N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update | Eastern North Carolina Now

North Carolina's Medicaid program already covers children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, blind, disabled, etc.

News Release:


Rejecting Illegal Obamacare Expansion

    North Carolina's Medicaid program already covers children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, blind, disabled, etc. In 2013, the General Assembly passed a law to prevent the expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance to able-bodied, single, childless adults. Reversing course and expanding Medicaid now would cost North Carolina citizens billions over the next ten years and take away funding from important priorities like public education. Yet Gov. Cooper is trying to openly defy the law to expand Obamacare and spend billions of state taxpayer dollars without our legislative approval. We were forced to file a lawsuit after multiple attempts to amicably convince the governor to follow the law fell on deaf ears. Thankfully, the federal government is partnering with legislative Republicans to stop Gov. Cooper. An agreement made between legislative leaders and the new federal administration guarantees that Gov. Cooper's illegal scheme will be halted for at least the next roughly 90 days. This means that no matter what Gov. Cooper tries to do in the coming weeks and months, Medicaid expansion will not happen in North Carolina, period. The governor should abandon this political stunt at taxpayer expense.


Confirmation of Cabinet Secretaries

    As you may know, the Senate will soon begin a confirmation process for Gov. Cooper's cabinet appointees similar to the process currently underway with our federal government in Washington, D.C. From approving new regulations to granting small business permits to even renewing a driver's license, there's no question these cabinet secretaries wield a lot of power. This change follows the constitution and helps give North Carolinians confidence that our state's leaders will be held accountable. Article III, Section 5 of the North Carolina Constitution states: "the Governor shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators appoint all officers whose appointments are not otherwise provided for." In the coming weeks, our goal is to have a transparent and fair process where the governor's nominees are thoroughly considered. As long as Gov. Cooper's cabinet nominees have nothing to hide and are free of conflicts of interest, willing to follow the law and qualified, he should advise them they have nothing to worry about and encourage them to comply with the law.

    During opening day of the 2017 Legislative Session, I had the distinct honor to nominate Senator Louis M. Pate to serve as the Senate's Deputy President Pro-Tempore. Following the ceremonial session on January 11th we gaveled in last week for the start of official business.


Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge Restoration Project

    For the past one hundred years, the Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge has served as a symbol of the Hyde County community, culture and history. A provision in the 2016 state budget directed the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to engage in advanced planning of completion and renovations of the Lodge, and to develop a public/private partnership to facilitate the future operations. The reopening of the Lodge would help restore its significance and foster a link between the public and its natural resources. Last month, the University Of North Carolina School Of Government in association with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Hyde County released a report on the short-term and long-term impacts. To review a copy of the report click here.


Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies Golden LEAF Grant

    On Thursday, the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded a grant of $200,000, the maximum grant available through their Open Grants Program, to the Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies in Elizabeth City, N.C. Our state's ability to compete for jobs, develop a stronger economy, and promote greater economic prosperity is dependent on the quality of our education system. This pathbreaking school coordinates with Elizabeth City State University and their expertise to provide real-world learning opportunities tied to available jobs in the area and the state.

Senator Bill Cook
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