common. One of a method for determining when revenue is above normal, and then to define how much of that above normal revenue they want to save that's Stephen Bailey Senior researcher with the pew charitable trusts specifically to Virginia. That state has a rule that forces lawmakers to save half of any revenue growth that exceeds the state's six year average. How would a similar rule applied to North Carolina in 4/5 years model recommended more money be saved than what actually happened. The model saves the most revenue when revenue is most above normal which is 2006 and it saves nothing in 2002 and 2008.

Revenue growth is below normal.

If you add up all these years which one had more total savings of the Virginia model saved $1.3 billion in above trend revenue listed actually save $787 million over that same time. That's a difference of $522 million. Is that good will that is a tougher question.

However, we know that in 2009 alone revenues North Carolina dropped by $2.2 billion, so it's likely that extra savings would've been very useful during the great recession that followed. Also remember that that extra $522 million is now no longer big into the general budget being that during the great recession. That program cuts or tax increases would likely have been less severe. If you look at the same. From 2010 to 2015 North Carolina actually save $502 million over the time and the Virginia model would've recommended $1.1 billion in savings.

It's important to do more than just set rules in place for adding to the savings reserve account. Lawmakers need to look at the other side of the ledger.

The second key characteristic of a successful savings policy is clearly identifying conditions when savings can be used based on revenue, or economic criteria.

So this means that the best states have fun withdrawal policies that allow them to access the fund only when revenue or an economic indicator like state personal income fall below a clear and predetermined level.

North Carolina's one of only five states with no conditions in law from when the rainy day fund can be used regardless of what criteria is the withdrawal conditions so does this matter are conditions for fun, use important if North Carolina has done a relatively good job of managing its phone use over the years answer lease for us is yes absolutely matters first you're making sure that now and in the future.

The savings reserve account is only going to be used in times of revenue or economic distress, but for new program not for funding and expenditure when revenue is growing and this is vital because there are two problems with user savings during good financial times obviously will less available during the worst economic times, but also since you've used your savings to fund recurring costs during the growth. You created a structural imbalance in your budget. Withdrawal conditions tied to revenue or economic criteria. Remote long-term structural stability. It's not just the pew charitable trusts that likes the idea of setting clear rules in place for savings reserves, credit rating agencies have stressed that fund use should fit into a pattern that reinforces structural balance with withdrawals occurring during times of economic distress, so that underscores how important it is for states to establish in law withdrawal conditions linked to underlying volatility as it provides a clear signal to credit rating agencies.

The states reserve policy is attentive to the business cycle. Bailey says states like Oklahoma spent from savings only when revenue falls below certain targets. Other states like Indiana use the saving reserves based on economic indicators. I want to pull data on North Carolina state personal income and I'm shaded in purple. Anytime state personal income grew by less than 2%, similar to Indiana's economic rule and you can see that this would mean the fund would be available to use in 2002, 2008 2009. Just like the revenue rule and in 2013, Bailey emphasized the importance of North Carolina setting rules that work for this state to be up to you to determine what revenue criteria or economic criteria is best. Maybe you want cover times when revenue grows less than 2% seek cover that Saul in 1996, but that brings me to my final point on withdrawal conditions. Clearly defining when the savings reserve account can be used is a vital first step before you determine the true optimal savings target of your fund and this is important, but that's because of the amount needed to cover all times from revenues Robison 2% is going to be different than if you want to cover all times when revenue grows less than 4% for all time.

Revenue grows less than a trendline. So what's the best practice for state government savings reserves the best Rainy Day fund policies ensure status saving the most during those revenue peaks and that is positive. Rules that are tied to revenue growth.

The best Rainy Day fund policies. Also make sure that the state is only using its funds during periods of physical decline and those are withdrawal rules tied to revenue or economic criteria.

Both of those are policies that promote long-term budget, stability, and our best practice. That's the voice of Stephen Bailey Senior researcher at the pew charitable trusts. He's helping North Carolina lawmakers consider rules for building and using state government savings reserves will return with North Carolina journal radio in a moment at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying.

In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interest. The special interests.

We would be honored to have your help in this fight. John and make a tax-deductible donation. Right now the John Locke foundation when fighting for you were fighting for freedom, welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez the fourth US circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the North Carolina Gen. assembly to redraw some legislative districts, and then it is ordered the state of North Carolina to conduct special legislative elections. All of this next year 2017.

Ruling has generated more questions than it has answered in the ongoing battle over the drying of election districts in North Carolina. Becky Gray is senior vice president for the John Locke foundation she's following the story forest and joins us now. Welcome back. Thanks, Don. We just selected 170 yes we were talking about this for a very long time hundred 20 in a house 50 in the Senate so why are we talking about it again.

Redistricting coming that's in it, that's the magic word and when were looking at now.

Are these legislative maps and a three panel three-judge federal panel has said that some of the districts are unconstitutional, so that I go back and look at as they had designated 28 of these districts. There are 19 in the house and ate in the Senate. I think that's right.

