Local Politics

Highlights of Gov. Easley's budget proposal

Posted May 12, 2008

PUBLIC SCHOOLS – $492 million overall budget increase

  • $302.7 million to bring teacher pay to the national average
  • $90 million to fully funding the ABC bonuses for school teachers
  • $39.8 million to increase by 6,345 the number of More At Four early childhood education program slots to bring enrollment to 35,000
  • $12 million for increases in at-risk enrollment
  • $6.6 million to expand the Learn and Earn early college high school program to continue operation of 55 schools and expand to an additional 16 schools in 2009-10
  • $6 million to expand broadband high-speed connectivity for public schools
  • $2 million to assist those public schools with the greatest needs

COMMUNITY COLLEGES – $58.3 million overall budget increase

  • $23.8 million for increased enrollment
  • $4.8 million for nurse accreditation programs and to add 55 allied health faculty positions to cut program waiting lists
  • $5 million to address equipment needs, including health programs
  • $2.5 million to expand the N.C. Community College System Data Warehouse
  • $1 million to expand the Minority Male Mentoring initiative

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA – $107.5 million overall budget increase

  • $34.6 million for increased enrollment
  • $11 million to implement the recommendations of the UNC Campus Safety Task Force recommendations
  • $2.5 million to implement American Bar Association recommendations to accredit N.C. Central University Law School
  • $2 million to support a new bioengineering facility and other areas at N.C. State University’s College of Engineering
  • Expand EARN grants to accredited private N.C. colleges and universities (can be done within existing budget)

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – $217 million overall budget increase

  • $20.9 million for community hospitals support short-term stabilization in psychiatric inpatient services
  • $6.8 million to support 30 mobile mental health crisis teams
  • $5.4 million to improve clinical staff ratios by adding 107 positions to provide closer patient supervision
  • $5.5 million to address shortfalls in shift premiums and worker compensation payments
  • $5.2 million to support 36 beds at Dorthea Dix Hospital
  • $4.3 million for crisis intervention services for people who have development disabilities by establishing nine regional START teams
  • $4.2 million for walk-in crisis and psychiatric after care
  • $10 million to expand Health Choice to provide health care for an additional 10,680 children from low income families
  • $9 million to remove 1,110 children from subsidized child care waiting lists and keep 931 children from being dropped
  • $8.3 million to increase foster care and adoption assistance payments

JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY – $49 million overall budget increase

  • $22.6 million to restore funding for community programs that reach out to delinquent and at-risk youth
  • $9.1 million to restore funding for community-based programs that aim at reducing recidivism and the costs of incarceration for the state and counties
  • $4 million to improve case management and supervision of adult offenders on probation, parole and post-release
  • $1.9 million to ensure female parolees and probationers have access to residential substance abuse treatment services
  • $600,000 so uninsured rape victims will no longer have to pay a portion of the cost for forensic exams

NATURAL AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES

  • $10 million for the One North Carolina Fund to recruit new and expanding businesses
  • $5 million for the One North Carolina Small Business Innovation Research Program to assist in capturing federal innovation research grants
  • $5 million for the Farmland Preservation Trust Fund
  • $4 million for the N.C. Biotechnology Center
  • $1 million to the N.C. Green Business Fund for grants to small businesses to encourage growth of the green economy in the state
  • $1 million to assist those facing foreclosure on their homes
  • $870,000 to establish a Drought Response Unit to aid communities in preparing to withstand periodic droughts
  • $720,000 to hire ten safety and health compliance officers in the Occupational Safety and Health Division, positions that because of federal funding cuts have been vacant
  • $400,000 to clean up inactive hazardous waste sites
  • $141,330 for two food safety and security inspectors for the meat and poultry industry

TRANSPORTATION

  • $28.8 million increase for highway maintenance activities
  • $25 million reduction in the Highway Trust Fund transfer to the General Fund as the first step in phasing out the $172.6 million annual transfer. These funds may be used for gap funding for N.C. Turnpike Authority projects authorized by the legislature or urban loop project in the Transportation Improvement Program.

SUPPORTING THE MILITARY

  • $2.2 million to improve health and mental health services to National Guard combat veterans and their families
  • $1 million to support social service and morale programs on North Carolina’s military installations
  • $1 million for college scholarships for children of National Guard members killed or disabled while on active-service duty
  • $200,000 for Operation Kids On Guard to assist children of deployed members of the N.C. National Guard

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS – financed through appropriations and certificates of participation

  • $280.5 million for five UNC projects that received planning funds previously, including $97 million for the new library on the N.C. State Centennial Campus, $62 million for the new School of Dentistry at East Carolina University, $69 million for a new School of Dentistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, $42.6 million for a new classroom building at UNC-Greensboro and $9.8 million for the completion of a student activity center at Winston-Salem State University
  • $14.5 million for a new classroom building at the Upper Coastal Plains Higher Education Center
  • $108.3 million for a women’s health and mental health medical facility in the Department of Corrections
  • $63.1 million for additions to correctional facilities at Scotland, Bertie, Lanesboro and Tabor
  • $25.7 million to match federal and local funds for water resource and sewer development projects
  • $109.4 million for completion of the Green Square Complex in Raleigh
  • $5 million to be added to $10.2 million in receipts to renovate a berth at the port in Wilmington and $2.5 million for berth construction at the port in Morehead City
  • $40.4 million for a new Capital Area Visitors Center and parking deck in downtown Raleigh
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