NCPIRG’s 2023 Legislative Priorities

NCPIRG outlines our legislative priorities for the coming year as we work to reduce plastic pollution, expand the right to repair, and protect consumers and public health.

Beyond plastic

Explainer


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Staff | TPIN

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NCPIRG’s mission is to serve as an advocate for the public interest. Even in a time of increased partisanship and polarization, all North Carolinians can agree they want a healthier, safer, more secure future. That’s why NCPIRG works to find common ground around common sense solutions that will help make that future a reality.

This year NCPIRG plans to tackle issues that move our state towards a healthier, cleaner, and more meaningful future, such as through expanding the right to fix the things you own, making progress towards a future free from plastic litter and waste, and turning off the tap on toxic chemicals that threaten the health of our communities and families.  

Here are the problems NCPIRG is working to solve in 2023.

Issue Areas

Right to Repair

The issue: When our stuff breaks, if we can’t easily fix it, it means higher costs for consumers, and also means more waste. The goal of our Right to Repair campaign is to give every consumer and small business access to the parts, tools and service information they need to repair products so we can keep things in use and reduce waste.

What we support: NCPIRG is advocating for policies to expand the Right to Repair for farm equipment and medical imaging devices. 

Litter Free NC

The issue: Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff” — packaging, bags, takeout containers, and more. All of this waste clogs our landfills and incinerators, trashes our parks, litters our streets, and washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife. It’s time to move beyond single-use plastic, by getting rid of the most harmful waste, and stopping the use of things we truly don’t need.

What we support: NCPIRG is building support for policies that reduce plastic waste statewide, as well as continuing to support local plastic waste solutions.

Stop Toxic PFAS Pollution

The issue:  PFAS are a class of over 12,000 chemicals used to make a wide variety of products water-, stain- and heat resistant. Also known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS are highly persistent in the environment, do not break down naturally, and build up in the environment and our bodies over time. We are exposed to PFAS “forever” chemicals, which are linked to cancer and other illnesses, in water, food, and consumer products. They have been linked to many serious health effects including immune suppression, developmental issues and cancer. 

What we support: We’re working to stop the use of PFAS in consumer products, clean up contamination in our water and communities, and to hold industry accountable for damage they have caused.

Consumer Protection

The issue: Too many products, practices and technologies put consumers’ health, safety or well-being at risk. We work to get dangerous products off store shelves, end exploitative practices (like price gouging), and ensure a level playing field in the marketplace. 

What we support: We will support policies to protect consumers from harmful practices ranging from surprise medical bills, to illegal towing, to virtual wallet and texting scams, and more. 

Clean, efficient energy use

The issue: North Carolina’s reliance on polluting fuels puts our health and safety at risk. From the gas stoves in our homes, to the buses we send our kids to schools on, the burning of fossil fuels to power our lives can lead to a host of adverse health impacts ranging from triggering asthma attacks, to increasing risk of respiratory illnesses, and more. However, as of 2021, North Carolina ranked 4th in the nation for solar power generation and over the last year our state has begun taking critical steps to phase out carbon emissions. So it’s clear our state has the potential to lead the way towards a healthier future, but only if we continue to invest in clean and efficient energy on all fronts. 

What we support: This year, NCPIRG will continue to support policies to increase clean, efficient energy use from our cars to our homes and more.

Democracy for the People

The issue: The influence of wealthy special interests in elections has eroded public trust in government and helped to depress civic participation. We should do everything we can to ensure all eligible voters are able to have their voice heard on Election Day. 

What we support: NCPIRG believes that our democracy works best when everyone’s voice is heard and will work to support policies that modernize our elections, such as through automatic voter registration, as well as policies and decisions that make our democracy more representative of the public interest. 

For more information about NCPIRG’s 2023 legislative priorities, or to ask about our position on a specific issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

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Authors

Katie Craig

State Director, NCPIRG

Katie directs NCPIRG's statewide campaign strategy, organizational development, research, communication and legislative advocacy efforts. Katie was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, and continues to live there now. When she’s not working, Katie enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

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