Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ICYMI: Cooper’s signature on the state budget benefits greater Wilmington region by millions

Governor Roy Cooper signed the state budget, which includes millions going to New Hanover County nonprofits, schools, rail realignment, Wilmington Harbor enhancement, and more. (Port City Daily/Johanna Still)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Gov. Roy Cooper signed the state budget Thursday, Nov. 18, an undertaking that was three years in the making and included many months of negotiations in the N.C. General Assembly.

Democrats and Republicans called it a “compromise budget.”

“For the first time since 2018, North Carolina will finally have a comprehensive state budget,” House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said in a press release.

Though the assembly passed a spending plan in 2019, Cooper vetoed it because he said it “prioritizes the wrong things” — namely, he wanted Medicaid expansion and more educational resources, including teacher raises. The current budget passed the Senate 41-7 and the House 104-10, with all New Hanover and Brunswick county representatives voting aye; in Pender, Representative Carson Smith was excused, though Senator Rabon voted aye. 

While the budget includes teacher salary increases, it still lacks Medicaid improvements.

“This budget moves North Carolina forward in important ways,” Cooper said in a release. “Funding for high speed internet, our universities and community colleges, clean air and drinking water and desperately needed pay increases for teachers and state employees are all critical for our state to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever. I will continue to fight for progress where this budget falls short but believe that, on balance, it is an important step in the right direction.”

The fiscal 2021-2023 biennium budget — $25.9 billion for 2021–2022 and $27 billion for 2022–2023 — includes millions in funds for the greater Wilmington area. Local nonprofits secured grants, while lawmakers committed substantial investments to proactive approaches to flooding and natural disasters.

UNCW and New Hanover County Schools will receive money to help with capital projects and improvements, as well as fund salary increases and state benefits.

Area beach towns also will receive funds for beach renourishment.

In case you missed it, below is Port City Daily’s coverage on how money will roll into the area, from the rail realignment project to the Wilmington Harbor enhancement, Carolina Beach Lake’s dredging project to millions going toward research on ridding GenX from the Cape Fear River.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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