Under the Dome

Dome: Rules for keeping rules get complicated

July 29, 2013 

The 68-page bill the legislature passed last week that subtracts, adds and changes state regulations includes a requirement for all state rules to be reviewed every 10 years. Those rules that aren’t reviewed under a deadline set by the Rules Review Commission could be wiped from the books, unless they are required by federal law.

The legislature has been on a campaign to rid the state of rules it says burden businesses. House bill 74 would require state agencies to analyze each rule every 10 years to determine whether it is “necessary with substantial public interest,” “necessary without substantive public interest,” or unnecessary.

How many rules are there? 23,574.

The agency will post the results of their determinations online and invite public comment. A report on the results will go to the Rules Review Commission.

After reviewing public comments, the commission will send a report to the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee. Rules the commission decides are unnecessary will expire. If the legislative committee and Rules Review don’t see eye-to-eye on a rule, it could be the subject of another agency review the following year.

These complicated rules for keeping rules will be difficult for agencies and the commission to handle, said Mary Maclean Asbill, a lobbyist for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

“It’s all part of this mantra that environmental protections and safeguards are bad for the economy,” she said.

Samuelson hosts fundraiser

The lawmaking season is over. Let the fundraising season begin.

Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Republican from Charlotte, emailed invitations Monday morning to her Aug. 15 Raleigh fundraiser.

Entry requires a $250 per-person donation or you can donate $4,000 to host or $2,000 to co-host.

Samuelson is on the short list for House Speaker next session. A Charlotte Observer profile this year called the four-term legislator “a proven fundraiser.”

Nurse enters U.S. Senate race

Heather Grant, a nurse at an urgent care in Wilkesboro, has her eyes on the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan.

The Wilkes-Journal Patriot is reporting that Grant will kick off her primary campaign Aug. 9 for the Republican nomination with a rally at the Wilkes (County) Heritage Museum.

The Wilkes County native is a former Army nurse. She and her husband have three children.

Grant told the paper that her decision to run is rooted in her military service, working with the behavioral health care needs of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It was during this 26-month assignment that I realized that our federal government was not always acting in the best interest of our nation’s citizens,” she said. “This is when I first began to think about how I could do more to help.”

Grant will face House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius and Greg Brannon, a Cary obstetrician in the Republican primary.

The Times slams N.C. again

There’s no love lost between the state’s Republican leadership and The New York Times editorial board, especially after The Times’ July 9 “Decline of North Carolina” editorial.

Gov. Pat McCrory wrote a letter to the paper objecting. Sen. Tom Apodaca declared that he didn’t read The Times.

But that isn’t stopping the paper’s editorial board, which posted an item on its blog declaring, “North Carolina: First in Voter Suppression.”

The legislature last week passed a giant package of voting and elections changes that will require photo ID at the polls, among other changes. The Times notes: “ Out of 7 million ballots cast in the state in 2012, there were 121 allegations of voter fraud, a rate of 0.00174 percent.”

McCrory said Friday he will sign the bill even though he wasn’t familiar with some of the provisions.

Staff writers Lynn Bonner and Mary Cornatzer

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