Governor steps in as legislators go home

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Give Gov. Pat McCrory credit for stepping up as North Carolina legislators packed their bags to go home.

Granted, the governor’s decision to order the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to drain four coal ash ponds has a limited impact, given the potential hazards posed by some 30 such deposits all over North Carolina. But McCrory showed he’s at least more connected than lawmakers appear to be to the growing frustration of North Carolina residents who have legitimate qualms about the safety of their drinking water supply.

Republicans hold super majorities in the N.C. House and N.C. Senate, yet the progress made by the legislature this year almost made Washington gridlock look like a fast track.

Legislators convened the short session in May, confident they would wrap up business by the Fourth of July and return home to campaign for re-election. But the state budget battle dragged on and on. And lawmakers left Raleigh last week with barely a lick and a promise to do something “later” about Medicaid.

Coal ash pond spills, once an alarming crisis, barely got a ripple of attention from the legislature.

If McCrory were a Democrat, one can’t help but wryly wonder how GOP lawmakers might have responded to the executive action he took as the session came to a close.

Can a legislature sue a governor?

We’re just glad someone is looking out for the safety of our drinking water – by whatever means necessary.