Former governors who have just left office would be entitled to a state bodyguard for a year if they request one, under a bill filed Thursday in the General Assembly.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Dan Bishop, a Republican from Charlotte who was prompted by a January confrontation in Washington, D.C., involving former Gov. Pat McCrory. A group of people yelling “Shame!” chased McCrory and called him a bigot for his support of House Bill 2.
Under Senate Bill 229, immediate past governors could occasionally receive protection from a member of the State Highway Patrol. Travel, lodging and other costs of the officer would be borne by the current governor’s office.
The bill would also extend criminal penalties to include harassment of executive, legislative and court officials for one year after leaving office.
Soon after the incident in Washington, Bishop said he would file a bill addressing the issue. Bishop was one of the key sponsors of HB2.
Sen. Brent Jackson, a Republican from Autryville, is a co-sponsor of the governor protection bill.