Governor Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Friday that would have allowed bars to re-open and begin serving beverages outdoors.
While supporters said the temporary measure could be a financial lifeline for bar owners, the governor rejected a provision in the House Bill 536 that would override his authority to close the establishments quickly if there’s another spike in coronavirus cases.
“State and local government leaders must be able to act quickly during the COVID-19 emergency to prevent a surge in cases that could overwhelm hospitals and harm the public,” explained Cooper in a press release.”House Bill 536 would limit the ability of leaders to respond quickly to COVID-19 and hamper the health and safety of every North Carolinian.”
The governor’s veto came hours after the state Department of Health and Human Services announced another 1,289 new cases of COVID-19 and 719 hospitalization, a new high for the state.
The NC Bar & Tavern Association filed suit on Thursday seeking to re-open bars to the public sooner than the phased-in approach proposed by the Cooper administration.