The Republican-led legislative body in North Carolina passed several laws designed to undercut the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper last week, prompting former Republican Gov. Jim Martin to decry the practice.
The North Carolina General Assembly passed laws that strictly limit the number of positions a new governor is allowed to fill, also removing from the executive branch control of the state’s school system, according to USA Today.
Martin joined former Gov. Jim Hunt in an effort to encourage Republicans to step down, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I think they’d be going too far in taking away appointments to … the UNC system,” Martin told the Observer.
“I am very, very concerned,” four-term Democrat Hunt told the Observer. “I’m afraid if allowed to stand, it will result in education being much less effective in North Carolina, hurting the people and economy of our state.”
The action aims to strongly reduce the power of the Democratic governor-elect, who narrowly defeated Republican Pat McCrory in a close recount. McCrory eventually gave in, paving the way for Cooper to take the governor’s mansion in January.
The two former governors also joined McCrory two years ago, when the Republican governor sued the state legislative body over their encroachment of executive appointment powers. The State Supreme Court found one year later in favor of McCrory’s case, with a very strong 6-1 decision.
The North Carolina General Assembly attempted to reduce the power of the executive once before. When Martin was first elected in 1984, House Democrats attempted to force a constitutional amendment that would have restricted the governor to a single term.
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