Tag Archives: free enterprise

What happened on SEAFOOD LOBBY DAY

Trip to Raleigh with NC Fisheries Association
Purpose…
Defeat HB-867
Save NC commercial fishing industry
Save NC seafood for North Carolinians who do not catch shrimp, crabs, or fish

Yesterday, members of CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee (Gladys and Ed Suessle, Mary Griswold, Ron Cherry, and Hal and Raynor James) went to Raleigh with the North Carolina Fisheries Association to lobby in favor of a healthy commercial fishing industry and fresh, healthy, North Carolina wild caught seafood for all North Carolinians including those of us who have never caught a fish, shrimp, or crab.

The focus was on killing a bill designed to kill the commercial fishing industry.  HB-867, Coastal Fisheries Conservation / Economic Development, if passed, would do a lot of things.  None of them is good.

Let’s start at the end.  The bill provides for recurring funds to buy back commercial fishing licenses from fishermen who are put out of business.

It rewrites the NC Fisheries Reform Act of 1997 without any public input.

It changes the definition of “overfishing” from something simple and clear to a bunch of nebulous, shadowy words that invite draconian interpretation.

It throws out the Fishery Commission’s 5 advisory committees which were designed to have a balance of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, and scientists.  The 5 committees (built around different areas of expertise and geographic areas) are to be replaced with a single 20 member advisory committee chosen without regard to members’ expertise (or lack thereof) or experience fishing (or lack thereof).

What do you think of that?  Sounds like a formula for disaster to me.

The bill is in the House’s Wildlife Resources Committee.  As long as it stays there, it cannot be passed.  Jerry Schill (NC Fisheries Association’s legislative person), Brent Fulcher (Association’s President), Representative Michael Speciale, Representative Larry Pittman, Senator Bill Cook, and others spoke to the gathered citizen-lobbyists when we first arrived.  We were given a list that contained the names and office numbers of the 15 members of the Wildlife Committee.  We were asked to visit those offices, speak to the representatives or to their legislative assistants, and to explain why we do not want the bill to pass.  We were asked to tell our stories.  To be calm, clear, direct, and polite.

We were asked to visit the visitors’ gallery for a short session of the Senate at 10:30 a.m. and a longer session of the House at 2:00 p.m.

Our group systematically visited the offices of committee members floor by floor in the Legislative Building, then trudged over to the Legislative Office Building and did the same thing there.  We had visited the offices of all 15 members and had frank discussions with them or their legislative assistants by noon.

Sometimes our group and another group of our citizen-lobbyists would be in a representative’s office at the same time.  In those situations, we took turns talking. 

On one such occasion, we shared an office visit with a clean-cut young fisherman and his 3 shiny haired, bright eyed, well behaved children.  The father explained earnestly to the representative we were visiting that he wanted to be able to earn a living for his family and pass a good way of living and earning an income on to his children.  He said he is already teaching his children how to fish, and unlike many children today, they already have a strong work ethic.  Wow!  That blew me away and brought tears to my eyes.  This man gave up a day’s earnings to come and plead his case, and he did it with a calm, natural dignity that I admired very much.

It is a real tragedy that the likes of HB-867 was ever proposed.  The sponsors of the bill, and the people who egged them on should be ashamed.  The bill should die in committee and never be heard from again.

Respectfully submitted,

Raynor James

CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee Chairman

Save 3 Bills Favoring Free Enterprise & the 2nd Amendment?

Make 1 Phone Call and Save 3 Bills ?

As you probably know, the “Crossover” deadline is fast approaching in the North Carolina General Assembly. April 27 is the Crossover deadline for this session. Any bill (with a few exceptions basically having to do with budgeting) that has not been passed in one chamber and “crossed over” to the other chamber by the 27th will die in committee.

There are three bills stuck in House committees that involve subjects near and dear to our CCTA mission statement. One involves freeing up free enterprise. The other two involve pushing back infringements on our God given, 2nd Amendment supported rights. These two gun bills are being supported by Grass Roots North Carolina also.

