Cooper, Republicans vow to work together on hurricane relief

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Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican leaders in the General Assembly confirmed on Tuesday their intention to order a special legislative session for hurricane relief on October 2.

“The first thing we need to do is unlock the rainy day fund,” Cooper told ABC11 while touring damage in Kinston. “Clearly, there’s been a rainy day in North Carolina.”

Lawmakers confirmed the reserve fund has about $2 billion set aside for natural and economic disasters such as this; the state legislature appropriated more than $360 million for Hurricane Matthew recovery the last two years.

MORE: Full coverage of Hurricane Florence

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake County, a ranking member of the House who plays a lead role in writing budgets, expects the Hurricane Florence package to exceed that of Hurricane Matthew.

“Our counties need lots of help, our small businesses need help, and we need to work on a coming housing crisis because of the hurricane,” Dollar explained. “I expect bipartisanship and I expect all our bills to have support from both sides of the aisle.”

Asked about the potential for Republicans to address non-hurricane matters, Dollar told ABC11 that Republicans have nothing else on the agenda.

In December 2016, the GOP-led General Assembly called another special session immediately after passing the Hurricane Matthew relief package. Among the bills passed were new limits on executive powers just as then Governor-Elect Roy Cooper was to take office.

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