by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
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.
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.