“With North Carolina consistently ranking at the top of lists for best places to live and do business in the country, the legislators failed to realize the impact their decisions will have on our quality of life for the long-term.”
Dan Crawford NCLCV Director of Governmental Relations
For the first time in over 100 years, the General Assembly was led by Republicans who held a majority in both houses, with leadership who is fundamentally committed to an anti-regulatory agenda. This change was accompanied by an influx of many freshman lawmakers. These shifts, in combination with a struggling economic recovery and budget shortfalls, produced more environmentally damaging legislation than we have seen in a long time, much of which was designed to roll back progress our state has made for the environment over the past decade.
Using the economy as cover, and repeating unfounded claims that “regulations kill jobs,” this General Assembly has put environmental safeguards in their crosshairs. Decision-makers seemed to act as if North Carolina was the only state recovering from an economic downturn, and blamed North Carolina’s environmental protections. However, there is strong evidence that North Carolinians want a healthy environment, and that a healthy environment is vital for a strong and sustainable economy. In fact, North Carolina is ranked by national business publications as one of the top places to do business; these rankings include criteria such as quality of life (and access to natural areas) and fairness of the regulatory environment.
Legislator were scored on issues ranging from regulatory reform and appropriations, to terminal groins and vegetation removal. A list of the specific bills is below. Those in red were bad bills and those in green were good bills, i.e. those in red required a no vote to receive a pro-conservation score and those in green required a yes vote.
SENATE AND HOUSE
SJR 17 – Senate Joint Resolution Establish Joint Regulatory Reform Committee
SB 22 – APA Rules: Limit Additional Costs
SB 110 – Permit Terminal Groins
SB 183 – Selective Vegetation Removal/State Highways
HB 200 – Appropriations Act of 2011
SB 709 – Energy Jobs Act
SB 781 – Regulatory Reform Act of 2011
H 242 (Amendment 2) – Natural Gas Bond Fee and Landowners Protection Study
SB 708 -Building Code Rules/Effective Dates
HB 119 – Amend Environmental Laws 2011
HB 242 (2nd Reading) – Natural Gas Bond Fee and Landowners Protection Study
HB 787 – NC Water Efficiency Act