The House approved Senate Bill 4 on a vote of 67-23 and sent it to the Senate for final approval. The Senate signed off on it in the early afternoon and sent it to the governor, who signed it.
McCrory has not said whether he will sign another controversial bill, House Bill 17, which requires confirmation hearings for the new governor’s Cabinet officials and prevents him from appointing members of the UNC system schools boards of trustees. Steve Leonard, a UNC-Chapel Hill professor of political science and former chair of the UNC system Faculty Assembly, wrote to McCrory, warning that the bill could result in “severe sanctions” by the university’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The changes could also run afoul of accepted standards of several national higher education organizations, he added.State legislators wrapped up their work Friday on a pair of controversial bills that would deprive the incoming governor of a substantial part of his power to make appointments and reduce Democrats’ power over elections regulation. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill dealing with elections a short time later.
Less than an hour into the House’s morning session, about 100 protesters began chanting and were cleared from the gallery. They continued to shout outside the House chamber, and law enforcement officers had to clear the area and make #arrests. The protest was a smaller but highly vocal repeat of Thursday’s protests, and briefly brought the House deliberations to halt. #Protests and more arrests moved the Senate later in the day.
As the day wore on, several emotional House Republicans lashed out at the protesters, while Democrats defended them.