CCTA Legislative Action Committee
Meeting with Senator Norman Sanderson
Our CCTA Legislative Action Committee met with Senator Norman Sanderson on January 21st, the day after he spoke at our program meeting, so we began by asking him about some of the things he mentioned then.
Norm had mentioned that the budget would be balanced and passed by July 1st, and said that the idea of reducing the budget by one dollar is being discussed. What an interesting idea. If the budget should be decreased by $1 each time it is passed, we’d eventually get to a state government of reasonable size, wouldn’t we? Do you think maybe we could reduce the administrative staff in our school system in the process?
Norm had also observed that the budget will originate in the House this year, and said that if revenues are on target, the process will be easier, but if there is a revenue short-fall, it’ll be harder.
When we questioned him about it, Norm said the John Locke Foundation came up with the idea of the $1 budget cut, and said that in the past, the budget has been a “continuation” budget. He said the budget outcome is impossible to predict, but he hopes it’ll be less contentious this year.
Norm had also mentioned Medicaid reform, and we were concerned that it might be code for “expansion,” but Norm said the Senate will not expand it. He said that for reform to be real and effective, it must cover people who need to be covered and not others, and that it must be done without cost over-runs. (This situation could be much worse, but my personal opinion is that the U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government the power to create programs like Medicaid, and it should never have been set up in the first place. I know it’s hard to terminate give-a-ways once they have been instituted, but taking money from many tax payers and giving it to a select few who did nothing to earn it is wrong.)
Norm said we have to start pushing back against the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which is being especially harsh in coastal areas. He said their ultimate goal is to own (or control) all the property in our country. Norm agrees that we must be good stewards, but doesn’t want us to let the EPA run over people and prevent the use of the Cape Lookout beaches. He is also concerned about coastal property insurance premiums. We need to give this more thought, and have further conversation with Norm about how we can help in these areas.
Norm also expects NC commercial fishermen to be under attack again. Federal regulations are killing commercial fishing. When the fight comes to NC next, we need to flood the hearing rooms with people who believe in free enterprise.
While he was sympathetic about all of our committee’s concerns, Norm was most willing to be helpful about our desire to have the General Assembly interpose itself between the citizens of NC and any attempt at federal overreach regarding the 2nd Amendment, including any Executive Order contrary to the 2nd Amendment. Norm will talk to a number of people in the process of working out how this can be done via legislation. He said he’ll talk to Michael Speciale, our state NRA representative, and Grass Roots North Carolina.
Norm also has the information requesting specific tort reform that was given to him by our National Security Committee. He believes it’s a good idea, and is still committed to working on it.
We discussed our desire to have local Board of Education members elected by the districts they serve, not county-wide, and Norm asked us to ask the County Board of Commissioners for a resolution requesting a local option bill to elect Board of Education members by district. We need to do this.
We reminded Norm that we want to get rid of Common Core, have the Founding Principles Act implemented (not circumvented as is currently the case), and have Advanced Placement U.S. History taught to reflect the truth (without the anti-American bias that currently fills it). He said he will check to see if the General Assembly Joint Education Oversight Committee’s report has been corrected to reflect all the points Kim Fink made in her presentation to them. (Kim made such a good presentation that some of us believe her points were purposely left out of the report by people whose goals are different from ours.)
We asked Norm for advice about how to be more effective with legislators, and he made several suggestions.
He said that Senators have a tendency to read something that comes from another Senator, and suggested that if we have something we’d like to share with several Senators, we ask him to send it for us.
He pointed out that the heads of committees are powerful people, and each of the things we’re interested in will be heard by a committee.
He said that if we speak too much, people stop listening, but if we show up at committee hearings, we don’t have to talk; our presence speaks volumes.
When Rick Hopkins asked about a recall election provision in North Carolina, Norm said we can always bring a civil law suit against a public servant who is not doing his or her job.
Norm said that after the first three weeks of the General Assembly session, he’ll have a better idea of what will fly. He said he’d be willing to meet with us again here in New Bern on that Friday or Saturday morning or maybe the Monday morning following. If I am figuring right, that means we’re looking at February 20th, 21st, or 23rd. Let’s not forget to follow up!