Governor Pat McCrory signed a $20.6 billion budget today that increases K-12 education funding, incorporates fiscally-responsible tax reform and lays the foundation for economic growth and job creation. The $20.63 billion budget reflects a 2.5 percent spending increase compared to the previous fiscal year.
"This budget is about job creation," Governor McCrory said. "It maintains public investments in education, transportation and health care while at the same time encouraging job creation investments by the private sector. This is the formula that will unleash North Carolina's economic potential."
In 2013-14, funding for K-12 education is increased to $ 7.86 billion, up from $7.44 billion in 2012-13. The increase funds more teachers for North Carolina schools. Teacher assistants for kindergarten and first grade are also provided. Pre-K seats are increased to accommodate 2,500 more children. Lottery funds will now also be used for digital learning improvements.
Overall, 56 percent of the state budget will go to fund K-12, the 58 community colleges and 17 universities of the University of North Carolina System. That reflects a one percent increase from the previous budget.
The fiscally responsible tax reform package Governor McCrory signed into law is incorporated in this budget. As a result, North Carolina working families will have more money in their paychecks during the next two years.
Governor McCrory's budget provision to compensate victims of North Carolina's Eugenics (Sterilization) Program was also included in this legislation.
Other budget provisions include:
- Funds Center for Safer Schools which will provide training, technical support, and serve as a clearinghouse of information on school safety to educators, law enforcement agencies and parents statewide.
- Allocates an additional $12.4 million to fund services for an additional 2,500 at-risk four year olds, to serve a total of 27,500 NC Pre-K children.
- Provides for opportunity scholarships in the second year of the budget
- Provides $12 million for digital learning efforts.
Health and Human Services
- Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina: This budget allows the Department of Health and Human Services to move to the second phase of Medicaid reform: develop a waiver consistent with the governor's vision to create a more sustainable system while improving care for North Carolina's most vulnerable citizens.
- Provides $1.5 billion in additional Medicaid funding over two years.
Invests nearly $30 million over two years to help open the new Broughton Psychiatric Hospital.
- Keeps North Carolina's three regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Centers (ADATC) open to treat substance abuse and dependency.
- Provides for 10 additional inspectors to monitor North Carolina abortion clinics and handle complaints.
- Partnership For Prosperity authorized to consolidate, streamline and modernize North Carolina's economic development efforts.
- Creates a new Rural Development Authority to boost job creation in rural North Carolina.
- Creates a competitive grant program for non-profit entities.
- Allocates $60 million for Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) and $14 million for Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund (JMAC) over two years.
- Implements transportation reform through governor's Strategic Mobility Fund. This reform will connect rural areas to the state's economic centers. Population will also factor in more prominently into the location of future transportation infrastructure projects.
- Upgrades Department of Motor Vehicle technology and funds extended, customer-friendly hours for offices that issue driver's licenses.
- Caps the gasoline tax
- Restore funding for Trooper positions - $2,505,713 to fund 69 vacant trooper positions.
- Keep Troopers On The Road - The increasing cost of gasoline is taxing the State Highway Patrol's ability to keep troopers on the road and keep the public safe. $3,677,292 was appropriated to increase the gasoline budget to the prior year's actual expenditures.
- Expands funding for the juvenile justice community programs by $1.5 million in each year of the two-year budget.
- Funds 175 new probation officer positions to protect North Carolina communities. Probation and post-release supervision caseloads are rising as a result of the Justice Reinvestment Act
- Reinvests $4 million over the next two years in community-based substance abuse treatment services for moderate and high-risk offenders on community supervision. Provides increased treatment services in communities and helps address underlying drug dependency issues that often lead to criminal activity and prison.
- Funds 12 special Superior Court judges.
- Provides drug treatment funds through North Carolina's courts.
- Fully funds state retirement system obligation and state health plan
- Invests $233 million in the first year in the rainy day fund bringing its balance to $650 million. An additional $37 million is invested in the budget's second year.
- Provides $163 million over two years for repair and renovation of state facilities.
- $1 million will go to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to protect North Carolina's military bases and increase their operational capability