2WTK: Fact Checking the Governors Debate

Fact Checking The Governors Debate

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper met for a debate Tuesday night where they were asked about House Bill 2, the Black Lives Matter movement and the Presidential Candidates.

READ: Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper Debate

WFMY News 2 was listening for what's fact and fiction.

The candidates covered a lot of ground in their hour-long debate but there were a few topics that stood out.

Governor McCrory has branded his first-term as accomplishing the Carolina Comeback.

"When I came into office, we lowered our corporate tax. We lowered our income tax and business tax. We got rid of a $2.6 billion debt that we owed to the federal government," said Governor McCrory.

Governor McCrory is right on all three points.

According to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, the corporate tax rate dropped from nearly 7-percent in 2012  to 4-percent lat year. Personal income tax dropped from as much as 7-percent to just below 6-percent.

The state also paid down a $2.6 billion unemployment insurance debt in 2015. The state had to borrow from the federal government after its unemployment trust fund ran out of money in 2009.

Another topic that the candidates spent quite some time on was teacher pay.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said, "When I was Senate democratic majority leader we moved teacher pay from 42nd in the country to 21st in the country in 4 years."

WFMY News 2 is giving Cooper a check for his comments too.

When Cooper became Senate Majority Leader in 1997, North Carolina's average teacher pay was just more than $31,000. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, that salary was the 42nd lowest in the nation.

Four years later, the average salary was nearly $43,000.

The issue of House Bill 2 was addressed during the debate and during that conversation, Cooper said Governor McCrory was using disaster relief funds to pay attorneys to defend the law.

"Governor McCrory took $500,000 directly out of the disaster relief fund and you know what it's for? House Bill 2. This is about, he wanted money for lawyers for House Bill 2 and took $500,000 out of the disaster relief fund," said Cooper.

This is half fact, half fiction.

The General Assembly did take $500,000 out of the state's Emergency Response Disaster Relief Fund back in June as part of a technical corrections bill. The money was transferred to the governor's office. At the time, lawmakers believed the money would be used to litigate House Bill 2.

Governor McCrory let the bill become law without his signature and said that he will not use the money from that fund to defend House Bill 2.

Copyright 2016 WFMY


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