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Bill to clear out state commissions gets tentative Senate nod

Posted February 6, 2013

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— The state Senate gave key approval Wednesday to legislation that would fire all current members of several oversight and advisory boards.

Senate Bill 10 passed its second reading by a 32-17 vote. A final vote is expected Thursday, and it would then go to the House.

Introduced in Senate Rules Committee only Tuesday morning, the bill would effectively fire all members of the Utilities Commission, Environmental Management Commission, Coastal Resources Commission, Lottery Commission and Wildlife Resources Commission.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican lawmakers would then be able to reappoint board members who agree with their philosophy, essentially clearing out Democrats and other dissenters whose terms haven't yet expired.

The bill would also abolish several other boards and commissions, including the Charter School Advisory Committee, the Lottery Oversight Commission, the Turnpike Authority and the Board of Correction, and would eliminate 12 special Superior Court judgeships.

NC state seal in Senate chamber Nonpartisan pretense dropped from Senate bill on commissions

Sen. Fletcher Hartsell Senate passes changes to state commissions

"This is injecting politics into boards and commissions where it is unnecessary. In fact, it's detrimental to the state and to the people," said Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, who offered an amendment to scale back the scope of the bill.

"To wholesale eliminate dozens and dozens of people with all of their expertise and all of their knowledge is just bad policy," Stein said. "Let's pass a good bill, a good government bill, one that promotes government efficiency and not one that is a crass political power play."

Bill sponsor Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, said the proposal is geared to promote efficiency and noted that current members of various commissions could reapply for positions.

"You've got a new team in place, and they deserve their players," Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, said, adding the former Gov. Jim Hunt twice swept out appointees of his Republican predecessors.

Senate Republicans handily defeated Stein's amendment, as well as amendments proposed by Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, to limit conflicts of interest on the state commissions and by Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, to remove the provision eliminating the judgeships.

Even Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, questioned the constitutionality of eliminating judgeships, but Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said the courts could decide the issue once the bill had passed.

27 Comments

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  • prodigalrn Feb 7, 11:20 a.m.

    ---The Industrial Commission should be fired. Are they the only ones who have knowledge of Workers' Comp? Maybe that is why they are so unfare and biased. They think they are the only ones who know anything so they can rule however they like even if it defies law and common sense. I could site numerous cases...If they are competent and qualified they can apply for the job again. Love how when one party does something it is fine but when another party does the same thing people are outraged---

    I would love to hear your case citations. As a Workers Compensation attorney, I would love to hear how you think the IC is biased.

    CaseyS

    February 7, 2013 10:51 a.m

    You know as well as I do this crowd is short on facts, and long on blustery party politics. I think if the Dems did this, it was wrong, and it's still wrong if the Republicans doing it, it is STILL wrong. Shame on both parties for doing this.

  • ykm Feb 7, 11:12 a.m.

    Times have changed and with them the old guard has to go. Glad to see it.

  • CaseyS Feb 7, 10:51 a.m.

    ---The Industrial Commission should be fired. Are they the only ones who have knowledge of Workers' Comp? Maybe that is why they are so unfare and biased. They think they are the only ones who know anything so they can rule however they like even if it defies law and common sense. I could site numerous cases...If they are competent and qualified they can apply for the job again. Love how when one party does something it is fine but when another party does the same thing people are outraged---

    I would love to hear your case citations. As a Workers Compensation attorney, I would love to hear how you think the IC is biased.

  • Plum Tuckered Feb 7, 10:26 a.m.

    These actions will not serve the people of North Carolina well in the short run or the long run.

  • dsdaughtry Feb 7, 10:20 a.m.

    sounds like McCroy wants to abolish balance of powers by removing judges and appointments.

  • KHawk Feb 7, 9:52 a.m.

    Why didn't we get this kind of coverage from when the Democrats were in charge of everything?

  • nic Feb 7, 9:25 a.m.

    The Industrial Commission should be fired. Are they the only ones who have knowledge of Workers' Comp? Maybe that is why they are so unfare and biased. They think they are the only ones who know anything so they can rule however they like even if it defies law and common sense. I could site numerous cases...If they are competent and qualified they can apply for the job again. Love how when one party does something it is fine but when another party does the same thing people are outraged

  • arfamr1007 Feb 7, 8:49 a.m.

    The problem I see here is the Republicans, when called out for doing something underhanded or just plain wrong, always reply with, "Well, the Democrats have been doing it for decades." Well, either way, things are still being done wrong. You can't keep doing the same old, same old forever. If the Democrats fired entire boards, then that was wrong. For the Republicans to do it, is again wrong. Some of those people are likely very good at their job, and bring a lot of experience with them. To summarily get rid of entire boards in an obvious power-grab, is simply, and still, wrong. For you to accuse someone of 'not having a clue' yet you allow this same pattern of behavior to go unchecked tells me that it is perhaps you that is lacking in the clues.

    prodigalrn

    February 7, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Report abuse

    Please list one good thing any of the boards or commissions listed has done and why they should keep their jobs. Just one

  • arfamr1007 Feb 7, 8:47 a.m.

    wildpig can you tell us what is balance of power? if one party controls everything how is that balance? pot meet kettle....

    Gidder Dun

    February 7, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Report abuse

    So you complained for the last 100 years too right? Sit down and shut up. You lost. As your president said: get in the back seat and watch us move forward

  • arfamr1007 Feb 7, 8:45 a.m.

    It appears this Republican program has been very successful so far. Unfortunately, to the extent that is does succeed, it also undermines the American democracy.

    ILoveDowntownRaleigh

    February 6, 2013 7:56 p.m.

    Report abuse

    Look at the maps in california. Nancy pelosi pulls 70% of the vote year after year. Either she gerrandered or that district should be removed from the union.

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