NC Republicans give final OK to legislation curbing appointment powers held by governor

The state seal in front of the General Assembly is shown.

RALEIGH — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders finalized their efforts to curb the appointment powers of the governor on several boards and commissions, extending a yearslong struggle with Democrat Roy Cooper over who controls key panels within state government. 

Compromise legislation worked out by House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger and others would take away from the governor the ability to pick many spots on panels that among others set electricity rates and environmental regulations and approve road-building projects. 

Cooper and his allies have called versions of the bill earlier this year unconstitutional power grabs. 

Republican legislative leaders argue a rebalance of power is necessary to ensure differing viewpoints beyond those preferred by the governor. Democrats cite state court rulings going back 40 years addressing the separation of powers as evidence that the bill would be unconstitutional. 

“Consolidating power in this body is a bad, bad, bad idea,” House Minority Leader Robert Reives of Chatham County said during debate. “I struggle to believe that continuing to consolidate power in this body is best for North Carolina.”