RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Gov. Roy Cooper revealed his recommended budget which is aimed at strengthening education and increasing mental health support in NC.
During his State of the State address, Cooper said his proposal will use the state's surplus to fully fund the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan.
That includes pay raises for teachers and funding to keep schools safe.
The proposed budget includes an average 18% teacher raise over 2 years and a $1 billion plan to support mental health. That would be the largest investment in state employee compensation in 50 years, according to his office.
"We are at a historic moment with an unprecedented opportunity to make 'once-in-a-generation' investments in our future," Cooper said. "North Carolina has built on our success to strengthen our place as first in opportunity, and we will continue that growth only by making sound investments in our families, workforce, schools and communities. Let's take advantage of our unlimited potential to make sure every North Carolinian can thrive."
House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, released a response after Cooper revealed his recommended budget, saying "Governor Cooper's budget proposal takes the same reckless approach to spending that his fellow Democrats have taken in Washington. Unfortunately, this kind of runaway spending has resulted in a failing economy that has left millions of Americans behind.
"The General Assembly will continue on the fiscally responsible path that has made our state attractive to so many," Moore continued. "Now Governor Cooper is proposing a budget that effectively eliminates the tax cuts that will help North Carolinians make ends meet and have attracted families and businesses to our state. Over a decade of Republican budget leadership has put North Carolina on solid financial ground. This is no coincidence-- our fiscally responsible approach to spending works."
Republicans in the General Assembly are the ones who write the state's budget before it is voted on in the house and sent to the governor.
"This is an irresponsible, unserious proposal from a lame-duck governor who wants future North Carolinians to pick up his tab," Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said, "Gov. Cooper wants to go on a reckless spending spree by raising taxes, raiding the state's savings account, and proposing the largest increase in year-over-year spending in the state's history. He is following the same failed Democratic playbook that is causing residents to flee blue states like New York, California, and Illinois."