Victims of a eugenics program in North Carolina from 1929 to 1974 were potentially going to receive compensation, up to $50,000 each, but state senators recently rejected the plan. Some claim the budget simply can't afford the estimated cost of $10 million in a challenging economy.
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen looked into what is included in the $20 billion budget bill. She found there's more than $1 million going to organizations like a private culinary school, an Oyster Sanctuary, the Grape Growers Council and the Transportation museum. There was more than $400,000 set aside to fund an upcoming gubernatorial inauguration and $5 million was budgeted for undisclosed purposes that can only be described as "economic development" projects.
Cohen says some lawmakers in N.C. are wary of offering compensation to sterilization survivors because it could set an expensive precedent for others who feel they've been treated unjustly by the state. Opponents draw parallels between the compensation of sterilization victims and that of the descendents of slaves.
Legislators who support payment to eugenics victims pledged to continue to work toward justice for them.
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