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RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – Arts and culture efforts in Guilford County, as well as water and sewer projects in Alamance County, found their place in North Carolina’s $27.9 billion budget plan.

The updated state budget passed both houses and is headed for Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk, but his veto pen appears neutralized by the 13 Democrats in the Senate and 19 in the House who joined all Republicans in approving the 2-year spending plan. That outcome would suggest a supermajority that could override Cooper’s objections.

State Sen. Amy Galey (R-Alamance), whose District 25 now includes part of Guilford County and Randolph County but as of November no longer includes Guilford, issued a statement that touted what was in the budget for her district.

She elaborated about the extra money for school safety and water and sewer projects. County projects she cited:

Alamance County

  • $525,000 for Water & Sewer Projects for the Town of Haw River
  • $500,000 for Water & Sewer Projects for the Town of Gibsonville
  • $237,000 for Water & Sewer Projects for the Town of Swepsonville
  • $10,000,000 for Water Treatment Upgrades for Graham
  • $11,925,000 for Water Treatment Upgrades for Mebane
  • $500,000 for YMCA Camp Frontier for Renovations/Upgrades
  • $938,000 for ABSS Athletic Facilities, including $688,000 for Cummings High School Track Renovation and $250,000 for the Eastern Alamance High School Stadium Renovation and Upgrade
  • $25,000 for Human Trafficking Prevention for the ABSS
  • $50,000 for the Open Door Clinic of Alamance
  • $50,000 for the Residential Treatment Services of Alamance, Inc.
  • $25,000 for the Family Abuse Services of Alamance County, Inc.
  • $50,000 for Ace Speedway Racing, Ltd.
  • $50,000 for Capital Improvements and Equipment the Town of Ossipee

Guilford County

  • $250,000 for the New Light Intergenerational Outreach Resource & Enrichment Center
  • Recurring $1,600,000 for the NC A&T Agriculture Research and Cooperative Extension
  • Recurring $200,000 for the NC A&T Center for Energy Research and Technology
  • $1,000,000 for High Point University Principal Preparation Program Support
  • $1,300,000 for the Carolina Maternity Home Association, Inc.
  • Recurring $102,453 and a one-time $1,149 for Judicial Support Staff Positions
  • Recurring $137,824 and a one-time $3,752 for Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Positions
  • $25,000 for AWOL Outreach Inc.
  • $150,000 for the High Point Arts Council, Inc.
  • $100,000 for the North Carolina Folk Festival
  • $50,000 for Fire/Rescue/EMS Grants
  • $749,000 for Guilford Technical Community College Esports
  • $250,000 for American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame
  • $75,000 for Capital Improvements and Equipment for the City of High Point
  • $500,000 for Capital Improvements and Equipment for the Hayes-Taylor Memorial YMCA
  • $1,000,000 for the International Civil Rights Center and Museum
  • $25,000 for the Pleasant Garden Fire Department
  • $75,000 for Senior Resources of Guilford
  • $1,000,000 for Capital Improvements and Equipment for Town of Gibsonville Police
  • $75,000 for Capital Improvements and Equipment for Town of Oak Ridge
  • $50,00 for Capital Improvements and Equipment for Town of Stokesdale
  • $100,000 for Capital Improvements and Equipment for the Wyndham Championship
  • $650,000 for Directed Grants for Local Governments of Kernersville
  • $300,000 for Directed Grants for Local Governments of Archdale for updates to the Archdale Police Department IT division

What do Triad lawmakers think?

North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, right, speaks about a budget agreement reached with House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, center, at a Legislative Building news conference in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson)

Not everyone thought the plan was good or bad. Democrats across the Triad were split in voting on House Bill 103. The Senate approved, 38-9, and the House vote was 85-27.

State Sen. Michael Garrett (D-Greensboro), one of nine Democrats in the Senate to vote against the plan, took to social media immediately to say he thought the document fell short.

“The people of North Carolina are facing inflation at every turn, at the pump, the grocery store, and the pharmacy,” Garrett wrote on Twitter. “We have the ability to deliver meaningful relief to our families, but this budget misses the mark. That’s why I voted, NO.”

State Rep. Donny Lambeth

In the Senate, though, Garrett’s seatmate, Gladys Robinson (D-Greensboro), voted for the bill. So did Wiley Nickel (D-Wake), the Democratic nominee in the 13th Congressional District.

In the House, Pricey Harrison (D-Greensboro) and Amber Baker (D-Winston-Salem) were among the “no” votes, but Ashton Clemmons (D-Greensboro) and Ricky Hurtado (D-Alamance) voted in favor.

“The budget is a good short session update that lives within the resources we have available,” state Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Winston-Salem) said in an email: “There are many good components, including additional employee raises, school safety grants school capital funds, health care support to many needed services. Overall a good update. Many new initiatives for the long session [next year].” 

But Garrett remains incensed because he doesn’t feel that the state didn’t help individuals cope. And he also doesn’t like that dollars were budgeted to help North Carolina ensure that the Atlantic Coast Conference keeps its headquarters in North Carolina, if not also in Greensboro.

Michael Garrett
State Sen. Michael Garrett

“While North Carolinians are facing rising prices at the pump, the grocery store, and the pharmacy, our state is sitting in record surplus revenue,” he wrote in a text message to WGHP. “We have the ability to return some of the surplus to our people, helping ease the pain of inflation for North Carolina families, but the budget missed the mark.

“Furthermore, asking the taxpayers of North Carolina to flip the bill for the ACC’s move to the tune of $15M is grotesque and shameful.” 

Clemmons and Hurtado did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Neither did Harrison, although she had said during the week that there were troubling parts of the plan.