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When Donald Trump took office, he promised to reduce regulations with a one-in, two-out system. Looking at the numbers, he has far surpassed this goal. However, at the state level, 2020 is a year of major legislative changes that may have liberty-minded folks running for the hills.
In North Carolina, federal judge Loretta Biggs has formally blocked policy that would require voters to provide photographic identification in order to cast a ballot. Although NC approved the constitutional amendment in 2018, the judge deemed it discriminatory, backing an appeals court statement that said it targeted African American voters with “almost surgical precision.”
As Liberty Nation’s Kelli Ballard noted:
Photo IDs are required for many Americans’ rights and privileges including purchasing alcohol, driving, buying firearms, cashing checks, and even getting library cards. One of the most important duties a person can perform is electing officials to govern their city, county, state, and country. Requiring proof of identity and legal residence should not fall under the racist narrative.
But, somehow, it does. And the Old North State isn’t finished with the voting issue. Activists are fighting the current law that prohibits prisoners and those who have been released but have yet to meet their requirements from voting. One claim is that the law discriminates against poor people because convicts can have a difficult time paying fines and other financial burdens after returning to society.
Was the initial law actually racist and designed to stop black voters from being able to exercise their constitutional rights? Well, a provision of the law was that any person who was unable to afford a photo ID would be provided with one free of charge. For Judge Biggs, however, this was not enough. She opined that those who could not afford identification may also not have the time to go and collect a free one from the DMV.
Speaking of the DMV, as of December 16, the Green Light Law came into effect in New York. Illegal immigrants over the age of 16 can now receive a full legal driving license. Hey, perhaps they can use it to vote?
What to Watch For
The idea that black citizens do not have or cannot get a valid photo ID is an idea steeped in racism itself. These attempts to block voter ID laws are nothing more than attempts to swing elections or to cast aspersions. It seems the main piece of evidence backing up Judge Briggs’ opinion is that when the legislation was active, turnout among African Americans dropped 6% from 2012 to 2016. instead of blaming laws, perhaps certain parties should instead look at why people just couldn’t summon the effort to vote for them.
And Some Good News?
Not all laws strike at liberty. While conservative-minded folks usually prefer fewer laws over more, sometimes, legislation is used to fight back against the infringement on rights.
As of January 1, a whole lot of new laws took effect.
In Arkansas, any city that refuses to comply with federal immigration authorities (essentially Sanctuary Cities), will be cut off from state funding.
Massachusetts has lowered its corporate tax rate to just 5%, finally completing a long-term pledge to make it one of the most attractive states for business in the U.S. Missouri also made a major cut to bring the corporate income tax rate down to just 4%. This does not bode well for companies with a multi-state presence, but for local employers, it’s a very welcome move.
A number of states have decided to recoup some of the losses they faced over electric vehicle registration. What was initially considered a green subsidy (naturally paid for by everyone else), Hawaii, Ohio, Kansas, and others will now begin charging registration fees. It may not be liberty-minded when the government charges folks more cash, but at least those subsidies will no longer be paid for by other state residents.
What to Watch For
With an election coming this year, we can expect to see a lot more “conservative” policies coming through as Democrats and Republicans seek to hold onto their seats. The electorate responds well to more conservative policies that back freedom, cost less money, and add to the air of liberty.
Washington Whispers & Other Juicy Tidbits
Be on the lookout for:
- Expect to see Democrats drawing out handing over the articles of impeachment to the Senate until they can wring every last concession out of Mitch McConnel. Don’t expect McConnel to back down too easily.
- With another 750 troops being sent into the Middle East in the wake of the Dec. 31 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Congress will likely be divided along party lines over whether President Trump is handling this situation well.
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