House Bill 264, Emergency Powers Accountability Act, aligns the letter of the law with the intent of the law concerning the governor’s powers during an emergency. No one person should have the power to unilaterally shut down the state for an indefinite period. By reinforcing a check on the office of the governor, HB264 defends the freedoms of North Carolinians from government overreach. Civitas Action believes the vote for freedom is a vote YES on HB264.

North Carolina’s system of checks and balances is intended to diffuse decision-making between the branches of government and ensure that no one individual holds too much power. In times of emergency, it is important to strike a balance between empowering government to react quickly while safeguarding freedom.

HB264 strikes that balance by allowing the governor to issue emergency responses but requiring that he gain concurrence from the Council of State within 48 hours. This clarifying bill closes an inadvertent loophole in the state’s Emergency Management Act. The governor was never intended to be able to make unilateral decisions regarding a statewide emergency. HB264 updates the law to reflect that intent.

North Carolinians’ constitutional rights must be protected from government overreach, even during emergencies. For that reason, Civitas Action believes the vote to defend freedom is a vote YES on HB264.

Civitas Action will grade the Second Reading floor vote on this legislation in the House or Senate.

Civitas Action is a 501(c)(4) non-profit that educates and informs North Carolinians on policy issues and the actions of their elected officials.