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NC Could Lose Out On $92M Volkswagen Settlement Because Of A Power Struggle

Image of the North Carolina State Legislature Building in Raleigh.
Wikimedia Commons
Governor Roy Cooper and the Republican-led legislature disagree over who should control the money from a settlement with Volkswagen.

A disagreement over who should control settlement money from Volkswagen could cost North Carolinians $92 million. Volkswagen agreed to pay the state that money for selling cars that cheated on emissions tests, but both Governor Roy Cooper and the Republican-led legislature are claiming the right to dole out the funds. 

Republicans have included language in the budgets for 2017 and 2018 to ensure their control of the money, and Governor Cooper sued the legislature, calling it a constitutional overreach. Cooper lost that suit in 2018, but he has since appealed the decision. Some pundits say this fight could invalidate the Volkswagen settlement agreement and cost the state the $92 million.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Elizabeth Ouzts, a reporter for Southeast Energy News, about the roots of this power struggle.

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Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.