Could Cooper callously continue to play favorites with individual corporations at the exact same time he was putting hundreds upon hundreds of small businesses at risk of closings, bankruptcies, and ruin? Yes. Of course. At several levels worse than last year, even.
Medicaid enrollment is up across the country, including North Carolina, which means costs are up, too. States don't have the flexibility to borrow and print money as the federal government does, so planning for the future is especially important when facing economic uncertainty.
Just before Labor Day, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the final bill appropriating money from North Carolina’s $3.6 billion share of the Coronavirus Trust Fund. He was clearly under duress. A veto of the bill that passed with large bipartisan majorities would surely have been overridden.
The remedial plan requires more than just the cooperation of the General Assembly. Instead, it requires the defendants to coordinate with multiple entities that never have been involved in the Leandro case or have only a tangential connection to it.
Yesterday, NC legislators described their plan to use more than $1 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Today, they will provide legislation and vote on it. But some differences between the governor's plan and the legislature's plan are already apparent.
Lacking any guidance from Congress on the Coronavirus Relief Fund question, budget decisions will continue to be made in a fog of uncertainty. It underscores the need for even more spending restraint than the General Assembly has demonstrated since 2011.