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I have been working hard on the state budget and I have been able to help create a budget that is good for our community.
Gov. Cooper is holding up the state budget because he wants to expand Medicaid to include able-bodied adults. Medicaid expansion is a priority of the National Democrat Party. Gov. Cooper needs to please the National Democrat Party because he is a top contender for the vice presidential candidate. He is a popular governor in a purple southern state. Medicaid expansion would benefit our community. Medicaid expansion would provide several million dollars for the Granville Health System.
The budget that the governor has vetoed is also very good for our community. The budget contains $14 million for Granville County Schools capital projects. There is also $7.4 million for Vance-Granville Community College. A direct grant for $600,000 for South Granville County Water and Sewer. A direct grant for $400,000 for Granville Health System.
One of the biggest problems in Granville County is the high cost of water. This budget has some opportunities for the two water systems to get help from the state and federal government. This budget allocates more than $39 million over the biennium to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for land preservation and clean water projects. Granville County is positioned to take advantage of these funds. There is a provision for $18 million to establish the creation of the viable utility reserve, which will provide grants for distressed water and wastewater systems throughout North Carolina. It provides additional funding to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which is a federal-state partnership to help ensure safe drinking water.
In Granville County, I represent the second largest group of state employees after Wake County. I advocate for the state employees. This budget provides most state employees a 5 percent salary increase — the largest salary increase in more than a decade.
The biggest benefit from this budget is that the Oxford-Henderson area has been chosen as the new home of NC Department of Health and Human Services. This is a $250 million investment in our community and means 1,000-2,000 new jobs. This investment will have a significant impact in cutting the cost of providing water and sewer. It will also be a tremendous boost for our schools. The impact on our local businesses can’t be over-emphasized.
I care very much about representing our community in Raleigh and the budget is a big part of my work. Rep. Terry Garrison is supporting the governor in his veto over the Medicaid expansion issue. Please urge Rep. Garrison to support the community despite the objection of the governor.
Rep. Larry Yarborough is a Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly representing the state’s 2nd House district, including constituents in Granville and Person counties.