RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) - Former Rep. Susi Hamilton is scheduled to appear before the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources on Feb. 16 as part of the process outlined by lawmakers for her to become North Carolina Secretary for Natural and Cultural Resources.
The date is part of a tentative schedule of meetings sent by the office of Sen. Bill Rabon, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Nominations.
The General Assembly approved a law in December, two weeks before Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper took office, directing his 10 department heads to be subject to the "advice and consent" by a majority of senators. Gov. Cooper said the law is unconstitutional and has sued to try to block it, but there's nothing to prevent senators from moving forward.
The nominations committee has set up a tentative schedule for eight of Gov. Cooper's nominees to appear before a policy committee that corresponds to the department they would oversee. Sen. Rabon's office says lawmakers are working on the process the nominations would follow, but reports say the nominee would be reviewed by the Committee on Nominations before the full Senate votes whether to approve.
The tentative schedule for policy committee meetings, according to the document:
Feb. 8 Larry Hall (Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs) in Senate Commerce Committee
Feb. 14 Michelle Sanders (Dept. of Administration) in Senate State & Local government Committee
Feb. 16 Susi Hamilton (Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resource) Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
Feb. 21 Erik Hooks (Dept. of Public Safety) in Senate Judiciary Committee
Feb. 23 Tony Copeland (Dept. of Commerce) in Senate Commerce Committee
March 1 Jim Trogdon (Dept. of Transportation) in Senate Transportation Committee
March 8 Michael Regan (Dept. of Environmental Quality) in Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
March 16 Mandy Cohen (Dept. of Health & Human Services) in Senate Healthcare Committee.
A news release sent by Gov. Cooper's office on Jan. 27 states all "Cabinet secretaries announced by Governor Roy Cooper have been sworn in and are on the job,' which would bypass the confirmation process set up by lawmakers in the General Assembly.
Hamilton resigned from her District 18 seat in the state House of Representatives after being nominated by Gov. Cooper earlier this month. Democrats in New Hanover and Brunswick counties are moving forward with meetings to select a replacement.