Requires bond referendums to include information on the ballot of both the principle and interest that would need to be repaid on the debt in question. Civitas believes in greater government transparency and informing voters of the true cost of government debt.
Permits successful charter schools to add one grade per year without the approval of the NC State Board of Education. Civitas believes the conservative position is to support more choices and competition in education, enabling parents to have more control over their child's education.
Provides parents a grant of up to $3,000 per semester to help pay the costs of educating a special needs child in an eligible private school. Changes the form of financial assistance from a tax credit to a scholarship grant. Civitas believes the conservative position is to support educational choice initiatives that give parents more control over their children's education.
Requires social services to verify that welfare applicants are not fleeing felons or parole violators, also requires drug screening for some welfare applicants. Civitas believes the conservative position is drug screening is a reasonable mechanism to ensure recipients are not wasting taxpayer dollars on illegal narcotics.
Reformed NC's unemployment insurance program to facilitate repayment of more than $2.5 billion borrowed from federal government to cover benefits. Reform reduced duration and maximum benefits for UI benefits (among other alterations. Bill also slightly increased UI tax on employers, but kept rate lower than would have been under original repayment plan. Reform will save the state millions in interest payments on the borrowed money, and has noticeably reduced unemployment. Civitas believes the conservative position is to save taxpayers millions through the more rapid repayment of debt and to reduce the incentives for people to remain unemployed. Less interference in the labor market encourages job growth.
Broad-sweeping reform to NC's election laws, most notably: requiring valid ID at the time of voting, end of same day registration, reducing number of days of early voting, end of registration for 16-year olds, end of straight party voting, and many other provisions. Civitas believes the conservative position is that voter ID is a common sense measure to reduce the potential for voter fraud, and other sensible measures included in this bill are important to preserve the integrity of elections.
Bars local governments from regulating the size of soft drinks. Includes tort reform measures to limit liability from lawsuits over free will food consumption (i.e. suing McDonald's because their burgers made you gain weight.) Civitas believes the conservative position is that government has no businesses regulating food and beverage intake, and that individuals bear responsibility for what they willingly eat and drink.
This bill included several provisions, including prohibiting the use of foreign laws from being applied to family court actions, expands the conscience rights of medical providers who object to abortion, bars sex-selective abortions and requires a doctor be physically present for the full procedure during an abortion. Civitas believes the conservative position is that U.S. citizens are not beholden to laws from foreign countries, is pro-life, and that safety standards should be in place in abortion clinics.
Attempts to scale back onerous state regulations by requiring fiscal impact statements for significant rules changes and mandating review of rules every 10 years. Rules that go unreviewed automatically expire. Bill includes numerous changes to other regulations impacting commerce. Civitas believes the conservative position is to limit government intervention, and to actively seek to undo bureaucratic red tape.
Alters the DOT's outdated and inefficient equity formula to allow for more prudent use of transportation dollars. Funds will follow needs instead of artificial mapping lines, and help get the politics out of road building. Civitas believes the conservative position is for state government to more efficiently allocate existing taxpayer dollars, rather than just continue to spend more.
Omnibus gun rights bill that allowed for more locations where conceal carry permit holders can carry their firearm, also prohibits sheriffs from limiting number of permits issued and additional fees for permits. Includes several other measures. Civitas believes the conservative position is that the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the U.S. constitution and should not be infringed.
Makes numerous changes to NC's state tax code, resulting in the largest tax cut in state history. Reduces and flattens income tax rates, reduces corporate tax rates, slightly expands the sales tax base, caps the gas tax for another year and repeals the state death tax. Civitas believes the conservative position is to lower taxes and to work toward eliminating biases in the tax code. Such reforms allow people to keep more of what they earn and fosters greater job growth and prosperity.
Places limits on the amount of "special indebtedness" the state can issue. This "special" debt does not require voter approval and carries a higher interest rate, the most common form is Certificates of Participation (COPs). Civitas believes the conservative position is that all state and local government debt be subject to voter approval.
This bill severely limits the conditions under which a non-locksmith can open a locked door, and also triples the yearly fee for the issuance of a license or renewal from $100 to $300. Civitas believes the conservative position is that occupational licensing is an unnecessary government intrusion into industry, and primarily benefits existing professionals by raising barriers to entry. Such actions limit competition, raising prices and reducing options for consumers.
Repeals the remaining statutes in the Racial Justice Act, and includes other efforts to end the moratorium on the death penalty. Civitas believes the conservative position is the RJA used very flawed methodology to allow convicted murderers to escape their death sentence (while their guilty verdict is never in doubt), and the death penalty for the most severe crimes is appropriate and effective.
This bill included several provisions, most notable of which were limiting abortion coverage in insurance plans offered on the insurance exchange, prohibiting abortions when the sex of the unborn child is the main reason, and to study the conditions of abortion clinics. Civitas believes the conservative position is pro-life and as such sensible restrictions on abortions are warranted.
Obamacare represents a government takeover of the medical care and health insurance industries. This bill kept North Carolina government from partnering with this act. With this bill, North Carolina did not set up a State-based health exchange and was not forced to expand the already bloated and inefficient Medicaid program. Civitas believes the conservative position is to oppose government intervention in health insurance and medical care.
State budget bill kept year over year spending increase under the rate of inflation plus population growth, included no new state debt, set aside nearly a quarter billion dollars into Rainy Day Fund. Also featured major education reforms including statewide opportunity scholarship program for low-income students and largely eliminating career status (teacher tenure) in favor of short-term contracts. Civitas believes the conservative position is that the state budget represents a net positive. While not perfect, the budget displays significant fiscal restraint while including a major educational choice initiative.
This bill seeks to establish a more streamlined permitting process for on-shore energy exploration, assigns royalty and revenue from future energy exploration activities to specific purposes, and urges the Governor to negotiate a pact with Virginia and South Carolina to develop a unified strategy for expanding on- and off-shore energy sources. Civitas believes the conservative position is to reduce government obstruction to access to safe, affordable energy sources that will create thousands of jobs.