North Carolina DOT, disaster relief bills signed by Cooper

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law bills designed to help his cash-strapped Department of Transportation and the continued recovery from hurricanes Florence, Matthew and Dorian.

Cooper on Monday signed the measures, which were the last pieces of legislation on his desk from the General Assembly session that ended on Friday. The legislature reconvenes in mid-January.

DOT’s cash balance had fallen due to unprecedented hurricane repairs, legal settlements over rights of way and project overruns. The bill directs $100 million to the agency for past and natural disasters, forgives a $90 million loan and allows an extra $100 million in road-building bonds.

A separate disaster-relief law locates $180 million in state funds, most of which would meet federal matching requirements and create a Dorian state recovery program for displaced residents.