Police officers return to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday, January 30, 2012, after making several arrests at a camp established by the Occupy Charlotte protesters.
Credit: JeffSinear / Charlotte Observer / Tribune News Service / Getty

A provision of North Carolina’s newly-passed state budget would create a “secret police” force, critics say, which would be run by a state legislative committee that is currently managed by Republicans.

After months of negotiations, the state budget passed in late September; the bill became law without Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature 10 days later. Cooper could not block the bill because Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the legislature, and North Carolina law does not allow the governor to make line-item vetoes.

A provision that was widely criticized by Democratic members of the legislature empowers the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations — sometimes referred to as Gov Ops — to conduct investigations into “possible instances of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, mismanagement, waste, abuse, or illegal conduct” by other state or local agencies or private companies or individuals who […]

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