WILMINGTON — Attorney General Roy Cooper was in Wilmington Monday speaking out on several controversial issues facing the state.
Cooper was in the Port City for the 91st annual North Carolina Sheriff's Association Training Conference, and he was not holding his opinions back.
To the group of more than 70 sheriffs from across the state, he spoke about the need for funding for in state DNA labs.
"Unfortunately, there was not any help this legislative session for DNA technology, and we've had a 64-percent increase in case submissions," Cooper said.
"We want justice to be as swift as possible. So, if we can get results back then we can proceed on with our criminal cases," said New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.
Cooper also answered questions about the election law overhaul bill that would require people to provide a state-issued photo ID and would shorten the early voting time period among other things.
"It loosens up a lot of campaign finance rules that ought to be tighter," he said.
Cooper believes it could discourage people from voting or at least make the process more difficult.
"I would hope the governor would look at it very closely and veto it," he said.
He also anticipates legal ramifications if Gov. Pat McCrory does choose to sign it into law, and he fears that could lead to heavy financial burdens for North Carolina's taxpayers.
"I could see millions of dollars in legal fees. That are really unnecessary," Cooper said.
However, as his position requires, Cooper said he will be prepared to stand by the state, regardless of his personal feelings.
"My office has defended and plans to continue to defend the state when it gets sued. That is the job of the attorney general, but it doesn't stop me from commenting on the public policy, and we've had some bad public policy pass this session," he said.
The Election Law Overhaul bill would also eliminate pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds.