A Civitas Institute Study on the 2008 N.C. Budget Reveals 50 Rule Violations
Raleigh, N.C. – Members of the North Carolina General Assembly continue to ignore self-imposed rules of conduct by shoving millions of extra debt and countless new provisions into the hastily approved 2008 state budget. A recent study released by the Civitas Institute reveals House Rule 44 (b) was violated in excess of 50 times during passage of the 2008 North Carolina Budget bill.
Provisions inserted into the final budget including the 2/3rds Bond Act of 2008, funding for the Museum of the Marine and the financing of many of the capital projects broke General Assembly rules by appearing in the final budget without being included in either the House or Senate passed versions of HB 2436.
“These self-imposed rules were introduced to promote transparency, additional accountability, and public trust; instead, they are used as bargaining chips at the expense of tax payers,” said Francis DeLuca, Executive Director of the Civitas Institute.
House Rule 44 (b) states:
Only such matters as are in difference between the two houses shall be considered by the conferees, and the conference report shall deal only with such matters. The conference report may be made by a majority of the House members of such conference committee and shall not be amended.
“The only items eligible for consideration by the conference committee are those where there are differences between the bodies,” stated DeLuca. “Inserting special provisions into the budget behind closed doors opens the door to corruption and backroom deals outside public scrutiny. Substantive laws are being implemented without public hearings and without the opportunity for debate or amendments on the floor of the House or Senate.”
Despite violating the self-imposed rules in excess of 50 times, this actually marks a substantial improvement over the 2007 budget which violated Rule 44(b) in excess of 100 times.
If you would like more information regarding this topic, or to schedule an interview with Francis DeLuca, please call Gabe Dellinger at 919 747 8065 or email Gabe at Gabe.Dellinger@nccivitas.org