Let’s take a brief overview of what’s in the bills.

HB-344, Exempt Ocular Surgery from CON Laws
This bill would allow ophthalmologists to perform ocular surgery in ambulatory surgical procedure rooms in their offices without obtaining a CON (Certificate of Need) so long as certain criteria are met.

As we’ve talked about before, this would bring down costs associated with such things as cataract removal while, at the same time, making them safer.

HB-588, Omnibus Gun Changes
This bill would simplify getting a pistol permit, allow a concealed carry permit holder to carry on property used as a school and church so long as school was not in session, and would also allow the holder of a concealed carry permit to carry on properties used for higher education (like community colleges, and universities). It would allow the governor and his immediate family to carry in the Executive Mansion and the Western Residence of the Governor. It would also allow legislators and legislative employees who hold concealed carry permits to carry in state legislative buildings. It changes the reason a person discharged from our U.S. Armed Forces can be denied a permit from “conditions other than honorable” to “dishonorable conditions.”

The Omnibus Gun Changes bill would also alter provisions relating to the confiscation and disposal of deadly weapons used to commit a crime. For instance, if the person convicted is not the owner of the weapon, it can be returned to the rightful owner. However, if the weapon does not have a unique ID # or is unsafe, it is to be destroyed. Other than that, it can be turned over to a law enforcement agency to use, sell, or trade.

The Omnibus Gun Changes bill would also change the concept of “going to the terror of the people” so that it would no longer apply to carrying a handgun concealed or openly, but it would apply to carrying “an unusual and dangerous weapon for the purpose of terrifying others.”

HB-746, NC Constitutional Carry Act
This bill would remove “firearm” from the list of concealed weapons one must not carry except while at home. It also provides that any citizen of the U.S. may carry a handgun openly or concealed without a permit in N.C. unless prohibited by N.C. or federal law.

The NC Constitutional Carry Act prohibits carrying on private property that is “posted” against it. It also prohibits consuming alcohol when carrying, and there are exceptions to who may carry such as people under indictment for or convicted of a felony, a fugitive from justice, an addict, etc.

The NC Constitutional Carry Act also provides that, when carrying a concealed firearm, one must also carry an ID, and, if approached or addressed by a police officer, must disclose that a concealed handgun is being carried and must be prepared to show ID if asked.

What can we do to help get these three good bills passed?

We can call or write Speaker of the NC House, Tim Moore. If he wants them to come out of committee and be voted on by the House, they will be.

Speaker Moore is a Republican. Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly. The Republican Platform is favorable to free enterprise and the 2nd Amendment, so it is logical that they would favor these bills, and they are the sort of bills that the people who elected them would like to see.

Speaker Tim Moore’s phone number is 919-733-3451. Speaker Moore’s email address is tim.moore@ncleg.net.

Respectfully requested,

Raynor

(Raynor James, Chairman CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee)

Help Get Rid of CON

As you know, our Legislative Action Committee is working to get rid of CON (Certificate of Need) laws in North Carolina. (They’re used to create monopolies for hospitals, make health care more expensive, and create potentially less safe environments for patients, but don’t get me started!)

Jay Singleton (the ophthalmologist who spoke to CCTA about CON laws) sent me the link below to a poll the Triangle Business Journal is conducting to get the community’s opinion on CON reform.

I took the poll, clicked on “eliminate CON laws,” and then saw that 56% of respondents had agreed with me. If you agree with me, please go to http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/pulse/poll/how-should-lawmakers-handle-north-carolinas-con-law/17776382.

We need to do everything we can to get rid of restraints on freedom and free enterprise!

Raynor James, Chairman, CCTA’s Legislative Action Committee

Wakeup Call 04-24-15

Rick Rants!

