The Watch Dog response: Thank you Senator for standing with our Governor. I have been saying since Matthew that folk better recognize who was in office. I told them these Republicans ain’t gonna want to do anything and if they did it would be very little. I said and the next time around if they are still in control they will not get anything.
I am in agreement with Governor Roy Cooper’s sentiments. The Trump Administration and Congress’ measly funding for federal disaster for Hurricane Matthew were extremely disappointing. It’s less than 1 percent of what the state requested.
Governor Cooper requested more than $900 million in federal relief which is quite a conservative request in comparison to the damage done by Hurricane Matthew. Only $6.1 million in federal money was approved. This isn’t even enough to bring affected areas back to “prior fund damage” levels.
What I’d hoped for was exactly what our Governor requested for federal funding for:
▪ Housing repairs: $166 million for homeowners’ repairs, $63.7 million to repair rental housing, $15.2 million to repair public housing.
▪ Agriculture: $92.6 million to cover losses the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t cover, such as livestock, equipment and feed.
▪ Small business: $39 million to help close to 700 small businesses.
The above areas had the most impact in my District.
I call upon my Senate leaders to come up with additional funding, either through an immediate supplemental spending bill or in the next appropriations process to provide the much needed investment in recovery.
Being that North Carolina was underfunded at the federal level, it is unacceptable and shameful that the Senate budget fails North Carolinians affected by the storm. Hurricane Matthew was a catastrophic event that is best responded to outside of our biennium budget process. The appropriations should have never been included with the limitations of a $22.9 billion spending cap. We can do better than this. We are better than this. This budget does not reflect it!