AP NEWS

Court: N Carolina lawmakers can decide block-grant spending

December 3, 2019 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court has agreed the General Assembly can decide how federal block grant money is spent, even when the governor wants to use it differently.

A three-judge Court of Appeals panel upheld unanimously on Tuesday a trial-court decision favoring Republican legislative leaders whom Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper sued over line-items in the 2017 state budget law. At issue is about how $17 million were spent.

Cooper’s attorneys argued the legislature violated his constitutional duty to administer the budget when it deviated from how he wanted to spend those federal dollars.

Judge Lucy Inman wrote for the panel that the funds are within the “state treasury” and thus subject to General Assembly appropriation.

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