NC Republicans Propose Unprecedented Power Grab

December 14, 2016

NC Republicans Propose Unprecedented Power Grab

Raleigh, NC – After Governor Pat McCrory was voted out of office in an historic election, North Carolina Republicans are attempting to thwart the will of the voters and take back power they have lost.

“This is an unprecedented, shameful and cowardly power grab from Republicans. After losing the Governor’s office, the GOP-controlled General Assembly is attempting to hold on to the power that voters took away from them. Make no mistake, the legislation we are seeing today are attempts from Republicans to usurp power from Governor-elect Roy Cooper after losing the election. Republicans should be ashamed of these unprecedented power grabs that have no place in our democracy,” said NCDP spokesman Jamal Little.

With no advance notice, in a surprise 4th special session, House Republicans introduced a whirlwind of bills to strip power from Governor-elect Cooper.

Top 6 NCGOP Power Grabs

1.  Making 1,200 McCrory political appointees permanent state employees

On November 8, North Carolinians voted for a change in their state government. With House Bill 17, The legislature is trying to violate the will of the people, by declaring that Governor-Elect Cooper will only be able to declare 300 state employees exempt, 1,200 employees fewer than Governor McCrory was afforded in 2013, and 100 fewer than under Gov. Perdue. Strikingly, it would not allow Governor-Elect Cooper to declare any positions exempt in the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management or Office of Human Resources.

2. Giving the Senate unprecedented approval power over Cabinet Secretary appointees

House Bill 17 would require Senate approval of Governor-Elect Cooper’s cabinet appointments, an unprecedented infringement on the discretion given to North Carolina’s governors to pick their own cabinets.

3.  Needlessly giving control of Department of Information Technology to the Lt. Gov. 

Without explanation, House Bill 6 makes the Department of Information Technology an “independent” agency, whose chief executive is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. This strips Governor McCrory of one of his proudest accomplishments, which was making DIT a cabinet agency.

4. Taking control of the board of elections. 

Currently, the county and state board of elections have a majority board from the Governor’s party.

SB4 would give power to the General Assembly to appoint half of the board. In election years, it would also set the Board’s chairperson as being from the party with fewer registered voters. The Republican Party currently trails the Democratic Party in party registrations by more than 600,000 voters. Effectively, this would guarantee Republican chairpersons in election cycles for years.

5. Lame duck appointments

SB 4 would give lame duck Governor Pat McCrory the power to appoint the chair of the industrial commission before he leaves office.

6. Appointments for McCrory insiders 

Senate Bills 6 and 7 will give lame duck Governor Pat McCrory the power to appoint two Special Superior Court justices before he leaves office. One of the appointees, Andrew Heath, was Governor McCrory’s budget director, and has limited legal experience.