Legislators unanimously approved a bill that will lead to an index of North Carolina’s crimes. Supporters hope the proposal marks the first step toward a complete rewrite of the state’s criminal code. Jon Guze, John Locke Foundation director of legal studies, assesses the significance of the new legislation. Guze explains why the state needs to take account of all crimes listed in the General Statutes, as well as those created by state agencies, local governments, and regulatory boards. Americans have amended the U.S. Constitution just 27 times in nearly 230 years. Yet states have amended — and even completely rewritten — their constitutions many more times during that same time period, Political scientist John Dinan of Wake Forest University discusses the contrast between the state and federal amendment processes. Dinan has devoted his latest book to the issue. It’s titled State Constitutional Poltics: Governing by Amendment in the American States. Lawmakers are taking another step toward fighting opioid abuse in North Carolina. During a recent news conference, Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein and Rep. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt, touted potential benefits of the HOPE Act. (During a future program, we’ll highlight some legislators’ privacy concerns about the newly enacted measure.) The N.C. House of Representatives voted 59-53 in 2017 not to move forward with a proposed Convention of States. The convention would proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Despite the loss, convention supporters pushed again this year to revisit the topic. Convention project founder Mark Meckler explains why. More than half of the recently enacted $23.9 billion General Fund budget for 2018-19 focuses on education. That means billions of dollars also targeted other core government issues. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, details some of the other priorities within the budget plan that takes effect July 1.