Apparently Gov. Pat McCrory is a glutton for punishment when it comes to being abused by his Republican colleagues in the General Assembly.
The governor made the laudable call to bring lawmakers back for a special session starting Tuesday to pass relief measures for those affected by Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in Western N.C., but he declined to restrict the agenda to those subjects. His call includes an ominously vague phrase allowing lawmakers to address “any other matters.”
That is an invitation for the lame duck governor to be presented with more controversial legislation as he limps through final month of his tenure. These lawmakers are not a group a governor should give a blank check to. After all, they’re the ones who thought it a great idea to ram through House Bill 2 in their last special session, a law McCrory rashly signed and, with that, signed away his chances of a second term.
Why has he left himself open to a court-packing bill or social-issue legislation this legislature might pass in its pre-Christmas holiday mood?
McCrory should avoid leaving office on another divisive note. Instead he should urge the legislature to confine its efforts to helping hurricane and wildfire victims.
Natural disaster response is one area where McCrory has earned high marks from the public. Signing smart and generous legislation to help people and towns still coping with those events be a good way for McCrory to leave and a good way to be remembered.