State lawmakers are pushing a controversial bill that would change the makeup of our state government.
Last week the state senate approved Senate Bill 10, which would effectively fire all current members of certain state agencies, including the Coastal Resources Commission, the state Utilities Commission, the Industrial Commission, and others, affecting more than 100 positions.
The General Assembly and Governor McCrory would then pick their replacements. State Republicans say the legislature has every right to do it, but Democrats call it a political power grab.
The chairman of the Coastal Resources Commission, Bob Emory, is worried that if the bill passes, it would disrupt his agency's operations.
"Institutional knowledge will just disappear if you completely fire all the members of the current commission and totally replace them with new members," said Emory.
But some state lawmakers say the bill is necessary for downsizing and efficiency.
"I think the intent of the bill was to get rid of some boards and commissions that really hadn't met for quite a while, and their usefulness has probably gone away over time," said state senator Harry Brown, who voted in favor of the bill. He says the move would save the state $2 million every year.
If the bill is approved by the state House of Representatives and the governor, it becomes law. The House could look at the bill as early as this week.
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