Voters will have several chances to amend North Carolina’s state constitution when they head to the polls in November. Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation senior vice president, discusses the proposed constitutional amendments and how they might shape the future of state government. Free trade has taken hits from politicians in both parties in recent years. Economist Peter Boettke of George Mason University explains why that should disappoint anyone who’s interested in promoting economic growth. Boettke contends that advocates of free trade need to develop new arguments to convince skeptical voters. The N.C. General Assembly recently approved the HOPE Act as the latest tool in the fight against opioid abuse. But critics worry about the potential impact on personal privacy rights. One key provision gives law enforcement agencies easier access to some medical records. You’ll hear highlights from N.C. House debate on the issue. The late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms spent much of his time on Capitol Hill focusing on national security. It’s no surprise that an event in Raleigh marking the 30th anniversary of the Jesse Helms Center featured remarks dedicated to security issues. Former Helms staffer Danielle Pletka, now the senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, quoted her former boss as she took stock of today’s top security challenges. State lawmakers are enlisting the help of N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson as they look for ways to cut the number of standardized tests in the state’s public schools. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research, assesses the increased emphasis on cutting down the number of unnecessary or duplicative tests in school.