Additional $100m for Hurricane Matthew recovery in state budget

Lawmakers unveil details of where $100 million of disaster relief funding will go

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
Chris Blackman wades through flooded Cedar Street in Lumberton

RALEIGH — Lawmakers unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday to direct the $100 million of disaster recovery funds that were allocated in the state budget, which was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper only to be quickly overridden by the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly.Senate Bill 338 will send aid to Hurricane Matthew, tropical storm and wildfire recovery efforts spanning from housing, infrastructure, agriculture and education in communities hit the hardest. It also provides $22 million to the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund to balance the state match for federal disaster assistance programs.”Protecting the victims of natural disasters is a core responsibility of the North Carolina General Assembly,” said Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) in a statement soon after the entire House voted for the bill during a Wednesday evening session, “and we’re well prepared to provide emergency relief thanks to responsible spending and record savings that ensure our state is in sound financial shape to serve citizens in times of crisis.”The bill marks the state’s second phase of Hurricane Matthew recover funding. In December, lawmakers approved the Disaster Recovery Act of 2016, which transferred $100 million from the state’s Savings Reserve Account into the General Fund to assist with the natural disasters that ravaged the state in the fall.Moore pointed to the now $1.8 billion that the state has in savings as a safety net for future natural disasters.