Fifty-six percent of North Carolina adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Fifty-three percent of adults are fully vaccinated. When it comes to those most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus – those 65 and older – 80 percent are fully vaccinated. New cases have bottomed out. Those who remain vulnerable to contracting the virus have easy, fast, and free access to the vaccine, if they want it.

On top of that, the CDC has revised its guidance to what we know from common sense: teachers and students who are vaccinated do not need to wear a face mask inside the classroom.

North Carolina is on the way back. And yet, despite all of the indicators pointing to normal life resuming, Gov. Roy Cooper continues to hold on firmly to unilateral emergency powers, keeping our state under an official state of emergency.

Why? I asked that question of Locke’s Becki Gray at this week’s Shaftesbury Society discussion about the legislative session. Here’s her answer. WATCH Becki talk about efforts by Republican legislative leaders to rein in these unilateral powers – no matter who sits in the governor’s seat.