UNION COUNTY — The North Carolina House passed a $9 billion state budget (72-41) on the third reading last week (Aug. 12). The budget is under review by the state Senate until it is sent to Governor Roy Cooper’s desk for final approval or a veto.

First, the budget addresses funding for infrastructure projects across the state like appropriating $10 million for improvements to Old Monroe Road, according to the bill which can be found on the General Assembly’s official website. The bill addresses existing infrastructure needs rather than new projects.

Education is a priority within the state budget. Union County Public Schools will receive more than $2.1 million. The bill allotted a total of $750 million for school capital funding over the next two years. Educators’ salaries would see a raise of 5.5% on average over the next two years in addition to a one-time bonus.

Too, the bill provides money for humane welfare. Meaning the bill directs funding to mental health, drug treatment centers, domestic violence shelters, food banks, youth activity facilities as well as parks and recreation. During the pandemic going to parks for exercise, and/or a way for kids to have fun outdoors became popular; therefore, the bill provides funding for the upkeep of local parks and greenways.

Should the budget pass as is in the Senate and is approved by Governor Cooper, millions will be poured across the county. Over $39 million is allotted to wastewater and sewer, $1.6 million may be given to the Town of Stallings, $500,000 may be given to the Town of Weddington, two more magistrates, $250,000 for parks in Fairview as well as Indian Trail, $15 million may be given for the South Piedmont Aseptic Training Facility, $5.1 million may be given for economic development in Wingate, the Sam Keziah American Legion #535 may receive $250,000, the HELP Pregnancy Crisis Center in Monroe may be given $2.5 million and $50,000 may be given to the Unionville Fire Department for equipment.