Wakeup Call 04-24-15
Wakeup Call

 
 
00:00 / 24:02
 
1X
 

Wakeup Call 04-10-2015

Local Grassroots!

Wakeup Call 04-10-2015
Wakeup Call

 
 
00:00 / 23:58
 
1X
 

Certificates of Need (CONs) Not Needed !

Meeting with Jay Singleton, M.D.
CON Reform Bill Press Conference in Raleigh
CCTA Legislative Action Committee Report of 3-13-15

Our Legislative Action Committee has been busy. On March 4th, we met with Jay Singleton, a local ophthalmologist, who is trying to get the requirement for a “Certificate of Need” (CON) reformed, or at least the way the game is played changed. As you know, our Legislative Action Committee wants North Carolina to get rid of the requirements for a Certificate of Need for any medical facility and just let the free market work as it does wonderfully well when the government stays out of the way. However, pushing it back a bit at a time may work better in terms of getting results. You know the drill; baby steps, walk well, then run.

Jay’s particular concern is about “ambulatory surgical facilities” (aka “same day surgery centers” and “outpatient surgery centers”). Hospitals fight them. They do not want physicians to be able to set them up and run them independently.

When looking at this, there are 2 important things to remember.

First, Physician owned out-patient surgeries CHARGE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than hospitals.

Second, they expose patients to fewer risks. For example, they avoid exposing patients to the airborne pathogens found in hospitals. Also, hospital operating rooms are staffed with people who help with a number of kinds of procedures. They’re usually very good, but they must be generalists. Physician owned out-patient surgery centers are staffed by people who work with the physician’s particular specialty all the time and get especially well versed in it. That kind of in depth experience helps avoid mistakes.

However, in spite of those things which make physician owned surgery centers very desirable, it is very difficult and expensive for a physician (or small group of physicians) to get a Certificate of Need to enable them to build one because of the silly games the regulations enable hospitals to play.

Hospitals do not have to build operating rooms for every Certificate of Need they have. And once built, they do not have to use them very often, or even at all. Every Certificate of Need they hold will count as “one operating room” no matter how many are really in operation. So far as the regulators are concerned, every CON they’ve issued is an operating room!

In theory, this means operating rooms are overbuilt and there is no “need.” Imagine trying to prove there is a need in this Alice-in-wonderland world.

While operating rooms approved for individual (or groups of) physicians DO GET USED, imagine the situation already described, and add to that the fact that a local hospital con VETO their application, and you’ve some idea of the David and Goliath situation that exists.

Two things are going forward simultaneously to try to improve things.

A law firm has filed a petition asking that the North Carolina State Medical Facilities Plan’s methodology for calculating “operating rooms needed” be changed At a point down the road, CCTA may be asked to help get signatures on the petition.

The second thing is that House bill 200 (H200), a bill to “Amend Certificate of Need Laws,” was filed by Representative Marilyn Avila on 3-10-15. If passed, this bill would exempt ambulatory surgical centers (and diagnostic centers, gastrointestinal endoscopy rooms, and psychiatric medical facilities) from the requirement to obtain a Certificate of Need. However, this is a huge “IF.”

Representative Avila held a press conference to introduce the bill to the press at noon on 3-11-15. It was short notice, but 3 CCTA members (Kim Fink, Kathryn Blankley, and I) attended.

The press conference was conducted very well. Representative Avila spoke first, followed by her co-sponsors, two people from Americans for Prosperity, and an ophthalmologist and a practice manager. Each spoke from his or her own perspective, and the package made a compelling argument. However, questions from members of the press made it clear that they recognize that hospitals will come down solidly against this, and as we all know, hospitals have buckets of money and influence.

To have a prayer of passage, we and others need to follow the bill, attend the committee hearings on it and stay on it like “ugly on an ape” the way Kim Fink’s Public Education Committee is following the progress of efforts to get rid of Common Core.

Respectfully submitted,

Raynor

Raynor James, Chairman, CCTA’s Legislative Action Committee

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