WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Roy Cooper had a busy day in the Port City as he held a roundtable with Wilmington film industry leaders and headlined an event Tuesday.
During Gov. Cooper’s visit he stressed three key issues, bringing back the film industry, the repeal of House Bill 2 and education.
Cooper received a warm welcome as the keynote speaker of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s 150th annual meeting. More than a hundred people applauded the governor throughout his speech as he continues his fight to repeal House Bill 2 despite the recent battle with GOP lawmakers.
“The problem is that they’ve been maybe willing to repeal House Bill 2,” Cooper said. “But they want to replace it with something else. And the key is making sure that we don’t get something that replaces it that may be just about as bad.”
The recent bill proposed, House Bill 186 would repeal the controversial bathroom bill and allow cities to pass their own nondiscrimination ordinances. However, Cooper wants the whole thing repealed.
“We have to make sure that it does indeed bring back the jobs and the sporting events. And the films,” Cooper said.
Cooper also met with local film industry leaders at Circa 1922 in downtown Wilmington Tuesday afternoon.
“To talk to people to get first hand the problems that people have faced. The cause of the dialing back of the incentives program. And what we can do to show legislators that this is something where they ought to invest,” Cooper said.
This comes after the governor proposed a new film incentive plan earlier this month. The proposal offers $9M for each television show, $12M for each feature film along with money for commercials.
“Now it’s time to invest we think in things we know that work. And that help grow our economy. And I think this is one of them,” Cooper said.
The last key issues Cooper discussed increasing funding for early childhood education, raising the average teacher pay by ten percent over the next two years, and investing more in higher education.
If the film incentive budget is approved Governor Cooper says things should be up and running again as early as next year. As for the repeal of House Bill 2 and education, those are both issues Cooper says he will continue to work on.