Raleigh, N.C. – State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) responded Friday to Gov. Cooper’s veto of legislation allowing fitness centers to safely operate in North Carolina. The legislation also included a revised outdoor seating policy to address the Governor’s veto of a bill to treat dining and beverage establishments equally.
After preparing to reopen under Governor Cooper’s ‘Phase 2’ executive order, gym owners were unexpectedly forced to remain closed. As a result, gym owners across the state filed lawsuits against the administration.
Noticeably, all states that border North Carolina have reopened fitness facilities. House Bill 594 allows exercise and fitness facilities, gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers to safely operate under a prescribed 15 point plan.
Gov. Cooper’s current executive order allows restaurants to operate indoors or outdoors at 50 percent capacity, but arbitrarily prohibits other establishments from operating under the same rules.
Additionally, House Bill 594 treats all beverage and dining service establishments the same and allows them to operate at 50% of total capacity. The General Assembly passed similar legislation in House Bill 536, but the bill was vetoed by the Governor.
In House Bill 594, the General Assembly addressed the Governor’s concerns with House Bill 536 by allowing the Governor to re-close beverage and dining service establishments with concurrence of the Council of State, a common requirement of emergency authority in North Carolina.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore released the following statement:
“Once again, the Governor shows that he prioritizes his own power over the livelihoods of responsible small businesses owners and families across North Carolina,” Speaker Moore said.