Gov. Roy Cooper talks budget battle, medicaid


FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY) — The fight continues over the North Carolina state budget. It’s been 15 days since democratic Governor Roy Cooper made a counter-offer to the two-year plan written by republicans, and still no action has been taken.

The governor vetoed the republican-written budget back in June. His counter-offer includes Medicaid expansion, higher teacher pay, and money for public school construction. It also blocks a GOP provision to cut corporate franchise taxes.

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During a visit to Fair Bluff this afternoon, Gov. Cooper explained why he thinks expanding Medicaid is so important.

“We’ve been waiting for over five years for the legislature to expand medicaid, and it hasn’t happened yet,” Cooper said. “And now that we’re talking about a $24 billion budget, now is the time to talk about $4 billion more coming in to help the people of North Carolina. It’ll help a lot of our veterans, it’ll help this opioid crisis.”

Gov. Cooper says if his budget plan is approved, Medicaid expansion would create 226 jobs in Columbus County alone. He also says it would provide 2,000 more people in Columbus County with healthcare.

Cooper says he’s hopeful republican leaders will be willing to negotiate over the budget.