Lt. Governor Forest Questions Validity of Restaurant Ban

Raleigh, NC

Earlier today Governor Cooper announced, via a press release, that all North Carolina restaurants and bars must close in-restaurant seating by 5pm this evening. His mandate will devastate our economy, shutter many small businesses, and leave many people unemployed, especially in the rural areas of our state where food supply is already critical.

After the press release, and shortly before a scheduled press conference, I, along with other Council of State members, was asked to concur with the Governor’s decision with no discussion. The Governor held his press conference and made the announcement even after a majority of the Council of State voted not to concur with the Governor. Thus, he does not have the authority to issue this part of his executive order.

While I understand that all actions in a time of crisis are very difficult decisions and have many consequences, some decisions are so serious they require, by law, discussion with, and approval of, other state leaders.

Backround; https://files.nc.gov/ltgov/documents/files/Full-Email-Chain-COS-Restaurants.pdf