In a state that refused billions of dollars in federal money that would have let 500,000 low-income residents use Medicaid health coverage, and that recently froze pay raises for teachers, the governor is under fire for his plan to spend $230,000 of taxpayer cash to remodel the bathrooms in his house.
Now North Carolina’s Republican Governor Pat McCrory says that he won’t be using public funds to upgrade any of the six bathroom facilities in the state’s Executive Mansion after all.
Well, except for “a very limited amount of funds...to repair potential code violations, treat dangerous mold and fix broken faucets,” according to a statement from his press spokesperson Saturday.
Kim Genardo did not specify which code violations needed to be addressed with public money, when asked by the Charlotte Observer newspaper.
Led by McCrory’s administration, North Carolina has slashed spending on schools, cut a program that offered dental care to low-income kids and prevented teachers from getting raises, while also approving large tax cuts for the state’s wealthiest residents.
The state's insurace commissioner was going ahead with plans to set up a health care insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act to offer health coverage to residents who do not have it, but McCrory and the state's Republican-led legislature stopped the project.
The planned $230,000 price tag for the bathroom upgrades exceeded the median value of a single-family home in Raleigh, N.C., the Observer reported.
This summer, McCrory was criticized for granting two of his former campaign aides, both 24-years-old and working for the state at taxpayer expense, pay raises of about $23,000 each.
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After the raises, the two young men were making more than the maximum salaries listed for their positions in the state’s Department of Health and Human Services — though neither of them had any background in health-related fields.
The governor’s mansion in downtown Raleigh is listed as a historic building. Its six bathrooms reportedly work fine, but last received a remodeling upgrade in the 1970s.
SOURCES: Charlotte Observer (2), Huffington Post