Other bills designed to limit incoming governor Cooper’s power also passed but not yet signed
Having lost his bid for reelection, North Carolina’s governor Republican Pat McCrory has signed into law a bill that will, among other things, limit his Democrat successor’s power to appoint Democrats to the State Board of Elections and that will require the political party of judges to be printed on election ballots.
On his way out the statehouse door, North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law the first of what could be several bills that would strip the executive powers of his Democratic successor, Roy Cooper. Critics say it’s an extraordinary move that flies in the face of voters.
The law would merge the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission into a bipartisan board divided equally between Democrats and Republicans. Under previous administrations, the governor would have the leeway to put a majority of one political party onto the panel.
It would also make elections for appellate court judgeships officially partisan again.
Additional bills aimed at restricting the incoming governor’s power are also working their way through North Carolina’s GOP-controlled legislative body.
Fox News continues:
The North Carolina General Assembly, which has been in special session since Wednesday, passed several other bills that would strip Cooper of some of his powers as governor.
It is unclear whether McCrory will sign into law any of those additional restrictions. One of the more controversial items would require the governor to put top administer nominees before the state Senate for approval and would prevent Cooper from appointing members of the UNC system schools boards of trustees.
The law removes the State Board of Elections from the governor’s control by reducing the number of members on the board from five — three of whom could be from the governor’s party — to four members, evenly split between the parties.
As we have reported, the change could have ripple effects, since the state body appoints members to county election boards across the state.
. . . . The new law also increases the power of the state’s appellate court and requires the party affiliations of judicial candidates to be printed on ballots.
On Friday, the Legislature also passed a second bill that would further curb the powers of the incoming administration. That bill, if McCrory signs it, would require Cooper’s Cabinet secretaries to receive Senate confirmation, would significantly reduce the number of administrative positions in the executive branch, would strip the governor of his right to appoint trustees to the University of North Carolina and would take away some of the governor’s power to oversee schools in the state.
Republicans hold large majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature and will continue to do so when the new session begins in January.
Governor McCrory asserted that the new law will ensure fair elections; however, the incoming governor-elect is threatening to sue.
Gov. McCrory issued a brief statement Friday night thanking the legislature for passing the bill on merging the election and ethics boards.
“This legislation lays important groundwork to ensure a fair and ethical election process in North Carolina,” the statement read. He didn’t mention other legislation.
Mr. Cooper, the Democratic state attorney general who narrowly defeated Mr. McCrory in last month’s election, has threatened to sue. “If I believe that laws passed by the Legislature hurt working families and are unconstitutional, they will see me in court,” he said in a press conference Thursday. He said most people see the GOP-led moves “as a partisan power grab, but it is really more ominous.”
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