Cooper says he’ll call special session on redistricting – News & Observer

RALEIGH

Gov. Roy Cooper, trying to put pressure on lawmakers to redraw state House and Senate election maps within the next two weeks, said he would call for a 14-day special session of the legislature.

The session Cooper plans to call would run simultaneously with the ongoing regular session, which is due to end some time this summer. He said such a concurrent session is rare but not unprecedented.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a lower court ruling that found 28 legislative districts to be illegal racial gerrymanders that diluted the overall influence of black voters.

“That means Republican politicians have been picking their voters instead of voters picking their politicians,” Cooper said Wednesday. “They’ve rigged the system and it’s just wrong.”

But the justices vacated an order by the lower court to redraw the maps and hold special elections in 2017 in the changed districts. That three-judge panel will now reconsider the means of correcting the problem.

Cooper said the special session would start Thursday. (Read more)

Board of Elections Status As Of May 27, 2017 Thank You Governor Roy Cooper For Continuing To File Lawsuits

Cooper has already sued lawmakers over other measures they passed in the December special session, including merging the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission, requiring Senate confirmation of his cabinet secretaries and sharply reducing the number of political appointments he could make in state agencies.

A three-judge panel ruled in his favor on the elections-ethics and political appointments issues but said the cabinet confirmations process doesn’t violate the state constitution. After lawmakers tweaked the elections-ethics combination to meet the judges’ concerns and passed it over his veto, he filed a second lawsuit over the matter.

Source: WRAL

Cooper again challenges lawmakers over appointment powers – WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday filed another lawsuit against legislative leaders, accusing them of overstepping their authority in reducing the size of the state Court of Appeals and in controlling various state boards.

The lawsuit marks the third time Cooper and lawmakers will battle in court since his election six months ago.

The General Assembly in March approved legislation cutting the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12 as three older judges reach the mandatory retirement age of 72. The move prevented Cooper from naming people to serve the remainder of the judges’ terms. He vetoed the bill, but lawmakers overrode the veto. (Read more)

NC asks for $900M in flood relief, feds give $6.1M, Cooper says – WRAL

The Watch Dog response: Thank you Senator for standing with our Governor. I have been saying since Matthew that folk better recognize who was in office. I told them these Republicans ain’t gonna want to do anything and if they did it would be very little. I said and the next time around if they are still in control they will not get anything.

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina asked the federal government for $900 million to help relieve parts of the state ravaged by Hurricane Matthew flood waters, but the government only offered $6.1 million, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news conference on Wednesday. The $6 million of relief money is less than 1 percent of what the state asked for.

“I am deeply disappointed that Washington isn’t making North Carolina’s urgent need a top priority,” the governor said.

“Matthew did an estimated $4.8 billion in damages to 50 counties in North Carolina,” Cooper said during a news conference about the state’s preparations for hurricane season. “That’s half of our entire state.” (Read more)

Senator Smith-Ingram’s Statement on Hurricane Matthew Funding

The Watch Dog response: Thank you Senator for standing with our Governor. I have been saying since Matthew that folk better recognize who was in office. I told them these Republicans ain’t gonna want to do anything and if they did it would be very little. I said and the next time around if they are still in control they will not get anything.

I am in agreement with Governor Roy Cooper’s sentiments. The Trump Administration and Congress’ measly funding for federal disaster for Hurricane Matthew were extremely disappointing. It’s less than 1 percent of what the state requested.

Governor Cooper requested more than $900 million in federal relief which is quite a conservative request in comparison to the damage done by Hurricane Matthew. Only $6.1 million in federal money was approved. This isn’t even enough to bring affected areas back to “prior fund damage” levels.

What I’d hoped for was exactly what our Governor requested for federal funding for:

▪ Housing repairs: $166 million for homeowners’ repairs, $63.7 million to repair rental housing, $15.2 million to repair public housing.

▪ Agriculture: $92.6 million to cover losses the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t cover, such as livestock, equipment and feed.

▪ Small business: $39 million to help close to 700 small businesses.

The above areas had the most impact in my District.

I call upon my Senate leaders to come up with additional funding, either through an immediate supplemental spending bill or in the next appropriations process to provide the much needed investment in recovery.

Being that North Carolina was underfunded at the federal level, it is unacceptable and shameful that the Senate budget fails North Carolinians affected by the storm. Hurricane Matthew was a catastrophic event that is best responded to outside of our biennium budget process. The appropriations should have never been included with the limitations of a $22.9 billion spending cap. We can do better than this. We are better than this. This budget does not reflect it!

Cooper vetoes court, elections bills – WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday issued the second and third vetoes of his administration, rejecting bills that would cut the size of the state Court of Appeals and would combine the state boards that oversee elections and ethics complaints.

Lawmakers last week approved legislation that would reduce the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12 in the next couple of years as three older judges hit the mandatory retirement age. Normally, Cooper would be able to name replacements to serve out the remainder of the judges’ terms. (Read more)

Cooper Names DA Robert Evans as GCC Chairman

The Watch Dog response: Congrats Mr. DA a well deserved appointment.

RALEIGH

Mar 2, 2017

Governor Roy Cooper today named District Attorney Robert A. Evans of the Seventh Judicial District as the new chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission.

“District Attorney Evans will bring deep knowledge of the justice system and law enforcement along with even-handed judgment to guide the 44 members of the Crime Commission,” Cooper said. “I’m grateful that D.A. Evans is willing to take on this challenging and crucial role on behalf of our state.”

Evans has been the district attorney for Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties since 2009.  He served as a District Court judge from 1999 to 2008.  Prior to that time, he maintained a general law practice in Rocky Mount that focused on trial and appellate work.

Evans graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1970.  He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1974, and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977. (Read more)