Cooper signs nine bills into law

Governor Roy Cooper speaks during a press briefing on the COVID-19 virus at the Emergency Operations Center on Thursday, June 18, 2020 in Raleigh. Photo via NC Dept of Public Safety

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday signed nine bills into law including salary increase for teachers and funding for the NC Promise tuition plan.

Cooper made a statement regarding SB 818, the bill to provide additional compensation for public school employees.

“I signed this bill because it funds step increases for teachers that have already been promised, but it falls outrageously short on raises we need to give teachers and all school personnel like bus drivers and cafeteria workers. The Legislature must make educator pay a top priority when they come back in September.”

Senate Republicans pointed out that over the last five years, the General Assembly delivered the third-highest pay raise in the entire country to teachers, despite repeated vetoes from the governor on many of those bills.

“North Carolina now ranks second in the southeast because of Republican-led teacher pay raises,” Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said. “It wasn’t too long ago that Democrats had to fire teachers and cut their salaries because of their budgetary pratfalls.”

“Republicans in the legislature have made incredible strides since 2011,” Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) said in a statement after the General Assembly adjourned. “The last two years have been about good governance. We’ve practiced discipline in spending and increased our state’s savings to prepare for the worst. States across the country are preparing to cut services and raise taxes to fill budget holes. Thankfully, because of our preparation and foresight, North Carolina is not one of them.”

The other bills signed by the governor include funding for state parks, agricultural science centers, and various changes regarding e-filing, salary contributions, and utility vehicle classifications.