UPDATED, Dec. 20, 11:40 a.m.: Gov. McCrory signed the measure and it is now Session Law 2016-126.

In a press release, Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday evening he would sign House Bill 17, the measure reorganizing the executive branch and limiting the powers of Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper.

In the release, McCrory said:

“During the past week as the legislature called themselves back into session, I was actively working as your governor to protect the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government. Examples include discouraging proposed legislation moving major departments including Information Technology and Commerce outside of the governor’s authority. I also successfully worked to deter any efforts to expand the composition of our Supreme Court.

“Due to these efforts, I have come to realize that the current changes to executive authority in House Bill 17 have been greatly exaggerated by misleading TV ads, paid protesters and state and national media outlets.

“This bill enhances state employee policies, transfers school safety programs to the education department, allows our state legislature to make university trustee appointments, and clarifies the roles and organizational structure of the superintendent of public instruction and board of education – hardly extreme changes.

“My major disagreement with this bill is requiring confirmation of cabinet secretaries. This is wrong and short-sighted and needs to be resolved through the leadership skills of the governor-elect working with the legislature beginning in January. With this in mind, I will sign House Bill 17.”

Notwithstanding McCrory’s objections, Article III, Section 5 of the N.C. Constitution states:

(8)        Appointments.  The Governor shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators appoint all officers whose appointments are not otherwise provided for.

Confirmation of Cabinet secretaries is already allowed if not encouraged in the Constitution.

Be sure to check back with Carolina Journal for updates.