State House leaders today released their budget proposal for the next fiscal biennium. They'll be debating the bill in a marathon all-day Appropriations meeting Wednesday.
Earlier this evening, I went through the first 200 pages of the bill. Here's the list of changes that jumped out at me in the second half of the bill.
As I said before, this is by no means a comprehensive list. If I missed something big, please let me know.
- Cuts 90% of funding for Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
- Requires Dept. of Commerce to set up an online database for grants and incentives awarded .
- Transfers Employment Security Commission into the Dept. of Commerce.
- Transfers state Ports Authority from Commerce to the Dept. of Transportation.
- Moves the Grassroots Science Program from DENR to Commerce, one more step in the dismantling of DENR.
- Requires state museums to file notice of what their private fundraising groups brought in.
- Requires Superior Court clerks to report how many hours a court spends in session each day.
- Restricts the SBI’s ability to hire “sworn personnel” (law enforcement officers).
- Requires hospitals to accept prison inmates as a condition of licensure.
- Combines Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Crime Control into the Dept. of Public Safety.
- Bans the UNC system from using outside audio/visual providers instead of the Agency of Public Telecommunications.
- Moves lobbying regulation out from under the Secretary of State to the State Ethics Commission.
- Moves campaign finance reporting out from under the State Elections Board to the State Ethics Commission.
- Would allow DOT to privatize roadside litter cleanup and the management of rest stops.
- Directs DOT to evaluate potential sponsorship of welcome centers, rest stops, ferries, visitor centers, motorist assistance.
- Requires Board of Transportation to set tolls for all ferries, including those that are currently free.
- Eliminates DOT’s Bicycle Committee, Aeronautics Council, and Rail Council.
- Directs DOT to study exempting cars three years old and newer from emissions checks.
- Requires standardized state drivers’ education to include motorcycle training.
- Allows local school boards to charge up to $75 to offset the cost of drivers' education.
- Directs $100,000 in special plate funds to support the visitor’s center in Randolph County, the home ground of House Approps chair Harold Brubaker.
- No raises for state employees. Some teachers would still be eligible.
- Allows LEAs, community colleges, and the UNC system to furlough employees who make more than $25,000.
- Forbids state dollars from being used to pay for insurance that covers abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or imminent danger to the mother’s life.
Keep in mind that none of these proposals are a done deal yet. They have to survive House Appropriations, two floor votes, the Senate's rewrites, a conference committee, and a potential gubernatorial veto. But at this point, this is what we know House leaders would like to do.
We'll do our best to bring you live video coverage of the meeting – check in at the wral.com homepage at 8:30am or thereabouts Wednesday.