RALEIGH – The state legislature is back in session, and while much of the focus will be on COVID-19-related relief bills, some lawmakers have a dual focus. The statewide emergency orders issued by Governor Roy Cooper have ignited a resistance to what many view as unconstitutional and against the very spirit of the First in Freedom State. Select members of the General Assembly are aiming to ensure emergency powers to not negate constitutional protections.
Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) informed the Reopen NC crowd gathered outside the General Assembly Tuesday that he filed legislation to make matters perfectly clear by amending the N.C. Constitution.
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Many citizens wondered where their state representatives were while Governor Roy Cooper ran roughshod over their livelihoods with these one-size-fits-all draconian orders. Most didn’t realize that the legislature could not simply call itself back into session, constitutionally, without the governor calling for a special session himself.
No matter that the governor had declared a state of emergency; issued sweeping executive orders that immediately damaged the citizenry; or, that pressing needs beg for legislative action to ease the burden of this crisis. Only Cooper could have called hem back earlier, and he didn’t because it risked his sole control of the crisis response.
If this bill becomes law, an amendment would be placed on the ballot for a statewide vote.
This makes so much sense that it hurts to realize it was not the case before. During a declared state of emergency is exactly when the People should have their representation most, especially considering the provocative and unprecedented emergency policies during this pandemic response.
This bill passed it’s first reading (customary), and was referred to the rules committee. The real test of the Republican legislature’s resolve to defend God-given rights of the people is whether or not they follow through on passing this bill, and giving the people a say in whether or not they deserve active representation during times of crisis.