Lawmakers clear way for some nominations

Posted March 25, 2015

NC Legislative Building

Call it a glimmer of detente between the General Assembly and the governor.

More than a week after putting all of Gov. Pat McCrory's appointments on hold, top legislative leaders said Wednesday that they will move forward with the confirmation of the State Bureau of Investigation director and other top administration posts.

The hold on nominations came after McCrory chalked up a court victory in a lawsuit over the Coal Ash Management Commission and two other boards. McCrory had sued to stop legislative appointments to those commissions, saying lawmakers had unconstitutionally stripped him of authority. A three-judge panel agreed. That case is now on appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Immediately after that ruling, Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, and Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said they would stop all executive branch appointments, saying they were worried that the court ruling could have unintended impacts.

On Wednesday, they said their concerns were allayed.

"We have completed our review of the Governor's pending nominations to determine which are impacted by the trial court ruling and plan to move forward with the confirmation process on several of these nominations, including the SBI Director, in the coming weeks," Apodaca said.

However, both Apodaca and Lewis said they would continue to appeal the three-judge panel's ruling, saying it had the potential to affect a number of state government functions.

"The trial court’s decision would dramatically change how our branches of government have operated for over a century, and while we will continue to appeal that decision, we believe the decision raised certain points that require clarification to comply with existing law," Lewis said. "We have filed bills today that seek to clarify statutes dating back to 1973 regarding the issuance of executive orders and service by legislators on certain boards."

Those appear to codify the way many different board appointments work.


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