#ncga: Lucky Number 17

Yessirreee. HB17 is the new most hated piece of legislation in Raleigh.  (HB2 can finally rest in peace.)   THIS is what has the nutcases throwing screaming fits in, and getting thrown out of, the House gallery.  

At first glance, anything with David Lewis’s name on it automatically activates my shenanigans radar and corruption-detector.  But this bill has some pretty interesting proposals for reforming state government.  Things that should have been done, oh, FOUR YEARS AGO.   (Insiders tell me that this government reform offensive has the fingerprints of one Mr. Phillip Berger and one Mr. Daniel Forest all over it.  If true, that makes me feel a whole lot better about it.) 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The state board of Education gets rolled under the auspices of the Department of Public Instruction — which, not coincidentally, just got its first Republican superintendent, I think, EVER.    The argument here?  If you’re elected to oversee public education in North Carolina — the whole enchilada should be dropped in your lap.  The only fingers that can be pointed, if you are the DPI superintendent, are AT YOU.  The legislation tightens the General Assembly’s control over the state board of education, as well. 
  • The Office of State Budget and Management and the Office of Human Resources both lose the ability to designate exempted positions within their ranks. 
  • Designation of Liaison Positions. – Liaisons to the Collaboration for Prosperity 46 Zones set out in G.S. 143B-28.1 for the Departments of Commerce, Environmental Quality, and Transportation are designated as exempt.  (THIS sounds to me like Jones Street putting a tighter leash on these executive branch departments.)
  • House and Senate leaders become more significant players in the selection of a replacement in the event there is a vacancy in the office of governor or in any other Council of State position. 
  • ALL personnel shifts — regarding exempt positions — in executive branch agencies have to be run past House and Senate leadership for approval. 
  • The state board of education, under the leadership of the DPI superintendent, is transformed away from an advisory and more into a pure governing board.  It will be the sole governing authority for the state schools for the blind and the deaf.
  • Protection for Teach For America? This is worrisome.  HB17 specifically protects the program from being cut.   Conservative warrior princess Michelle Malkin has done a bang-up job of exposing this crowd for the radical Black Lives Matter front that it is.  It apparently does little more than train recent college grads to be professional leftist agitators and brainwash the kids under their tutelage.  I saw a recent report Malkin did on CRTV where some NAACP members were fretting about how Teach for America focuses way too much on their leftist agenda and way too little on getting at-risk kids the help they need. 
  • Removing the power to appoint UNC Board of Trustees members from the governor. 
  • Establishes a North Carolina Office of Charter Schools. 
  • The state Senate has to approve ALL cabinet appointments by the governor.  (I think THAT is a first.  At least, in a while.) 

Read through the linked document carefully.  This IS about the future of the state.  We’ve already heard about moving the state IT operations more under the authority of General Assembly leadership.  I understand there is even more of this stuff ahead.