Governor Cooper gives 50-50 response to last six bills for 2021 – Carolina Journal
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed three bills Thursday, December 9, but also vetoed three bills. House Bill 220, Choice of Energy and Senate Bill 725, Prohibit Private Money in Election Administration, were vetoed, which would have prohibited private groups from funding local election offices in North Carolina. The problem arose when a group founded by Mark Zuckerberg provided money for the 2020 election in Democratic-leaning communities.
With these vetoes, Cooper set a new single-year record for himself and tied former Governor Beverly Perdue’s record for most vetoes in a year with 16. Cooper stretches his record for greatest. number of vetoes by a governor of North Carolina with 69. All the previous NC governors combined had 35.
The NC Senate approved a measure prohibiting the use of private funds in the administration of elections. This stemmed from the use of so-called “Zuck Bucks” in the 2020 election in which a foundation funded by Mark Zuckerberg distributed money to local election offices to hire staff and cover other expenses. But the foundation distributed more to areas that had an increased likelihood of voting Democratic. SB 725 passed the House on November 17.
“Elections are fundamental to our democracy and in 2020 grants from non-partisan nonprofits were needed for necessities such as masks, disposable pens and other protective gear to keep voters safe during the pandemic, âCooper said. âThe legislature should start funding electoral councils properly to ensure accessible, safe and secure elections every time, which would end the need for subsidies. “
He also vetoed HB 220, Choice of Energy / Add’l Provisions. This measure would have prevented cities and municipalities from banning certain types of energy sources, such as natural gas. While no city in North Carolina is currently banning particular energy sources, the trend is starting in the west of the country as local governments begin to impose what they see as green policy on consumers. HB 220 was passed by lawmakers, arguing that energy policy should be set at the state level.
âThis legislation undermines North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy that is already creating thousands of well-paying jobs,â Cooper said. “It also wrongly deprives local authority and hinders public access to information on critical infrastructure that impacts the health and well-being of North Carolinians.”
Cooper’s last veto was on Bill House 294, Sale of Salvage Vehicles. He said he removes a layer of protection for consumers when purchasing a vehicle.
Bills he signed included Bill Hous 110, the owner’s submission of the HOPE application. The bill came as state and local leaders struggle to quickly distribute the federal rent aid they are responsible for administering. The changes will allow landlords to seek assistance on behalf of tenants, as well as other changes designed to facilitate more efficient administration of the program.
In 2020, as the world succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic policies that were shutting down businesses and thus freezing many revenues, a federal agency – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – declared a moratorium on evictions. The move was extremely disruptive for the owners and left them in limbo for months.
North Carolina implemented the Housing Opportunities and Eviction Prevention Program, or HOPE, to provide rent and utility assistance to low-income tenants who were experiencing financial hardship due to pandemic policies. , protecting them against disconnections and evictions of public services.
Senate Bill 473, Improving the Transparency of Local Governments, has been enacted. It prohibits public officials from profiting financially from their position. The move came after an audit released in May found that several Rocky Mount officials blocked the city’s utilities payment office from trying to recover $ 47,704 that Pro Mayor Tem Andre Knight owed in bills overdue public services. North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood’s office opened the investigation after receiving more than 200 complaints on its hotline alleging misconduct by City of Rocky Mount elected officials and employees .
SB 473 would make it a crime for elected officials to use their position and access to government resources for personal gain. It would also give some independence to local government offices responsible for auditing their government colleagues.
He also signed Senate Bill 329, which deals with rules relating to building permits and timeshares.