We saw last week where House Speaker Tim Moore was celebrating the two-year birthday of the “State of Emergency” declared by Governor Roy Cooper on March 10, 2020.
Then we waited a few days to see if the Governor would end this farce this week. Nothing doing. He announced today that the State of Emergency is still in effect.
What an absolute abuse of power.
That misuse of words – State of Emergency – drives us crazy almost as much as the news channels announcing Special Alert when nothing’s happening of any consequence.
There is no emergency now. Thank goodness, the number of COVID cases continues to drop and masks are coming off. Yes, there was a critical time when the pandemic was new and we were in uncharted territory. But it’s been a long while since it was an “emergency” and the initial fear in the spring of 2020 of hospitals and our health system being overwhelmed by COVID gripped our state.
The biggest problem with Cooper’s State of Emergency is he can currently extend it as long as he wants.
That’s why the General Assembly last year put a provision in the state budget limiting his emergency powers. According to Durham Herald Sun, it required the governor to “secure approval from the Council of State, who are the 10 statewide elected officials in the executive branch, within 30 days of an emergency order. After 60 days, the General Assembly would have to agree to an extension.”
The only problem with that legislative provision is it does not go into effect until January 1, 2023.
The legislature was correct in trying to limit the powers of the Governor to declare a State of Emergency that lasts forever. If you took a poll, few right-thinking people would agree we are still currently in a literal “State of Emergency.”
We applaud the legislative leadership for their efforts to limit the Governor’s executive power and bring common sense back to state government.