Cooper’s budget proposal includes Medicaid expansion, bonds

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 9:13 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is recommending to legislators how to spend nearly $1 billion in COVID-19 federal relief dollars, mainly for public health, K-12 schools and local governments.

But he asked separately on Wednesday that legislators reconvening in Raleigh next week spend more state tax dollars on disaster relief, at-risk students and teacher bonuses.

The Democrat also tacked on other policy and spending prescriptions that will likely be idled by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

They include Medicaid expansion and more than $5 billion in debt for capital projects and infrastructure.

Senate Republicans are wary of spending more state tax dollars during an uncertain economy. 

Senate Republicans said, “The Governor’s four-months-late budget proposal strips funding from the state’s Opportunity Scholarship program. Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan is apparently to prohibit low-income children from both public AND private schools.”

Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga), who co-chairs the Senate Education Committee, said, “The Governor uses a lot of buzz words, like ‘equity,’ but his four-months-late budget proposal is anything but equitable. It strips low-income children, many of whom are Black, from the chance to choose the education that best suits their needs. Under the Governor’s ‘equity’ plan, only the wealthy can attend private school.”

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