Today the North Carolina House of Representatives has passed HB 264, the Emergency Powers Accountability Act.
House Bill 264 would create a definition of “concurrence of the Council of State” under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act, which would clarify how the Governor is to seek such a concurrence when exercising certain authorities and would require the Governor to seek concurrence of the Council of State in additional instances.
North Carolina has been under its current state of emergency, declared by Governor Cooper in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 10, 2020.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “During the pandemic, our governor ignored his statutory duty to seek the concurrence of the bipartisan council of state before declaring a state of emergency. With no end date in sight, North Carolina has remained in a perpetual state of emergency for a total of 589 days.”
He continued, “The need for checks and balances is arguably most crucial during a statewide emergency. No one individual should have the ability to exercise unilateral power during such an emergency.”