Gov. Roy Cooper recently signed into law Senate Bill 584. It marks the latest step in an ongoing campaign to fight overcriminalization in North Carolina. Mike Schietzelt, John Locke Foundation criminal justice fellow, explains how the new legislation fits with the goal of cleaning up the state’s overly complicated criminal code. Overly burdensome occupational licensing rules restrict economic freedom in both North Carolina and South Carolina. During a recent meeting in Winston-Salem, the group Classical Liberals in the Carolinas learned how. Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation director of regulatory studies, focused attention on North Carolina’s licensing restrictions. Jennifer McDonald, senior research analyst at the Institute for Justice, offered details about South Carolina’s rules. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., wants to do more to speed up the pace of government hurricane relief. Before Hurricane Dorian approached the N.C. coast, Tillis returned to Raleigh to discuss a bill that could help local governments bypass some layers of red tape in securing federal relief funding. Some state lawmakers want public schools to place more emphasis on phonics in early reading instruction. Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, tried to amend a recent education bill to mandate phonics instruction in the earliest elementary school grades. You’ll hear highlights from N.C. House debate of Pittman’s proposal. Without Cooper’s signature, the Small Business Health Care Act recently became law in North Carolina. It opens the door to Association Health Plans for small business owners and their employees. Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health care policy analyst, assesses the significance of AHPs and their role in health care reform.