NC's top elected officials hold in-person Council meeting

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's top elected statewide leaders on Tuesday held in person their monthly meeting to conduct state government business for the first time in over a year as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

All 10 Council of State members — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and others — joined state budget director Charlie Perusse for the council's meeting at the state emergency operations center, Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said.

Council members had met remotely since last spring to perform ministerial duties such as signing off on state property sales, building leases and the issuance of debt. Presenters of council business, visitors and the news media continue to participate using technology for now.

Some Republicans on the council led by State Treasurer Dale Folwell began last summer coming in person to his office for the meeting. Folwell had repeatedly urged Cooper, who runs the meetings, to return to in-person gatherings.

Tuesday marked the first in-person council meeting for the recently elected Robinson, schools Superintendent Catherine Truitt and Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson.

Nine of the 10 current council members were together in early January at the Executive Mansion for the inauguration. The televised event was choreographed to maximize social distancing between them.