Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory held a bill-signing ceremony at the historic State Capitol Building to celebrate an overhaul to how the state pays for building and repairing roads.
"It's not run by projects or politics, it's run by economic development, congestion and safety, The politics are literally being taken out of it," McCrory told WRAL News after the signing.
Too often, he said, road funding has been based on which area of the state has the most political clout in Raleigh.
McCrory talked about the mobility formula and other topics Wednesday. Including:
Unemployment: Democrats have called on McCrory and legislative Republicans to adjust state law to avoid an "unemployment cliff," under which long-term federal benefits for unemployed workers will end July 1.
"My goal is to get people into jobs, not to continue to be on unemployment," he said. "People who are requesting this change want to keep the status quo, and that status quo has not been very beneficial to our state or families or individuals for the past two or three years. The last time I checked, the president has not waived our debt. We have to pay it. Now, if the president is willing to waive our debt, $2.6 billion, then I'll talk to these Democrat leaders."
Abortion: A bill that was heard on the House floor Wednesday would require school children be taught that having an abortion leads to future pre-term births. That idea is controversial. McCrory called the measure "an education bill" and said Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos supports it.
"A very small part of that (bill) deals with that issue," McCrory said. "I think you have some activists that are exaggerating the claims of this bill and trying to tie into things that don't exist."
Fundraising: McCrory is expected to appear at a "policy briefing" during a two-day conference held by Renew North Carolina Foundation, a group founded to support his agenda. Tickets to the dinner where McCrory will appear cost $1,000. Two passes to the entire retreat cost $10,000.
Some critics have suggested it was unseemly for McCrory to appear at an event that grants exclusive access to such high-rollers. McCrory replied that he speaks to lots of groups and that he will be doing a public event on the same day.
"I'm doing everything that's proper. I hear a lot of people accusing and doing seven degrees of separation. I read a lot of headlines in the media about kind of accusations, but there's no facts to back it up," he said.
McCrory had no comment on Wednesday's landmark rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on California's Proposition 8 or the striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, both of which deal with gay marriage. The governor said he had not been briefed on the issues or how they might affect North Carolina.