RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper has complained that any attempt to limit his unilateral power during an emergency, by requiring he get concurrence from the Council of State, wastes valuable time and risks lives.
At least that’s what he says when the issue is Pandemic Power; the governor apparently had no issue at all asking for and receiving concurrence from the Council of State before issuing a State of Emergency ahead of violent storms moving through the state this week.
N.C. House Majority Leader John Bell (R-NC) pointed out the interesting detail on Twitter.
Interesting to see @NC_Governor get Council of State approval before issuing “State of Emergency” ahead of yesterday’s storm. Yet, he refuses to do same for current year-long, statewide #COVID emergency & other EOs? Exactly why we must pass HB 264. #ncpol https://t.co/klGB1S8KDX pic.twitter.com/vrAxu7imjv
— Rep. John Bell (@JohnBellNC) March 19, 2021
Bell is a sponsor of active legislation that aims to rein in Cooper’s abuse of emergency powers by requiring Council of State concurrence of such emergency orders. It’s concurrence he has ignored through out the Pandemic Panic, the subject of a lawsuit.
You can bet that the only reason Cooper went for concurrence in this case is because he knew he would get it. It provides a guise of procedural accountability when we all know he would have ignored the vote of the Council should their decision conflict with his partisan political agenda or restrict his unilateral authority.
House Bill 264 would make a concurrence by the majority of the 9 member Council of State a requirement, thereby eliminating the risk of unsupported, overreaching, and unilateral abuses of authority by a single person (the governor) during emergencies. The legislation advanced in the House earlier this week.
If you think the governor, Republican or Democrat, shouldn’t have that level of concentrated power over our lives, you should let your state representatives know you expect them to support this bill.