CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Monday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the Emergency Powers Accountability Act that would have limited his emergency powers by requiring any state of emergency lasting longer than a week would need the support of the North Carolina Council of State.
That council is currently dominated by Republicans. In a statement, Cooper, who is a Democrat, defended the veto by saying lawmakers shouldn't debate public emergencies.
"Critical decisions about stopping deadly diseases, or responding to any other emergency, should stay with experts in public health and safety, not a committee of partisan politicians."
Over the weekend, before Cooper vetoed the bill, Sen. Jim Perry claimed that Cooper had already used his veto power 64 times. Perry tweeted that the veto itself had only been used 99 times in North Carolina history.
Has Roy Cooper used his veto power more than any other governor in North Carolina?
Yes, Roy Cooper has indeed vetoed more bills than any other governor in North Carolina.
WHAT WE FOUND:
North Carolina allowed governors to veto bills, starting in 1997, giving them the power to stop a bill from becoming law unless two-thirds of the House and Senate voted to override the governor's veto.
"North Carolina was actually the last state to give the governor the veto power so this is a relatively new phenomenon," Bitzer said.
According to the North Carolina Veto History by the NC Legislative Library, from 1997 to 2021, there have been 100 vetoes in state history.
Cooper was elected to office as the governor in 2016. Since taking office, he's vetoed 65 bills as of Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
Right now, Republicans hold the majority of seats in the North Carolina House and Senate. Bitzer said that is part of the reason for the vetoes.
"Gov. Cooper has issued the most vetoes, primarily because he is a Democratic governor and it's a Republican legislature that often has supermajority status, so they were very easy to override his veto early on in his first term in his administration," Bitzer said.
State lawmakers overruled 23 of Cooper's first 28 vetoes. However, once Republicans lost their supermajority status in 2018, Cooper's vetoes have been upheld.
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