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Gov. Cooper's veto of budget puts funding for Mitchell County school projects in jeopardy

The 2019-21 budget the North Carolina General Assembly adopted this past includes more than $10.5 million in capital funding for Mitchell County schools that could be used for either new schools or repairs and updates to existing schools. Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the budget puts that funding in jeopardy unless the legislature can override his veto.

“If we can’t override Gov. Cooper’s veto, Mitchell County will miss out on an infusion of much-needed funding to update our schools,” said Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Spruce Pine. “Our students deserve a modern learning environment, and this important investment would help deliver for our county. Gov. Cooper's decision to veto the budget for political reasons puts all of that at risk."

The funding is one piece of a $4.4 billion commitment to school capital over the next 10 years in the General Assembly’s budget. Of that total, $1.5 billion would come from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund, or SCIF, which receives a dedicated, automatic appropriation from the General Assembly every year. An additional $1 billion will come from the Public School Capital Fund and $1.9 billion from the Needs-Based Capital Program.

If Cooper’s veto is overridden, investments from these accounts to schools around the state could begin immediately, unlike a bond, which would take several years. Additionally, funding from these three accounts is debt-free, meaning the state would not waste money on unnecessary interest payments. A bond, by contrast, would consume hundreds of millions or billions of dollars from state coffers in interest payments, diverting resources from other priorities.

The MItchell News

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