Friday, October 31, 2014

News
Highlights of McCrory's 2013-14 budget proposal


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Highlights of Gov. Pat McCrory's $20.6 billion spending proposal released Wednesday for the 2013-14 fiscal year. For tax changes, figures are for the amount of revenue generated or lost. For spending changes, figures are for amount spent or saved compared to what was projected to maintain current services.

Taxes, reserves or salaries

— state's rainy day reserve account: $200 million.

— repair and renovation money for state buildings: $150 million.

— Medicaid risk reserve: $90 million.

— 1 percent pay raise for teachers and state employees: $135.7 million.

— state retirement system contribution: $36.1 million.

— State Health Plan contribution to cover 4.7 percent premium increase: $45 million.

— 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state pension system retirees: $35 million.

— repeal state estate tax: -$52 million.

— repeal transfer of portion of corporate income tax to public school capital fund: $75 million.

— collect or intercept money from trust funds and special accounts, including Golden LEAF foundation, repeal political party income tax check-off and public campaign financing funds: $142.5 million.

— dozens of capital projects, all paid for by outside funds.

— disaster relief reserve: $10 million.

— government efficiency and reform project: $2 million.

Public schools:

— partial restoration of textbook spending reduction: $58.3 million.

— teach additional 6,600 public school children in the fall: $11.2 million.

— eliminate teacher assistant funding for 2nd, 3rd grade classes, increase teacher assistant-student ratio in kindergarten, 1st grade: -$117.1 million.

— ACT standardized tests for college students: $7.5 million.

— redirect N.C. Education Lottery receipts toward reading table purchases for students: $26 million from lottery funds.

UNC system

— reduce spending at campuses and at system headquarters, with specifics determined by administrators: -$110.7 million.

— implement operational and administrative efficiencies: -$10 million.

— academic programming efficiencies: -$15.8 million.

— increase out-of-state tuition by 12.3 percent at UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University, UNC School of the Arts, UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Wilmington and by 6 percent at other campuses: -$54.1 million.

— carry out Strategic Directions Plan to increase percentage of state residents with bachelor's degree, focus on high-growth fields: $19.6 million.

Community colleges

— scale back enrollment funds to reflect actual number of students: -$20 million.

— increase tuition rates by $1 per credit for in-state residents and $4 per hour for out-of-state students: -$6.2 million.

— technical education equipment and infrastructure: $14 million.

— higher-cost degree programs: $16.8 million.

Health and Human Services

— expands North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten for at-risk 4-year-olds by 5,000 slots to 29,400: $9.1 million.

— teen tobacco prevention and cessation: $1.1 million.

— rework Medicaid formula to reflect additional eligible patients: $185 million.

— reduce hospital payments for Medicaid and N.C. Health Choice from 80 percent of cost to 70 percent: -$26.3 million.

— hire temporary staff and contractors when new Medicaid billing system begins July 1: $4.8 million.

— fully implement transfer or local management entities for mental health treatment to managed care organizations: -$15.2 million.

— buy furniture, equipment and other infrastructure for new Broughton Hospital set to open in December 2014: $23 million.

Justice and Public Safety

— end funding for Conference of District Attorneys: -$387,812.

— revive drug treatment courts: $3.4 million.

— move 210 Department of Justice attorneys and support staff that perform routine legal services for agencies and become employed by those agencies: -$7.5 million.

— expands DNA testing, toxicology testing for Triad and Western State Bureau of Investigation labs, hire 40 people: $4.8 million.

— increase enforcement of methamphetamine abuse laws: $365,130.

— close adult male prisons in Wayne, Bladen, Duplin, Robeson counties and Western Youth Institution in Morganton, eliminate 685 positions: -$20.3 million.

— hire 106 positions for probation and parole officers, other officers: $7.2 million.

— expand electronic monitoring of probationers: $3.7 million.

Natural and Economic Resources

— spending reductions in Department of Agriculture: -$2 million.

— Clean Water Management Trust Fund: $6.8 million.

— Job Maintenance and Capital Development business incentives funds: $6.7 million.

— develop new branding strategy for North Carolina economic recruitment, growth plan: $2.7 million.

— Johnson & Wales University: $500,000.

— reduce advertising budget for N.C. Education Lottery from 1 percent to 0.5 percent: -$7.4 million in lottery funds.

— Job Development and Investment business incentives grants: $32.6 million.

Transportation

— additional Highway Fund maintenance reserve: $59.1 million.

— additional Highway Fund contract resurfacing: $81 million.

— Saturday service at 20 Division of Motor Vehicles offices: $1.4 million.

Others government agencies

— largely 1 to 3 percent spending reductions in various agencies.

— savings in Governor's Office: -$419,693.

— restore two positions in Office of the Lt. Governor: $144,534.

— provide $50,000 each to victims of now-defunct sterilization program, continue agency to locate survivors: $10.1 million.

— eliminate 12 positions while closing Aycock Birthplace, Polk Memorial, Vance Birthplace, House in the Horseshoe historic sites and Museum of History's Old Fort/Mountain Gateway site. Sites will be maintained and preserved: -$498,712.

— reduce N.C. Arts Council grants by 6 percent, state aid to public libraries by 4.8 percent: -$1 million.

— withdraw state support for Roanoke Island Commission: -$1.1 million.

— provide state matching funds to release federal Help America Vote Act election funds: $390,871.