Local Politics

Highlights of Gov. Easley's budget proposal

Posted May 12, 2008 1:22 p.m. EDT

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


  • $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


  • $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.


  • $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