North Carolina Lawmakers Pass Curbs on Incoming Democratic Governor

North Carolina's Republican-dominated legislature passed a series of measures on Friday to curtail the executive authority of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper just weeks before he takes office.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper

(Reuters) — North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature passed a series of measures on Friday to curtail the executive authority of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper just weeks before he is to succeed a Republican in the executive mansion.

The bills, passed in the last hours of a special “lame duck” session called to help victims of Hurricane Matthew, strip the governor from the power to make cabinet appointments without Senate confirmation, name people to be trustees of the University of North Carolina and the ability to control hiring for about 1,200 state employees.

“What is happening now may look like partisan political games, but the result will hurt North Carolinians,” Cooper said on Twitter Friday. He has threatened to sue the Republican-dominated legislature and the outgoing Republican governor, adding that “the courts will have to clean up the mess the legislature made.”

Cooper beat incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory by a razor-thin 10,

North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper

North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper

000 vote margin in a hard-fought election whose results took a full month to count before a winner was announced Dec. 8.

McCrory on Friday signed one of the measures, lessening the governor’s control over the state elections board, and is expected to approve the latest actions before turning over the weakened office to Cooper on Jan. 7.

Republican lawmakers called the changes justified by the state’s constitution and meant as a check on executive power.

“This bill is a good step forward in reasserting legislative authority vested by the constitution and entrusted to the members of this body,” Representative David Lewis, a Republican and a sponsor of the bill, said during debate on Thursday.

The legislation and related bills came as a surprise, filed late on Wednesday on the heels of a special session of the General Assembly called to consider relief for Hurricane Matthew victims.

Their introduction and passage led to protests in both House and Senate chambers.

“The process, the content the intention of these bills, they are an affront to the values of our democracy,” said Ticie Rhodes, 57, of Raleigh, retired teacher and counselor who was protesting with her church.

Thirty-nine protesters were arrested on Friday, including a man in a Santa Claus suit, Raleigh television station WRAL reported. Reuters was not able to immediately reach General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock for comment.

McCrory praised the elections bill on Friday, saying it “lays important groundwork to ensure a fair and ethical election process in North Carolina.”

But Cooper has said they would curtail his ability to improve health care, education and the environment for North Carolinians.

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  • Not at all surprising. The Republicans will grasp at anything to exercise their will and power. Pathetic and manipulative.

  • These COWARDLY last ditch “CONTROL FLEXING” acts by NC Republicans are the shining example of why there is ONGOING major GRIDLOCK at the state and FEDERAL government levels. Clearly THEIR ON PERSONAL AGENDAS OUT WAY THE PEOPLE’S BEST INTEREST and they choose to ignore that they were ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE TO WORK ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE. It is these very COWARDLY moments that “WE THE PEOPLE” need to Expose these need to work overtime to expose these SMAMEFUL… PATHETIC… COWARDS for who they really are…these local actitons are no different than those of the COWARDS ON CAPITAL HILL WHOSE EVERY WAKING MOMENT FOR EIGHT (8) YEARS WAS SPENT BLOCKING EVERY EFFORT PROPOSED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA THAT WOULD HELP THE PEOPLE. THIS “GAME OF CONTROL” THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE PLAYING WILL ONLY HAVE GRAVE IMPACT ON “WE THE PEOPLE” OTHERWISE KNOWN AS….YOUR EMPLOYER !! THIS IS TRAGIC…

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