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Bill Firing Commissioners Clears Senate

A bill that has cleared the North Carolina Senate would wipe out current members of many state commissions immediately if it became law in its current form.  The bill would then give Governor Pat McCrory the power to replace them.  Senate Bill 10 prompted a huge outcry from Democrats and others who say the bill is an unprecedented power grab.  The Coastal Resources Commission would be one that’s impacted.  Chairman Bob Emory says the bill has major problems.

Bob Emory: "To bring in an entirely new set of people without the experience, expertise, and institutional memory that is represented by people who have served before would be extremely disruptive to the work of the commission.  It's fine to replace some when their terms expire.  But to just terminate everybody on the day the bill passes I think would be a terrible mistake."

Emory has served on the Coastal Resources Commission for 18 years.  Published reports say the sponsor, Southport Republican Senator Bill Rabon, says the bill would streamline government and allow the governor to appoint commissioners that will carry out his agenda.  The House could take up the bill and pass it in its current form, or amend it.    

Click the audio file to hear the full discussion of Senate Bill 10 with Coastal Resources Commission chairman Bob Emory.  Also discussed was the commission's work to document sea-level rise and the controversy surrounding the last assessment.  That story is separate, and is linked to below.

Jeremy Loeb returned to WHQR at the start of 2013 after living in Washington D.C. and Carrboro, NC for a time. He had previously been working for WHQR as the host of All Things Considered and a backup to the station’s Operations Manager, George Scheibner for around 6 years. He moved back to his hometown of Durham to be close to family, where he worked at WUNC Public Radio for a stint of 2 years as a reporter, host, and producer. After that he moved up to DC with his partner for a year, which was a great experience for him. But he always remembered WHQR fondly and never lost his passion for public radio, so he was happy to return when the opportunity arose.