McCrory to sign bill curbing his successors' powers
Posted December 19, 2016
Updated December 20, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday he will sign a bill that will curb the ability of his successors to make certain appointments throughout the state bureaucracy and to boards of trustees at University of North Carolina campuses.
"This bill enhances state employee policies, transfers school safety programs to the education department, allows our state legislature to make university trustee appointments and clarifies the roles and organizational structure of the superintendent of public instruction and board of education – hardly extreme changes," McCrory said in a statement.
Cooper: GOP proposals 'more ominous' than power grab The governor, a Republican, lost his re-election bid in November to Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat set to take office in January. Cooper has called House Bill 17 "ominous" and hinted that he might challenge it in court. Critics say the measure will hamstring the new governor's ability to put his stamp on state government.
McCrory said the changes were not as extreme as either Cooper or protestors at the General Assembly said. But he did say there was one major flaw in the bill.
"My major disagreement with this bill is requiring confirmation of cabinet secretaries. This is wrong and short-sighted and needs to be resolved through the leadership skills of the governor-elect working with the legislature beginning in January," McCrory said.
He and former Govs. Jim Hunt, a Democrat, and Jim Martin, a Republican, sued the state legislature during the past two years over a law that took control of certain executive branch functions away from governor's control and handed them over to boards appointed by lawmakers. In particular, those boards would have over seen coal ash cleanup and natural gas drilling.
McCrory won that lawsuit.
On Monday, he used the news release to once again tout a $200 million disaster recovery bill and take credit for keeping other, more sweeping changes from being heard.
"During the past week, as the legislature called themselves back into session, I was actively working as your governor to protect the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government," McCrory said. "Examples include discouraging proposed legislation moving major departments, including Information Technology and Commerce, outside of the governor’s authority. I also successfully worked to deter any efforts to expand the composition of our Supreme Court."
Lawmakers have long denied they had any plans to expand the court, so it's unclear what the governor might have done.