Emergency Powers Accountability Act Passes House Judiciary Committee
Raleigh, NC – Today, the Emergency Powers Accountability Act (HB 264), which will require the Governor to seek bipartisan approval from a majority of the Council of State for emergency executive actions, passed the House Judiciary 1 Committee.
The Council of State consists of ten executive offices established by the state constitution – the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, and Commissioner of Insurance.
“Our current emergency management laws were designed to deal with hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires – not a year-long pandemic,” said primary bill sponsor Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort, Craven). “This bill seeks to update and clarify these laws to reflect today’s realities and ensure greater bipartisan input from the Council of State. It is our belief that no one person - regardless of party - should have the authority to unilaterally shut down the state."
Specifically, the Emergency Powers Accountability Act would require the Governor to seek the concurrence of the Council of State when issuing a statewide declaration of emergency beyond thirty days. For this purpose, statewide would mean an emergency area of sixty-seven or more counties.