This week, the North Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), legislation that would purge all sitting members of key commissions such as the Environmental Management Commission (EMC), Coastal Resources Commission (CRC), the Utilities Commission, and many others.
Instead of the orderly, staggered rotation of appointments currently in state law, SB 10 would unilaterally fire all members of the targeted commissions immediately upon ratification of the bill.
This is a hyper-partisan maneuver to stack these commissions. Worse, the bill eliminates years of institutional knowledge and memory, making it difficult for the boards to function efficiently in the months to come.
And, SB 10 puts NC on a path to overturn years of carefully constructed policies by diverse and representative public servants.
It gets worse. Among the changes, the careful balance of interests among environmental, scientific, and business representatives is completely eliminated on the CRC and the EMC, two of the most important commissions. This is a dangerous precedent, one that could encourage pay to play politics for board appointments.