Hard cases make bad law. That phrase is an apt description for why HB 1261 is this week’s bad bill of the week. HB 1261 sponsored by Rep. Nick Mackey(D-Mecklenburg) and Rep. Earline Parmon (D-Forsyth) criminalizes cyber-bullying and makes it punishable as a misdemeanor. While HB 1261 may have good intentions, that’s the only thing that is good about it. For starters, the legislation is ill-defined, near impossible to enforce and unnecessarily expands the powers of government.
Just when you thought you saw all superfluous spending from this year’s legislature, HB 197 floats to the surface. Introduced by Reps. McLawhorn (D-Pitt), E. Warren (D-Pitt), Tucker (D-Duplin) and Haire (D-Jackson) , HB 197, titled “Funds for Queen Anne’s Revenge,” authorizes government spending for continued research on the sunken ship.
The purpose of HB 1128 is to “provide one full-time healthful living coordinator in the central office of each local school administrative unit.” What would the newly invented position of “healthful living coordinator” entail? According to the bill’s language, “The healthful living coordinator shall design, support, implement, manage, and evaluate a district-wide coordinated school health program that will address childhood obesity prevention and other health related issues.”
Wait a second… The what? No, this is not a science fiction novel. It is a real bill in the North Carolina General Assembly, has been assigned to a committee, and if it passes it will start the process to build an academy based on the movie Star Trek. Thankfully, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) has granted the Scientific and Economic Development, Inc. the right to use the Star Trek Brand, so we won’t be breaking copyright laws.
Sen. David Hoyle (D-Gaston), along with co-sponsors Sen. Daniel Clodfelter (D-Mecklenberg) and Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Pitt), submitted the N.C. Life Science Development Corp. Act (SB 580) under the auspices of it creating jobs and expanding the area’s tax base.
While sounding like a benign “technical” bill – House Bill (HB) 1516 ( Senate Bill 576) – JDIG Technical Modifications sponsored by Reps. Jim Crawford (D-Granville), Margaret Dickson (D-Cumberland) and Pryor Gibson (D-Anson) keeps North Carolina moving ahead on a failed “job creation” strategy.
This bill is designed to hide a tax increase under the guise of improving energy efficiency, but all HB 1050, Independent Energy Efficiency Administrator, by Reps. Blue D-Wake, Tolson D-Edgecombe, Glazier D-Cumberland and Harrison D-Guilford, will really do is squeeze North Carolinians already struggling with the 8th highest unemployment rate in the country.
While it does not appear that this bill will go anywhere, (I will try and resist any and all jokes about this one) House Bill 1122, NC Colon Hydrotherapy Licensure, by Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) illustrates the problem with licensure bills. While this may be a therapeutic procedure some people desire, is it necessary to put the North Carolina official seal of approval on it by licensing colon hydrotherapists?
It was a very easy choice this week for our Bad Bill of the Week – Senate Bill 202, the House’s version of the 2009-2011 budget. What other bill pending in the General Assembly would destroy jobs, raise taxes on all North Carolinians and potentially kill any attempt at an economic recovery in our state?
Representative Shirley Randleman has introduced into the General Assembly House Bill 1521 (Randleman R-Wilkes) which requests $50,000 to “construct an environmentally friendly visitor's center in Wilkes County.” To paraphrase former tennis star John McEnroe, “You can not be serious!”
Almost everybody who has bought a home in an urban/suburban area built in the last 30 years is familiar with a “Homeowners Association (HOA).” They either live in one, or know somebody who does. They also probably have heard a HOA horror story or experienced the wrath of an overly aggressive HOA themselves. This “Bad Bill of the Week” hits a triple in restricting competition and raising costs, expanding government and not really solving the problems of HOA’s running amok.
The state of North Carolina wants to know if you own an “All Terrain Vehicle” (ATV), dirt bike, or any other vehicle. And they don’t just want to know about it, they want you to register it with the state and pay $15 per year for the privilege of owning one. Require Off-Road Vehicles to be Registered – SB642 – is sponsored by Sen. Doug Berger (D-Franklin) and Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Orange). This bill would require any off-road vehicle, be it ATV, dirt bike, four-wheeler or other vehicle, to be licensed by the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Looks like another multi-billion dollar corporation has succeeded in bilking millions more of our tax dollars, courtesy of the North Carolina General Assembly. Senate Bill 575 (Hoyle D – Gaston), aka the Apple bill, would establish a different tax liability formula for eligible companies. The eligibility requirements are so specific, however, that it has become readily apparent the legislation is designed to lure Apple Computers to open a server farm in Caldwell County.
The current recession has hit North Carolina especially hard. Statewide unemployment is 10.8 percent, fifth highest in the nation. The dramatic downturn has significantly reduced available tax revenue, creating an estimated $4.6 billion budget deficit for the coming fiscal year. But never fear, your state bureaucrats are here to save the day! House Bill 1278 (Pierce D-Hoke) would create a “Response Team” to rescue any North Carolina county that suffers an extraordinary number of job losses.
Whether you are an avid vacationer in Nags Head or not, here comes a party house on the North Carolina coast that will only cost taxpayers a conservative $25 million to construct. Oh yeah, and there’s a pier attached to it. Normally, “Bad Bill of the Week” is dedicated to those who are trying to get legislation passed. However, this week we had to take note of one particular bill, HB628, which blew through the General Assembly at a much faster rate than most.