Gov. Roy Cooper signs state budget bill

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper took several actions on Monday will pending legislation, signing the state budget bill and vetoing four bills.

“Today, I signed the state budget that includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce,” said Cooper in a statement. “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.”

Cooper’s office also announced that changes requested by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure flexibility to respond to the pandemic means that he will lift the state of emergency on August 15.

In a joint statement following the budget signing, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) and Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) said, “The General Assembly passed the 2022 budget with strong bipartisan support, and we are pleased Gov. Cooper signed this responsible spending plan into law. Moving forward, we are committed to working together to improve healthcare access and expand Medicaid, while providing the necessary safeguards to preserve the state’s fiscal strength. Active negotiations are occurring now toward that end.”

Gov. Cooper also signed another bill into law, House Bill 252, which makes several changes for bail bondsmen and other administrative changes.

The four bills vetoed by Cooper include two relating to law enforcement: House Bill 49, which would allow concealed carry permit holders whose permits lapse to more easily obtain a renewal; and Senate Bill 101, which would require sheriffs to cooperate on detainers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Gov. Cooper allowed the 2022 Regulatory Reform bill to become law without his signature.

More state budget coverage can be found in this week’s North State Journal print edition.