By George Reed, Retired Executive Director
The General Assembly returns to town this coming Tuesday, December 13, for a special session called by Governor McCrory to consider disaster relief legislation related to Hurricane Matthew in the eastern part of the state and recent forest fires in the west. But, in light of the November elections, in which Democrats regained a 4-3 majority on the officially non-partisan state Supreme Court and narrowly won the governor’s office, speculation is growing that the General Assembly might also take action on one or more items that would counteract the clear will of the state’s voters by packing the court and/or limiting some gubernatorial powers. Chris Fitzsimon has just written a piece for NC Policy Watch about these deeply troubling possibilities. You can find it here.
Note that these are only possibilities. Legislative leaders haven’t said that they plan to push one or more of these power grabs, but they have declined opportunities to deny categorically that they might do so.
If you are offended by the possibility of this brazen power grab, it is crucial that you communicate your deep concern to appropriate elected officials. You can acknowledge to them that you know it is not certain that these items might be added to the special session, but be sure they know where you stand if it should happen. Emails and phone calls are appropriate to at least these elected leaders:
— Your state senator and state representative. (Remember that these are the same legislators you’ve had all year. If your district elected any new legislators last month, they haven’t yet taken office.) If you don’t know who your legislators are, click here for help. If you need their phone numbers or email address, click here for the House and here for the Senate.
— Speaker of the House Tim Moore, 919-733-3451, Tim.Moore@ncleg.net
— President Pro Tem Phil Berger, 919-733-5708, Phil.Berger@ncleg.net
— Governor Pat McCrory, 919-814-2000. Or use the form at http://governor.nc.gov/contact
Don’t delay. Remember, the HB2 session took just over 12 hours from start to finish, including the time it took for the ink to dry on the governor’s signature.