Gov. Roy Cooper attempted to violate Article III, Section 5 of the North Carolina Constitution, which allows him to call for an extra session “on extraordinary occasions, by and with the advice of the Council of State.”
Gov. Cooper’s stated purpose for the session was redistricting. But the governor has no constitutional role in redistricting, and we have no order from the courts to redraw maps by his preferred timeline.
There is also no extraordinary occasion, since, among other reasons, the General Assembly is already in regular session and conducting the public’s business. It is unprecedented in modern history for the governor to call an extra session while the legislature is in regular session. There are also serious concerns that the governor did not meaningfully comply with the constitutional requirement to seek advice from the Council of State.
As soon as the courts give the legislature direction on this matter, we will be prepared to undertake a thorough redistricting process with ample notice and opportunities for public input when they do.
In the meantime, we refuse to be manipulated by the governor into having an unconstitutional special session and will keep our focus on passing a balanced state budget that raises teacher pay, provides relief to the communities affected by Hurricane Matthew and puts money back into the pockets of middle-class families.