RALEIGH – Today, in response to the decision from the Supreme Court of North Carolina on the case of New Hanover County Board of Education v. Stein, the Civitas Institute’s president, Donald Bryson, issued the following statement:
“The state Supreme Court’s decision on this case is incredibly disappointing. The agreement between Smithfield and the state Attorney General’s office was written in such a way to give the Attorney General significant latitude in controlling the slush fund in question. However, that agreement was in direct response to regulatory deficiencies on the part of Smithfield.
Unfortunately, the majority of the state’s highest court seems not to have considered the original intent of the agreement along with the context of its text. The resulting decision gives state government broad authority to create special slush funds with little to no oversight. Instead of those funds going to public education, this ruling allows the de facto slush fund to be used for land purchases in the Blue Ridge Mountains and treating stormwater runoff at community colleges.”
The lawsuit was initiated by the Civitas Institute’s former president, Francis DeLuca. The New Hanover County Board of Education joined the suit in 2017.