House budget bill: Highlights, part 2

Posted April 26, 2011

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.

You can read the bill here, and the money report here.

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.






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  • sneeziegal Apr 29, 2011

    "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."

    Can you say Republican earmarks!!!!! How is this a fiscally responsible move???

  • Unite_Or_Die Apr 28, 2011

    And speaking of waste in government how about the so-called "Green Building" that is to house the DENR offices in Raliegh. All the furniture and such is just going to be scraped out at the landfill or State Surplus at the cost of $1.5 Million. Just think of how much gas is going to be wasted driving back and forth between the Parker Lincoln Building and the new Green Building because there's no place to house all the state's records much less available parking for all the staff. Here's one more place to look for waste and as far as I can tell doesn't do a darn thing to help the environment even though that's what the PR people would like to have you think.

  • Unite_Or_Die Apr 28, 2011

    DENR may be bloated just like other agencies such as the Dept of administration with multiple levels of management but the cuts being made show one of two things. First, either those proposing the cuts have a personal vendetta against certain agencies because cleaning up messes cost businesses money even though that may reduce the number of families drinking contaminated water. Or secondly that those making these recommendations are totally clueless and don't understand the consequences of closing the Mooresville Regional office and eliminating the many other positions in DENR. Why pray tell don't these budget recommendations focus on Raleigh where managers spend all their time in meetings that don't accomplish a darn thing? There is alot of mid to upper level managers that could go without one bit of productivity being lost. If it's not a personal vendetta, then it's the management in Raleigh that needs to be pruned not the staff in the regions that do all the work.

  • stanmak Apr 27, 2011

    oh my bad I must have misunderstood the public statements that diana kees gave in her committee report to the senate ag/enr committee last month. woops nope thats just you overlooking the obvious.

  • Come On_Seriously Apr 27, 2011

    I for one would prefer that more than 2% of my tax dollars go to insuring that our air and water are clean. It's easier to find more savings in the 91% of the budget that is education, health & human services, and justice & public safety. Sure, they're all important.
    BUT, those of us who don't have or plan to have kids, act right and don't tie up the legal system, take care of ourselves and our own so as not to be a burden on the health system, and actually pay our taxes are subsidizing EVERYONE ELSE who has a kid in school, went to court for a speeding ticket, or gets some assistance with their health care for themselves or a loved one. That said, teachers should be paid more and we should carefully consider the implications of any healthcare cuts.
    I'm just saying don't whine about the 2% 'wasted' spending on DENR when I'm paying 91% 'wasted' to teach your kids, care for your grandmother, and keep us all safe. If you avoid or cheat on your taxes, you're even worse. Cheers.

  • Come On_Seriously Apr 27, 2011

    Pretty broad statement there stanmak. Obviously it is not meant to be 'factually accurate' as seems to be in vogue now. Care to back it up?

  • stanmak Apr 27, 2011

    DENR is a bloated whale and everyone in NC knows it. they have admitted they need to cutback themselves.

  • tobryant2 Apr 27, 2011

    Imagine having your salary cut in half. Most state employees are hired a half of what is paid in the private sector. Now no raises? You maybe angry at your elected officials but your taking it out on the guy who is just working each day for half of what you get paid. An average Joe with no polictical ties who has a family to support and bills to pay.

  • Come On_Seriously Apr 27, 2011

    They want to destroy the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, make it easier for industries and corporations to ruin our water resources, including a program to monitor hog waste runoff, and yet, somehow there is "$100,000 to support the visitor’s center in Randolph County, the home ground of House Approps chair Harold Brubaker." and "$230 million for a tax break package." Tax breaks for who? You and me? Nope. Business-owners and the wealthy are the tax-break recipients when the repubs are in town. Certainly interesting to see the pork go from the hog waste program to Brubaker...
    The time and cost to move these people around and reorganize all of these systems will be enormous.
    Some consolidations are fine but this is ridiculous. Sounds an awful lot like one of these real estate developer republicans has a grudge against DENR- one of the very programs that keeps NC from looking like Newark NJ (no offense Newark) and draws people (tourists and residents) to this state.

  • michaelacfp1 Apr 27, 2011

    * The House also did not appropriate monies to cover the State Match for the Clean Water SRF, yet they provided a match for the Drinking Water SRF. Does this mean that the State of NC is foregoing the opportunity to take advantage of the Federal monies? Inquiring minds want to know if the State is not going to contribute 20% in order to get 80% Federal funding for Water related Infrastructure projects...