19 and asinine in the psyche on that that need to be redrawn there saying that they were racially gerrymandered and they need to be redrawn so you what we think of North Carolina is a map with all of the districts being the puzzle pieces of that when you change the direct that the parameters of one puzzle piece. It affects others. So if you're talking about, unit 28 legislative districts have to be redrawn. There's many others that are can have to be redone. I got my map out and got my marker and coloring on which one is I could see where they were amazing in the eastern part of the state is a few in Guilford County and a couple in Mecklenburg County. Nothing last of Mecklenburg County to the question, becomes he is will the counties in the western part of the state be affected at all bad ass and then Harold much will that counties in the eastern part of the state impacted hemi districts. Are we really talking about will they be able to redistrict the Guilford County districts just within Guilford County and not have to go outside this county line same thing in Mecklenburg. You mentioned earlier there's a lot more questions that come up with this and there really are answers but that's what were looking at is always more complicated and in the schedule that they set out to do this with the map do the new maps being redrawn due in March 2017. A primary would be held in late summer early fall, probably September and then have another election in November. Oh my gosh yeah okay so let me get this straight. That the current session of the Gen. assembly begins in just a couple of weeks when a lot of genuine members writing were elected just a couple of weeks ago. Yes. So, conceivably, then, does that mean that some of these new members will be having to file for a potentially a primary election while they're sitting in the general that is correct with a barely gotten started in the general is only a couple things with that and I think really cuts on the peculiar in these off year elections that we say in you talking about primaries and yet this is often when the turnout is in a maybe 10%, maybe 4%, even very, very low. The court in the order sand. We recognize that doing this may result in a very low turnout election we don't care. You have to do it anyway and the other thing is remember that legislators have to live and they are district right now there is a requirement that in order to file and run for legislative seat you have to live in your district for at least a year before before the election before thinking in the filing began well in this order.

The course also I sad you have to do that for this election. You only have to live in your district on the day that filing in so depending on how these mass whether incumbents want to run again for a district that may have not included their residence, they can't. They are allowed to pick up residence before filing ends anywhere in the new districts I have set before you know we may think this might be really good for the apartment rental business come next year this sounds absolutely just chaotic frankly and in very confusing to voters and the issue of turn out to be of one but yet the court went forward because anything they must feel that there are serious issues at play here. I think I think the important thing to note is that on the Gen. assembly has appealed this request and done a couple things. One, there is one request just to make it go away entirely. There's another one to grant a stay that would indicate that the Johnson would have to draw new districts that there wouldn't be an election in 2017 will go on with the regular next two-year cycle. In 2018 under newly drawn districts so there's some options out there. What we just described is what the order is right now.

These appeals are going forward and see what happens with that raises another question still meets confusing providers is confusing for those who might choose to run for election incumbents and new folks in my you have an interest want to run for the Gen. assembly, but it also raises some questions about the general simile gonna work are Gen. assembly is elected for two-year time. And within that they pass a two-year budget the first year of their two-year session will if we can have a whole new election next year.

That means that this 2017 Gen. assembly is only for a year did I pass a one-year budget that I pass a 10 year budget and the next Gen. assembly would be obligated to adopt and a lot of the funding for things like that. We enjoy every day whether it's going to get our drivers license, whether it's transportation funding on improvements on the port whether it's education funding through the court system and local funding as well.

Medicaid a lot of the health services lot of does the agencies and the people that are doing providing these services. Do it on a two-year timeframe because they have a two-year budget within within work, so it's chaotic and confusing a lot of unanswered questions from every single angle. What are you hearing from legislators and now they've had at least a few days to you, let all this sink and that presumably there thinking the same thing that you are my gosh how to run entities in the conversations arriving. They don't you know in search of us trying to understand get our hands wrapped around it. I've had many conversations with legislators and quite fact that they don't know any more than we do and are just as confused. What it does for their work and I have to think about this too.

Usually there's a two-year time period from which they are elected such that first long session that they really focus on governing and then perhaps get geared up for the campaign season in the second year.

Well, that will be compacted and they'll be getting ready for another election so they go in and tackle some of the really heart heavy glass things really require a lot of committee member meetings a lot of discussion and a lot of studying unit did they look at that. I just go in and do what barely has to be done to get through in order to prepare for the next election so as far as policy decisions, and a lot of the things we're working on at the John Locke foundation. Some of the things that we believe will really make the state forward, but require some really mean is some heavy left and some some heavy work energy policy is a good example of that is that just get put off because the selection just overwhelms everything else that they're going to do. So we got it.

We of course are proceeding with our recommendations of the things that need to be done in North Carolina to move it forward regardless of what the courts might decide and what this might look like an politically back.

It makes me wonder if some of those folks who may be lost in a primary last year, or maybe were defeated in their general election this year might think that this is an incredible opportunity course to come right back and see if they can win a second time and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I think more people that are involved in more different opinions that we have in these things as it is really valuable and have some time over in the general simile I think is good, but we don't want it done with said confusing. Nobody knows what they're doing and it's just chaotic will as you said this has been appealed right now is you and I are talking, this order does stand that the 2017 election for some of these districts would take place in the redrawing would take place will have you back. I once we know more about what happens with that appeal we been talking with Becky great.

She senior vice president for the John Locke foundation, by the way, you can read all of her Carolina thank you thank you and that's all the time. We have the Carolina Journal radio this week on behalf of Mitch Kovach. I'm Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for more Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John learn more about the John Locke donations that support programs like Carolina Journal radio sending email development 66J 11 1665636 Carolina Journal nation airline is present on this program nearly more foundation airline sponsored again

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