Brunswick Beacon, 08.31.23
Governor Roy Cooper has done his best to protect North Carolina constituents from the MAGA Republican tsunami of deregulation legislation. Unfortunately, given the Republican supermajority (thanks to the party-switching defection of Tricia Cotham), his vetoes of many dangerous bills have been overridden.
One example: HB 488 – Code Council Reorganization and Various Code Amendments concerning North Carolina building codes, considered a pressing piece of legislation by the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), was made law in the North Carolina General Assembly on a vote of 78-40 in the House and 27-17 in the Senate.
It’s understandable that the NCHBA would welcome “relief” from these pesky regulations. While we watch in horror at the increasing ferocity of hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, and other climate-change exacerbated perils, our legislators see this as the ideal time to relax regulations and trust that builders will voluntarily maintain high standards protective of our citizens.
Who benefits from this regulatory recklessness? The construction industry, especially builders willing to cut corners. It definitely won’t help homebuyers who will be dealing with the fallout of shoddy construction, ranging from nuisance problems to catastrophic incidents. Those of us who are already paying exorbitant homeowners’ insurance premiums will likely see those premiums jump as the risk of structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing problems soars.
For our MAGA Republican legislators, making America “great” means eliminating any regulations limiting “freedom” for business interests. This includes building codes, environmental regulations, zoning regulations for new development, financial regulations, and consumer protections.
Thank you, Governor Cooper, for fighting to protect us from MAGA Republican overreach. As citizens, our only recourse is to replace these radical, extremist Republicans with thoughtful legislators who are truly committed to public safety. Until then, we face further erosion of our protections and greater risks to our families.
Linda McConnell Baker