Republican Council of State majority asks Cooper to convene reopening meeting

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest at a North Carolina Council of State Meeting in Raleigh. Photo by Eamon Queeney, North State Journal

RALEIGH – The six Republicans who constitute a majority of the North Carolina Council of State sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper today asking him to convene a Council of State meeting to discuss plans for reopening North Carolina’s economy.

“We all understand that shelter-in-place cannot exist forever. With the rest of the Southeast, and the majority of the country, already providing structure and clarity to struggling businesses and works, North Carolina is lagging in communication” part of the letter reads.

The six members say their offices have been flooded with calls from business owners who thought they’d be allowed to open but must continue to wait at minimum two more weeks.

The letter also addresses the over 1 million North Carolinians, many in the restaurant and hospitality industry, who have filed for unemployment. The letter states that less than 45% of them have received any assistance from the Division of Employment Security.

“It is heartbreaking to hear the unending high volume of phone calls many of us receive daily from hopeless citizens down to their last few dollars” and the six members are asking Gov. Cooper to discuss provisions relating to restaurants, salons & barbershops, entertainment small businesses, church and worship services, hospitals, and health care.

At the end, the letter questions why the Cooper administration is claiming to use parts of White House guidance while minimizing flexibility at the county level for decision-making. The letter cites data that North Carolina is faring better in cases and deaths on a per-capita basis than the rest of the nation.

The six members signing the letter are Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey, Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry, Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, and State Treasurer Dale Folwell.