CCTA Legislative Action Committee
Meeting with Representative Michael Speciale
Our CCTA Legislative Action Committee met with Representative Michael Speciale on January 15th and with Senator Norman Sanderson on January 21st prior to the start of the General Assembly session that began January 28th. Boy, were they good meetings!
Michael said the worst of the learning curve is over. He’s formed alliances. He knows what to expect of people, and they know what to expect of him. He has the same office as during his first term, so we know where to find him. He says he gets along well with Tim Moore, the new Speaker of the House, who has made some good votes. He says he will continue to do what he thinks is right, and he’ll continue to ask questions, talk to people, and seek information before deciding each issue. Luckily, he’s not the only Representative in the North Carolina House who is conservative and who follows a similar pattern when making decisions. Like Michael, they’re there to get good work done for the people of North Carolina, and they’re among the people with whom Michael is allied.
Michael has already begun to work on some things that were unfinished in the last session. This includes Common Core. Michael is following the work that is flowing from the first Common Core bill, and evaluating whether another bill is needed. (Kim Fink, Chairman of CCTA’s Public Education Committee, and other members of our committee were very glad to hear this.) Upon hearing our concerns about the Department of Public Instruction’s circumvention of the Founding Principles Act, Mike agreed to take a close look at whether it’s being followed or not, and this, too, pleased us greatly.
Mark Jones (Chairman of CCTA’s 2nd Amendment Committee) asked about the North Carolina General Assembly’s protecting North Carolinians from any Executive Order issued contrary to the 2nd Amendment. Michael was sympathetic to the idea, and talked about whether it’s called nullification or something else, the concept of the General Assembly’s protecting the citizens of North Carolina is a concept that is gaining traction. After all, the General Assembly is the last line of defense between our citizens and the federal government. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? And it’s a job we should expect our General Assembly to do well, right?
Michael also said he expects that a bill for constitutional carry will emerge this session. That is the other of the two items on our 2nd Amendment Committee’s “To Do List,” so that info was also extremely pleasing.
In reference to several items already covered, Michael remarked that it is important not to have ambiguity in a bill.
When Gladys Suessle inquired about the status of the tort reform work Mike had agreed to work on last year (if reelected), he said it’s on his desk, but he hasn’t done anything with it yet. However, he is going to get back with our National Security Committee on it. He said he thinks Mississippi has a good law of this kind.
We brought up our wanting to have members of the local Board of Education elected within the districts they represent, not county-wide, and Michael asked us to do some homework. He asked that we find out from the Board of Elections why Board of Education members are elected county-wide now. He also wants us to seek the same information from the Board of Education; find out their interpretation of why members are elected county-wide. We will check this out and get back to Michael.
During casual conversation once our planned questions were completed, Michael recommended that we read a book by Thomas Sowell. It’s called, Applied Economics: Thinking beyond Stage One. Apparently, Mr. Sowell once had what he considered to be a brilliant idea and proceeded to explain it to one of his professors. The professor said, “It sounds good, but then what? What happens after that?”
He thought about it, and answered the professor.
The professor responded, “Then what?”
After more thinking, he made another answer.
The professor responded, “Then what?”
After going through this process for quite some time, he concluded that his brilliant idea was one of the dumbest ideas he’d ever had. Unintended consequences can creep in unless one can look many steps ahead, and this is hard to do.
Raynor James, Chairman, CCTA Legislative Action Committee