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Cooper Fires Back At Republicans After Special Session

Governor Roy Cooper
Logan Ulrich

Governor-elect Roy Cooper fired back at Republican lawmakers Thursday in response to their attempts to limit his powers before he even enters office.

The General Assembly is considering a wide-ranging proposal that would roll back many of the governor's powers to appoint boards and cabinet secretaries. Cooper said the measures taken in a special session were more “ominous” than a simple power grab.

“They knew for weeks what they were going to do and they didn't tell the public. That's wrong,” Cooper said. “They need to put these issues out on the table so that the people know about them so that there's time to debate them.”

Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, but the governor’s mansion will switch from red to blue when Pat McCrory leaves office and Cooper enters.

During a special session called immediately after one held to appropriate $200 million to victims of Hurricane Matthew and western forest fires, Republican lawmakers added various provisions that would limit the powers of the executive branch.

In a press conference this morning, Cooper said the moves by Republicans would have wide-ranging impacts in education, tax policy, and health care. He also criticized how the special session was called on the heels of disaster relief.

Cooper said he would fight any changes to the governor's authority in court.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.
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