Forbes Magazine this week ranked North Carolina's regulatory environment the country's most favorable to business - one of six metrics the magazine considers in its "Best for Business" rankings.
NC ranked third last year for regulations. Gov. Bev Perdue was quick to take credit for the jump to the top of the list.
“My top priority is creating jobs, and a critical element in doing that is creating a business environment that attracts new companies and helps existing businesses grow and thrive,” Perdue said in a press release today.
“These rankings clearly show that our commitment to creating a business-friendly climate is paying off. We’ve eliminated hundreds of unnecessary rules that place a burden on North Carolina businesses while still protecting our air, our water and public safety," said Perdue.
Senate Joint Regulatory Reform chairman David Rouzer, R-Johnston, called Perdue's comments "entertaining," given that she vetoed the year's biggest regulatory reform bill, Senate Bill 781. Lawmakers overrode her veto almost immediately.
"We dragged her to the dance kicking and screaming, and now she wants to say she was the host," Rouzer said. "Had her veto been upheld, we’d probably still be number three."
Of the changes made under the Executive Order, Rouzer said, "the vast majority were just nibbling around the edges - not anything industry would look at as serious reform."
But S781, he said, "sent a real signal to the rest of the country that we were serious about reforming the regulatory environment.”
Rouzer said the GOP majority's push to curb regulation this session "shows we were very serious about making this the very best state in the country to do business."
North Carolina placed third in Forbes's overall ranking.