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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Attorney General Roy Cooper is speaking out against Republican plans to move the state bureau of investigation out of his control.

The Senate’s budget plan calls for the move to an appointee of the governor’s choosing. Supporters say the change moves all the investigating agencies into one department.

If the budget is approved, starting July 1 more than 400 SBI positions will be transferred from the Department of Justice to the Department of Public Safety.

“It’s been that way for 75 years,” Cooper said during a visit to Wilmington. “They’ve done an excellent job. I don’t see any need to change it.”

Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District), who supports the move, says it will save the state nearly $2 million a year.

“It will improve it greatly,” Goolsby said. “They will be able to work with Alcohol Law Enforcement, State Highway Patrol and Emergency Management.”

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