|Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R)|
The point of the session was to pass bills which would now limit the powers of the incoming Governor-elect Roy Cooper, a Democrat who defeated McCrory in a bitter campaign this fall.
McCrory spent weeks delaying the certification of the election trying to say there had been vote tampering and more. No evidence was found, and Cooper was declared the winner.
But, in the aftermath of that defeat, McCrory took a final slap against his opponent.
From NBC News:
The bill McCrory signed on Friday merges the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission into one entity comprised equally of Democrats and Republicans. Previous state law would have allowed Cooper to put a majority of Democrats on the board, which sets the rules for the state's notoriously burdensome balloting.
The measure also makes elections for appellate court judgeships partisan by requiring candidates to be listed on the ballot alongside their political party.
Protesters packed the halls of the General Assembly Friday as lawmakers voted on another bill that would require Senate confirmation for cabinet appointments. The state Senate voted to approve that measure Friday afternoon, sending it back to the state House for final consideration.
At least 16 people were arrested Friday, according to General Assembly police.
The series of measures were introduced in a surprise move Wednesday during a special session ostensibly called by the General Assembly to consider relief for Hurricane Matthew victims. Lawmakers did indeed approve a $201 million aid package earlier in the day, but then moved onto the legislation aimed at curbing the power of Cooper, who beat Republican McCrory last month by about 10,000 votes.
House Bill 17, which McCrory is expected to sign, legislates that Cooper’s cabinet picks must be approved by the GOP-controlled state Senate.