Legislative Action Committee

Report of 1-12-15

We went over our committee’s goals for legislation in the upcoming North Carolina General Assembly last month, so I won’t revisit them tonight except to say I think they’ll evolve.

You heard in Hal’s Watchdog report tonight that he had an “ah-ha” moment in the shower, and realized that the best way to stop Craven County from buying land and building an in-patient hospice is to get the General Assembly to get rid of the requirement for a “Certificate of Need” (CON), and just let the free enterprise system work. As Hal explained, those CONs have value in that only people/groups that have them can build certain medical facilities. If CONs are eliminated, one tool local governments use to raise money inappropriately (by selling their CON) and promote crony capitalism (choosing to whom they sell it) at the same time will be eliminated. It is not appropriate for government to compete with or inhibit free enterprise, so I expect our committee will decide to support that effort.

Our committee has a meeting scheduled with Representative Michael Speciale on Thursday, January 15th, and an appointment with Senator Norman Sanderson on Wednesday, January 21st. I’ve talked to Representative John Bell’s Legislative Assistant, Susan Horn, a couple of times. They have moved their office in the last few days, and as soon as they get reorganized, she’ll work with John on his schedule, and call back with date and time info.

Several members of our Legislative Action Committee worked at our CCTA tables at the Greenville Gun Show on January 10th and 11th. We met Delma Blinson, editor of the Beaufort Observer there. Delma is working with a group that is trying to enlist the help of Representative Michael Speciale and Senator Bill Cook to repeal four North Carolina statutes that allow Boards of Commissioners and Aldermen to borrow money without a voter referendum approving it. He is going to send us some more information about it, and he would like our help. My expectation is that the rest of our committee will want to add this to what we’re working on.

I’ve realized that we will probably want to expand beyond just working with Craven County’s representatives in the General Assembly. After all, we have CCTA members and people who attend our meetings who come from Onslow, Pamlico, Carteret, Beaufort, Lenoir, and Jones, so I’ve emailed each of our committee members to see if they’d like us to set up meetings with the people who represent those counties as well. If we expand in that way, and also work cooperatively with other citizen groups who are doing work similar to ours, I believe we can be a stronger force for good.

Respectfully submitted,

Raynor James, Chairman, CCTA Legislative Action Committee

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