Cooper issues executive order extensions for evictions, unemployment and to-go cocktails

Two orders had Council of State concurrence; Emergency Powers Act filed passed by House would require concurrence in the future

Governor Roy Cooper speaks during a press briefing on the COVID-19 virus at the Emergency Operations Center on Thursday, June 18, 2020 in Raleigh, N.C. Photo via N.C. Dept of Public Safety

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper issued three executive order extensions on March 30 related to evictions, unemployment claims and to-go cocktail sales.

“Even though North Carolina is turning the corner on this pandemic, many are still struggling,” said Cooper in a press release. “These Executive Orders will help families stay in their homes and help hard-hit businesses increase their revenue.”

Executive Order 205

This order extends the authorization by the ABC Commission chair for the sale of “to-go” or carry out alcoholic mixed drinks by certain vendors. The order is effective March 31 at 5 p.m. and will expire on April 30 at 5 p.m. This is the second extension of the order originally implemented on Dec. 21, 2020.

Executive Order 206

This order extends North Carolina’s statewide residential eviction moratorium effective March 31 through June 30 in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recent extension of the nationwide moratorium through the same date.

This is the fourth extension of Cooper’s executive order 171 is based on the nationwide CDC order and prohibits residential landlords nationwide from evicting certain tenants who:

  • Have used their best efforts to obtain government assistance for housing;
  • Are unable to pay their full rent due to a substantial loss in income;
  • Are making their best efforts to make timely partial payments of rent;
  • Would become homeless or have to move into a shared living space if evicted

They also must meet certain financial requirements detailed in the order and in the frequently asked questions documentation.

Applicants eligible for the North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (“HOPE”) program are also specifically protected from eviction under this Order.

Executive Order 207

This order expedites unemployment insurance claim processing and is the first extension section 2(d) of executive order 184.  The order is effective March 31 and runs through June 31.

According to the press release the governor received concurrence from the Council of State on orders 205 and 206. A bill moving through the General Assembly seeks to require Council of State approval on future orders. House Bill 264, the Emergency Powers Act, would amend the governor’s ability to extend state of emergency-based orders unilaterally and indefinitely as Cooper has done over the last year.

During a debate Wednesday on the House floor, Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) gave a speech detailing how the state needs a “more collaborative process” and that other states like New York are taking similar actions by adjusting their state of emergency bills.

“Many people believe that in a state of emergency, you should have all hands on deck, not just one set of hands on deck,” said Bell.

Bell asked members to imagine what would happen if just one member of the House could ignore all other member votes and opinions to pass a law all by themselves. He used similar analogies of unilateral action in the areas of the state economy, law enforcement and education.

Watch the full speech below:

About A.P. Dillon 403 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_