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North Raleigh Today

Monday, April 6, 2020

Courts agree General Assembly can direct block grant spending, not governor


By Zeta Cross | Dec 17, 2019

Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) | Twitter

Gov. Roy Cooper has lost a three-judge Court of Appeals decision on his right to decide how to spend federal dollars. 

The Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court decision over the governor’s discretion to direct the spending of line-items in the 2017 state budget. 

Cooper’s attorneys had argued that the governor was within his rights to spend $17 million in federal block grant dollars as he saw fit, in spite of the opposition of the state legislature. In the panel’s decision, Judge Lucy Inman said that the funds were within the “state treasury” and, therefore, subject to General Assembly appropriation. 

State Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said in a statement that the governor, a Democrat, is the one who is in violation. “Cooper keeps trying to violate the Constitution to dole out taxpayer money to whomever he wants, and he keeps losing,” Brown said. 

The issue is one of several legislative actions that Cooper has challenged in court

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