North Carolina's state budget is now law. The $28 billion budget approved by the General Assembly last week was signed by Governor Roy Cooper on Monday (July 11th). Cooper signed the bill even though it did not include Medicaid expansion for which he had lobbied. Cooper said except for that, most of the bill met his favor: "it includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce. This budget does not include Medicaid expansion, but the leadership in both the House and Senate now support it and both chambers have passed it. Negotiations are occurring now and we are closer than ever to agreement on Medicaid expansion, therefore a veto of this budget would be counterproductive."
The budget includes the changes in the law requested by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure flexibility that is currently made possible by the Governor’s Covid-19 State of Emergency. The State of Emergency will be lifted on August 15th.
Lincoln County State Representative Jason Saine, Senior Appropriations Chairman in the House of Representatives, said he, too, is pleased with the budget, and with the over $29 million that will come to Lincoln County.
“I am grateful to be in a position where I can make sure that our district receives money back for many of our needs. For years, taxpayers in Lincoln County sent money to Raleigh that ended up being spent somewhere else. Now, in my position and working with great area partners like Senator Kathy Harrington, Senator Ted Alexander and Representative John Torbett, we can push for needs for Lincoln and Gaston Counties,” Saine said.
As one of three senior budget chairmen in the House, Saine is directly involved in crafting the state’s budget.
Saine said that he worked very closely with Senator Alexander, who represents Cleveland, Lincoln and the northwestern portion of Gaston county, on funding for local fire departments. He also worked with Representative Torbett and Senator Harrington, both of Gaston County, on a joint water/sewer project that totals $18.5 million and goes to Lincoln County to implement increased sewer capacity for industry near the Lincoln-Gaston eastern border.
“I am very proud of the effort put forth by my colleagues in making this happen for Lincoln County. Kathy, Ted and John have all been friends for many years, so it makes working together on funding like this easier,” Saine said.