Late Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 264, which “would have required that the governor receive concurrence from the 10-member elected Council of State for an emergency declaration of more than seven days, and legislative approval for it to extend beyond 45 days,” according to Carolina Journal. The veto prompted the response below from House Speaker Tim Moore’s office.

Raleigh, NC— Today Governor Cooper vetoed House Bill 264, the Emergency Powers Accountability Act. This makes his 65th veto during his tenure as Governor.
HB 264 would have created a definition of “concurrence of the Council of State” under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act, which would clarify how the Governor is to seek such a concurrence when exercising certain authorities and would require the Governor to seek concurrence of the Council of State in additional instances.
NC House Speaker Tim Moore said, “North Carolina remains in a state of emergency, now for a total of 600 days. During that time, many in our state have felt their individual liberties deteriorate under extreme mandates and policies as a result of unilateral decisions made by our governor in the midst of the pandemic.”
He continued, “I am disappointed that Governor Cooper is blocking a bill that simply allows for checks and balances, not just for him, but any governor, Republican or Democrat, in the future.”

It’s disappointing – but not surprising – that the governor has used his veto to continue his tight grip on unilateral power. This bill isn’t about Roy Cooper. It’s about the next governor and the next governor and the next governor. Cooper has simply illustrated why no one person should have singular control of the movements and livelihoods of 10 million+ North Carolinians, some of whom were deemed not valuable enough to have the right to earn a living.

Shameful. We should never put our families, friends, and neighbors in this position again. But in all likelihood, an effort to reform and rein in emergency powers will have to wait. The legislature hasn’t had the votes to override a Cooper veto since 2018.