JLF Research Archive
Showing items 1 to 25 of 39
Model Resolution on Regulatory Overcriminalization
In the last two years, academics and scholars of public policy have identified North Carolina as a state with an overly
complex criminal code that can ensnare small businesses, farmers, and individuals who unknowingly fail to comply
with regulatory rules. In 2014, Professor Jeff Welty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government published an article
in the North Carolina Law Review, “Overcriminalization in North Carolina”; and James Copland and Isaac Gorodetski,
directors respectively of the Center for Legal Policy and the Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan
Institute for Policy Research, published a primer, “Overcriminalizing the Old North State.”
This paper therefore proposes a state-based REINS Act as a key sunrise provision to prevent adding unnecessary and harmful regulations to the state’s regulatory burden. It describes aspects of a REINS Act for North Carolina.
This report is an attempt to identify the scope and cost of regulations in the state of North Carolina. The state’s record is mixed in terms of regulatory burden. One prominent index ranks North Carolina fifth in the nation when it comes to business friendliness. In contrast, the John Locke Foundation’s “First in Freedom Index” ranks North Carolina 36th in “regulatory freedom.”
What the healthcare industry needs is a strong dose of disruptive innovation — relaxing regulations that will increase provider competition, force downward pressure on costs, and enhance patient choice. CON ultimately picks who gets to compete within the health care sector. Reforming the law will by no means untangle the complexities of health care, but state lawmakers should capitalize on an opportunity to make one of the most highly regulated industries a little less heavy on the red tape and a little more patient friendly.
A transition away from licensure and into voluntary private certification would inject freedom and choice into the market for service professionals and into the labor market. It would pay dividends in terms of job creation particularly in low-income neighborhoods.
North Carolina passed a law during the 2014 legislative session taxing the liquid used in electronic cigarettes at an additional 5 cents per milliliter. This tax will hurt small businesses and violates the most important principle of good tax policy—neutrality. The North Carolina General Assembly should repeal the electronic cigarette tax.
Every two years since 1996, coinciding with North Carolina's races for the General Assembly, the John Locke Foundation has published a revised edition of Agenda, our public policy guide for candidates and voters. Typically as we enter the campaign season, candidates for public office in North Carolina are faced with a daunting task: to develop informed positions on dozens of public policy issues. In the pages of Agenda 2014 we provide a concise and easily digestible guide covering a wide range of specific issues, from taxes and spending to energy policy and education.
Methods to improve the juvenile justice system in North Carolina include adjusting the age of juvenile court jurisdiction and creating a system of blended sentencing. Adult court jurisdiction results in poor rehabilitation of juveniles and higher victimization rates amongst minors. Any apparent savings from keeping 16-17 year olds in the adult system are are ultimately overwhelmed by the costs associated with higher rates of recidivism and revocations.
Overregulation is a well-recognized problem by members of both political parties and imposes significant costs on the economy through deadweight loss. A stronger form of periodic review, sunsetting is having government regulations, programs, and agencies conclude after a set period of time unless positive action is taken by the government to reauthorize them.
North Carolina's automotive insurance system delivers a good deal for insurers, but not for drivers. The overregulated system makes guarantees a profit for insurers, raises rates for good drivers, and pushes more than a fifth of NC drivers into residual markets.
North Carolina has over 22,500 permanent administrative rules, which carry the full force of law but are not passed by legislators. The General Assembly should return major legislative authority to elected, accountable representatives of the people.
A 1997 bill that exempted “payday lenders” from state usury laws was allowed to sunset in 2001, and the last storefront lenders were shut down in 2005. Getting rid of payday lending in North Carolina left consumers worse off, leading to more bounced checks, more complaints about lenders and debt collectors, and more filings for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. North Carolina policymakers should expand lending options in this state by legalizing small-scale, short-term and payday lending again.
North Carolina features over 50 occupational licensing boards, more than most other states. In practice, it protects current members of a profession from competition, while increasing costs to consumers and would-be professionals blocked from the field. Economists studying occupational licensing generally find it restricts the supply of labor and drives up the price of labor and services. Without state licensure, private providers of reviews and certification, internet sites and consumer applications, social media, and competitors and market forces would ensure quality and safety. The government would still enforce safety and quality through the court system.
Cronyism is an umbrella term covering a host of government activities by which an industry or even a single firm or speculator is given favors and support that they could not attain in market competition. This report explains what opens government to cronyism, gives a brief rundown of recent examples of cronyism in North Carolina, and offers several possible reforms.
North Carolina is one of only two states which automatically send all 16 and 17 year-olds to the adult justice system. Adult court jurisdiction of juveniles does not deter juvenile crime and results in poor rehabilitation of juveniles. Minors in criminal justice systems have less access to education and other age-specific programming than those in the juvenile justice system, putting them at a serious disadvantage upon release. Methods to improve the juvenile justice system in North Carolina include both adjusting the age of juvenile court jurisdiction and creating a system of blended sentencing.
Declining fish stocks are affecting N.C. fishermen and fishing communities despite the U.S. government spending $70 million a year to bail out failing federally managed fisheries under traditional management systems. Catch shares are a transformative approach to fisheries management that inject property rights into the fisheries to produce a sea change in incentives. Catch shares eliminate race to fish, encourage a more discriminating harvest, and reduce bycatch. Research finds strong links between catch shares and improved economic and biological performance of fisheries and that switching fisheries to catch share systems not only slows their decline but possibly stops (or even reverses) it.
North Carolina forcibly sterilized approximately 7,600 individuals in the 20th Century as part of its eugenics program. Many eugenics victims are still alive in North Carolina. This report offers five ways that North Carolina should compensate the victims before it is too late.
Energy efficiency programs focus on the relationship between one input into the production process, energy, relative to the output generated by that process. This simplistic view makes no consideration for the strong possibility that other inputs -- labor, plastic, steal, copper, glass, etc. -- might actually increase. Economic efficiency, on the other hand, relates total costs to the value of the output that those costs generate.
This Spotlight report provides useful information about the Court's work that is probably unfamiliar even to most attorneys in the state. It includes how often justices agree with each other and the reversal rate of Court of Appeals decisions.
State agencies should not be allowed to issue regulations that exceed federal requirements, and cost-benefit analysis should be required for all agencies. These two regulatory reforms should have a positive impact on the economy, but they are first and foremost about promoting good government.
North Carolina’s auto insurance system is unfair to low-risk drivers because it overcharges them in order to subsidize some of the state’s more risky and dangerous drivers. Every insured driver pays a hidden tax, and private insurance companies are guaranteed a profit. This report recommends reforms to improve the system.
There is optimism that an eminent domain amendment will pass this upcoming legislative session. This Spotlight explains how to craft the amendment carefully to best protect property owners.
North Carolina’s regulatory environment is poor, especially in comparison with other states’. Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a new executive order to modify the rulemaking process and help reduce the costs of regulation, which is a good start, but much will depend on how it is implemented in practice. For true regulatory reform, the legislature needs to build upon the executive order and apply reforms to all agencies.
There has been significant public attention and concern regarding a proposal by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association that would allow sheriffs to have access to patients' prescription information for painkillers and controlled substances. The bigger issue is that the state already collects this information and law enforcement, specifically the State Bureau of Investigation, already has access to it. North Carolina should eliminate the database. The incredible intrusion into the lives of citizens greatly outweighs its limited, if any, benefit.