Gov. Cooper ready to present full 2-year budget plan; 9% teacher raise included

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North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is ready to offer his ideas on how to spend state money for the next two years.

Cooper planned to unveil on Wednesday the details of his state budget proposal through mid-2021. His spending plan comes with more weight compared to the past two years because Republicans in charge of the legislature no longer can override his vetoes on their own.

Cooper unveiled parts of his spending proposal on Tuesday in Greensboro. The $3.9 billion debt package would include $2 billion for public schools and $500 million each for the community college and University of North Carolina systems. Other proceeds would benefit water systems, the North Carolina Zoo and Museum of History.

House Republicans back a $1.9 billion education bond referendum that cleared a committee Tuesday.

Cooper says his budget also will include average teacher pay raises of over 9 percent in two years. He wants $40 million for school police officers, nurses and other health providers.

He also said his proposal will include a Medicaid expansion plan and a rural economic development program.

Cooper said he recognizes he won’t get everything in his budget but hopes a bipartisan budget can be negotiated with the GOP.

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