Money For NC 'Freedom Park' Signed Into Law By Gov. Cooper

Jul 2, 2020

File photo of two people walking dogs at a mostly empty Dix Park in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Credit Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Another two dozen bills were signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper, including one with money to help build a long-planned park to honor the contributions of African Americans in North Carolina.

The $1.5 million in matching funds for a “North Carolina Freedom Park” in downtown Raleigh was included in a measure that allocated money for building repair and renovations for state agencies and the University of North Carolina system.

Another measure, signed on Wednesday along with the other bills, distributes hundreds of millions of dollars more from North Carolina's $3.5 billion share of federal coronavirus relief funds. A law finalized in May already had distributed $1.6 billion.

In a statement, Cooper highlighted an additional $7 million allocated in the new law for personal protective equipment for the public schools but said "we need to work together to do more."

Other bills he signed locates funds to teach anticipated student enrollment increases at UNC system schools this fall; provides UNC schools, private colleges and community colleges immunity from lawsuits seeking financial damages on tuition and fees for the spring semester; and builds a new effort to renovate aging local water and wastewater treatment systems.

Cooper has 15 bills left on his desk from the General Assembly before it went home last week.