Long Road Ahead to Budget Deal

Long Road Ahead to Budget Deal

Carolina Public Press

April 1, 2021

Governor Roy Cooper’s $27.3 billion budget proposal released late last month includes pay raises and bonuses for teachers and school personnel and a $4.7 billion bond referendum for K-12, university and community college buildings, water and sewer infrastructure, and state cultural sites. The Governor was cautiously optimistic that this year’s budget debate wouldn’t unravel as it did 2019. The pandemic and an eagerness to move forward on infrastructure and school re-openings has changed the dynamics, Cooper said, even as he acknowledged that last year’s election left all the key players in place. State government is expected to receive roughly $5.3 billion in federal stimulus funds, along with $277 million from Washington for capital projects. County, tribal and municipal governments will receive another $3.3 billion. Also on the horizon: North Carolina’s share of federal infrastructure funds, which is expected to be the Biden administration’s next legislative initiative.

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