CCTA Legislative Action Committee
Meeting with Representative John Bell
Seven members of the Legislative Action Committee (Nan Murdoch, Connie Hanna, Mark Jones, Cat Stash, Glenn Fink, and Hal and Raynor James) went to Raleigh yesterday in Hal’s big ole bus, and met with Representative John Bell in his office.
We first asked John what he’d like to see done by the General Assembly. He began by mentioning several bills that will, if passed, reduce regulation on businesses. One of them has to do with small, non-depository mortgage lenders which has no seat on the Banking Commission even though it produces about 26% of the income. John would like to expand the Banking Commission by two seats (to keep it an odd number), and provide that one of those new seats will be held by a non-depository lender representative.
Another bill John is interested in has to do with North Carolina distilleries. Micro-breweries are prospering and creating jobs because of the government’s getting out of their way somewhat, and John believes that similarly backing off by allowing distilleries to sell a commemorative bottle of their product to someone who has just taken a tour of their facilities (instead of only being able to give them a list of ABC stores in the area who may or may not stock their product) would make it easier for them to get their product known, for example. The various provisions of the bill are each designed to enable North Carolina products to compete well against products from other states.
John appears to be strongly interested in regulatory reform, and since supporting the free market system is one of the tenants of CCTA’s mission statement, it seems appropriate to support John’s efforts to make life easier for business people. We asked him to let us know if we can help.
We began our sharing of CCTA’s legislative concerns by Mark Jones’ (Chairman of CCTA’s 2nd Amendment Committee) going over the two things we want to achieve in that area. First, we want the General Assembly to protect North Carolinians from federal overreach regarding the 2nd Amendment, including an Executive Order contrary to it, by interposing itself and North Carolina’s law enforcement assets between the federal government and our people. Second, we want the General Assembly to pass a constitutional carry law that codifies the assertions in the U.S. and N.C. constitutions and supersedes all previous N.C. laws infringing on the right of North Carolinians to keep and bear arms.
Thankfully, John said he’ll support both initiatives, and said he believes that both these issues will have bills filed on the House side of the General Assembly.
The next thing we presented to John was the Tort Reform package previously presented to Representative Michael Speciale and Senator Norman Sanderson by CCTA’s National Security Committee. Unfortunately, John said he doesn’t think there’s much appetite in the General Assembly for a tort reform bill. We explained why there should be a ravenous appetite for it. Without it, the legal system is being shamelessly used to quash free speech and bankrupt people who dare speak out against the interests of various well-funded special interest groups. Connie Hanna (who is also a member of our Tort Reform Committee) dug into her papers and pulled out an additional treatise of the damage being done to innocent Americans and to our constitutionally protected freedoms so long as tort reform is left undone. Hopefully, John will change his mind on this one.
The next things we talked to John about were getting rid of Common Core, having the Founding Principles Act enforced, having Advanced Placement U.S. History taught to reflect the truth and not oozing with anti-American bias, and having local Boards of Education members elected by the districts they serve rather than county-wide. Kim Fink, Chairman of our Public Education Committee would have been pleased had she been there (she’s out of state temporarily). John is very supportive of these initiatives.
John was also sympathetic to our request that North Carolina reject the use of FEMA Flood Maps that are based on projections, and use only maps based on existing conditions (updated frequently) for insurance, emergency planning, and the like. John suggested we talk to his friend and colleague, Representative Chris Millis, whose district is more coastal, and we plan to do that. John said that he’ll talk to Chris, too.
The next thing we requested is that North Carolina get rid of the requirement for a Certificate of Need (CON) for various kinds of health care facilities, and let the free market work. Again, John seemed sympathetic, and asked us to discuss the reasons for Certificates of Need, and the pros and cons of getting rid of them with Ray Leggett, CEO of Carolina East Hospital. John then suggested after we have listened to Mr. Leggett’s ideas and thoughts on the topic, we get back to him (John) on the subject.
The final thing we brought up with John is the thing Delma Blinson, editor of the Beaufort Observer, and his group asked us to do. That is to help them get the part of North Carolina law that creates exceptions to the requirement that Boards of Commissioners and Aldermen get approval from voters before borrowing money that must be repaid by taxpayers. John asked us to get information about what the exceptions are and to get that information to him.
As you can see, most things went well, and we have homework to do. We’ll work on it, and keep you posted.
Some other things of interest happened on our trip. We ran into Michael Speciale in the Legislative Office Building on the way to John Bell’s office. Our conversation was short, but cheerful and useful.
We stopped in at Norm Sanderson’s office on the way out hoping for a short impromptu visit. That worked out well. Mark Jones even had an opportunity to ask Norm about his agreement to introduce a bill that would allow N.C. law enforcement personnel to arrest Federal personnel trying to make arrests of North Carolinians in the event of federal overreach regarding the 2nd Amendment, and Norm’s response was affirmative.
The last person we saw as were leaving was Hazel Speciale who sent us on our way with smiles and hugs.
Raynor James, Chairman, CCTA’s Legislative Action Committee