Among all their other train wreck policies, the NC GOP has made it a priority to "reduce these burdensome regulations", meaning they've spent a lot of time and effort gutting environmental and human safety regulations because sometimes those get in the way of a little bit of additional money in corporate fatcats' pockets.
It hasn't taken all that long for the results of their corporate allegiance to come home to roost. No one knows if the tragic deck collapse on Emerald Isle might have been prevented, but we do know that thanks to Neal Hunt and the NC GOP, Emerald Isle officials have no opportunity to perform routine deck inspections. Because freedom And profits.
At issue is a 2011 state law that says towns may make periodic inspections of residential properties only when there is “reasonable cause” to believe unsafe conditions exist. Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush said that law prevents the town from inspecting beach houses unless there’s a complaint.
When it was pointed out to Neal Hunt that his law prevents government officials from performing duties that could keep people safe, ol' Neal backpedaled.
“If you have a deck at the beach where it’s corrosive, I think they have reasonable cause,” said former state Sen. Neal Hunt. “You can’t do it every year, but I think every 10 years would be appropriate.”
Of course, that's not what the law says, and Neal's interpretation is breathtakingly stupid (saltwater makes reasonable cause!) and ten years isn't very helpful and the idea that we have to consult Neal Hunt about what the law intended, rather than just go by what the law says, is ludicrous.
Of course, now that the NC GOP knows the human cost of their deregulation bulldozer, they've thought better of it. And if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you. No, they're not reversing course; instead, they're going full speed ahead at an increased speed. That's right, at least one legislator thinks Neal's law was too lax.
[The law] allows for inspections of buildings with more than two violations in the past 12 months, but the legislature is currently considering expanding this to more than seven violations.
Republican Rep. Bill Brawley of Matthews is the primary sponsor of the new bill.
“This bill is about leaving innocent people alone,” said Brawley, who is a commercial real estate broker. “I have no interest in people being on decks that collapse.”
He also said he doesn’t believe a different law would have led to a different outcome in Emerald Isle, calling the suggestion “pure bull----.”
That's right. Government officials can inspect your property only if they have "reasonable cause" or you have had 7 -- yeah, SEVEN -- violations in the past year!
Ol' Bill got a couple things right. It's apparent he has no interest in people being on decks that collapse (and apparently no interest in people's safety in general); and there's definitely some pure bull---- around here. And BIll's the one generating it.
This is but one of many provisions in the NC GOP's deregulation bulldozer bill. There's no doubt that people will continue to be hurt, harmed, maimed and worse because these cretins insist on repealing laws that keep people safe so that their pals can squeeze out a few more bucks of profit.