The North Carolina Senate on Monday voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s politically-motivated veto of Senate Bill 68, which creates a bipartisan ethics and elections enforcement board with eight appointments, all made by the governor, evenly split between the two major political parties in the state.
Senate Rules Committee Chairman Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) issued the following statement:
“It is ironic that Gov. Cooper lectured the legislature about pursuing ‘partisan power grabs’ when he vetoed a bill creating a bipartisan board to ensure our ethics and elections laws are enforced fairly – and for no other reason than to strengthen his own political advantage. I am confident this change – which actually answers the court’s call to let the governor make all appointments to that board – is a step in the right direction for North Carolina.”
To address concerns raised by a three-judge panel regarding the division of appointments between the legislature and the governor in an earlier version of the law, Senate Bill 68 follows the current State Board of Elections model where all board appointments are made by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties. In addition, a simple majority vote – down from a supermajority of six to just five out of eight – will be required to make decisions regarding elections and ethics issues, and will encourage bipartisan cooperation.