Commentary

Two more editorials: Keep special session to disaster relief

Two more major North Carolina newspaper editorials this morning are urging state legislators to stick to disaster relief during the special session that commences this morning.

The Fayetteville Observer editorial (“Lawmakers should pass disaster aid and go home”) concludes this way:

“Several members of the governor’s cabinet urged him to try to restrict the session to disaster aid, but McCrory insisted on including the broader language. Of course, the lawmakers don’t need the governor’s permission to do anything they want: Once they’re in session, they can set their own agenda, resurrect old legislation and otherwise follow their own counsel.

But ‘packing’ the court would be a dangerous mistake that could lead to Republican losses in 2018. Voter concerns that the state had strayed far from the political center – especially with controversial House Bill 2 – led to McCrory’s loss. Those same misgivings were the undoing of Sen. Buck Newton’s campaign for attorney general. Newton was an author of the business-killing ‘bathroom bill.’

Packing the court might be legal, but it stinks. It’s the very sort of underhanded, secretive move that Republicans long decried when the former Democratic majority indulged in it.

Our advice: Comfort the afflicted, then go home.”

Meanwhile, the Greensboro News & Record has this to say in an editorial on the question of how many political appointees the Governor should have:

“[The General Assembly] is holding a special session today, called for the purpose of providing disaster relief to areas damaged by floods and fires. The legislature can allocate funds from budgeted savings to boost recovery efforts.

That’s all it should do. But rumors persist that it will try to pack the state Supreme Court with two additional justices, change how election boards are constituted and reduce the number of exempt positions — all for political reasons.

It should do none of that. It should stick to its intended, important business and leave any other matters to its regular session, which opens in January.”

And in case you missed it, this morning’s NC Policy Watch Weekly Briefing explains why it’s ridiculous that lawmakers are keeping session plans secret — no matter what it is they end up doing. Let’s hope they’re paying attention.

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