Here’s a look at some of the proposals in the compromise House and Senate state budget for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Proposed spending: $7,867,960,649
New spending: Innovation grants, safety measures, Excellent Public Schools act:
• Spends $19 million to implement changes in Excellent Public Schools Act
• Spends $7 million for police officers in elementary and middle schools and $2 million to install panic alarms in schools
• Spends $2 million in a competitive grant funds for innovative projects
• Adds $5 million on Teach for America teacher recruitment program
• Saves the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching, while the legislature reviews the future of the center
• Adds $320,000 to Office of Charter Schools for more staff
Cuts: Teacher assistants, teaching fellows, school bus replacements
• Cuts money for teacher assistants by $120 million, or 21 percent
• Cuts $6 million for teaching students with limited English proficiency
• Phases out Teaching Fellows program, which provided scholarships to top students to go into teaching
• Reduces state Department of Public Instruction funding by $780,000 or 1.8 percent
Changes in spending: Restores $376 million in funding that school districts had to give back to the state in past years, while changing the formula to fund fewer teaching positions by $286 million and fewer support staff by $17 million. Equipment is also reduced by $7 million.
Proposed spending: $1,021,295,467
New spending: Performance funding, equipment, retraining program:
• Reallocates $9 million to colleges based on their performance (by reducing regular funding formula for degree and basic skills programs)
• Adds $10 million for instructional equipment
• Spends $4.8 million on a retraining program for the long-term unemployed
Cuts: Enrollment money, free tuition for senior citizens, elimination of auditing division of the system office
• Reduces enrollment money by $24 million by changing funding model
• Cuts customized training by $2 million
• Eliminates audit function of system office by cutting $552,000; cuts travel by $120,000; cuts state board reserve by $250,000
Tuition: Increases tuition by $2.50 per credit hour or a maximum of $80 per year for degree students; increases continuing education fees by $5 per course.
Proposed spending: $2,583,048,270
New spending: Almost no new spending
Cuts: Implements UNC-proposed efficiencies and imposes additional cuts:
• Mandates a $66 million cut to UNC system budget, to be decided by UNC
• Implements $26 million in operational and instruction efficiencies proposed by UNC as part of its strategic plan
• Eliminates $15 million subsidy for UNC-Chapel Hill’s medical school
Tuition: Increases tuition for out-of-state undergraduates in 2014-15 by 12.3 percent at UNC School of the Arts, N.C. A&T State, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington; the increase is 6 percent at other UNC system campuses.
Justice and Public Safety
Proposed spending: $2,368,675,193
New spending: $25 million to upgrade the state highway patrol’s communications system and $2.5 million to add 69 state troopers. Also adds 175 new probation officers and increases funding for the parole commission to manage the expected caseload that will follow implementation of Justice Reinvestment Act.
• Provides $2 million for community substance abuse treatment programs for high-risk offenders.
Cuts: Reduces funding for prisoner legal services by about one-third to $890,000 and allocates $3.77 million to pay small private legal firms to represent indigent defendants and reduces operating budget for Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) by $1.75 million.
• Closes prisons in Duplin, Robeson, Bladen and Wayne counties; converts prison in Johnston County to minimum security and closes Western Youth Institution, cutting 735 positions. It spares the Orange County prison which had originally been targeted.
Health and Human Services
Proposed spending: $4,993,788,323
New spending: $2 million to establish a statewide telepsychiatry program for consultant services to alleviate hospital emergency department wait times and involuntary commitments. Adds 10 positions in the health and safety division to investigate complaints and monitor abortion clinics on an annual basis.
• Provides $4.6 million for one year for group home residents who were ineligible for Medicaid personal care services after Jan. 1, 2013.
• $12.4 million from lottery receipts to add 2,500 slots for Pre-K to bring total Pre-K slots to 27,500.
• $1.5 million to support adoptions through reimbursements to private nonprofit organizations.
• $11.5 million to buy medical equipment, furniture and IT for Broughton Hospital, a psychiatric hospital scheduled to open in December 2014
• $925,085 to fund maternity homes
Cuts: Reduces funding to AIDS Drug Assistance Program; cuts 15 positions in the oral health section and reduces budget for three drug abuse treatment centers by 12 percent each.
Proposed spending: $51,228,804 in funding for the Commerce Department, a 26 percent increase.
New spending: $11.35 million to create a Rural Economic Development Division, a grant-making entity that will replace the Rural Center. $800,000 to develop a branding strategy to promote North Carolina.
Cuts: Eliminates $4.3 million in funding for the N.C. Biofuels Center in Oxford, which will close. Cuts funding for the N.C. Biotechnology Center from $17.2 million to $12.6 million. Reduces funding for the Jobs Investment Development Grant, or JDIG, program from $15 million to $11.5 million annually.
• Other items: Allows for the reorganization of Commerce and the creation of a public-private partnership that would take over much of the department’s efforts to attract and retain jobs. The reorganization requires approval by the General Assembly. A bill has been proposed, but differences between the House and the Senate remain unresolved, and lawmakers are scrambling to find a compromise before session ends this week.
Proposed spending: $63,626,477
New spending: $53,000 to create a department-wide marketing strategy.
Cuts: $250,000 from NC Arts Council funding, which could lead to jobs being eliminated. It also reduces funding to Aycock Birthplace, Polk Memorial, Vance Birthplace, House in the Horseshoe and the Museum at Old Fort but it does not close the historic sites as was done in the budget proposed by the governor.
Proposed spending: $422,758,845
New spending: Funds two positions in the state auditor’s office to focus on IT security and fraud detection. Adds 11 positions in the Department of Revenue to help with backlogged cases and to implement tax law changes. Adds three positions in the Lieutenant Governor’s office.
Cuts: Three positions in the Secretary of State’s office
Proposed spending: $2.049 billion for Highway Fund appropriations and $1.105 billion from Highway Trust Fund appropriations
• Caps the state gas tax at 35.7 cents per gallon, cutting expected revenues by $2.4 million a year.
• Cuts $1.7 million a year in state funding for driver education classes, and authorizes local schools to charge students as much as $55 for the class – up from the current maximum $45 fee
• Levies a $100 annual fee on plug-in electric vehicles, expected to generate $60,000 in state revenues this year and $120,000 next year. The budget drops a Senate-proposed $50 fee for non-plug-in hybrid cars.
• Eliminates yearly gap funding to make up for expected toll-collection shortfalls on two turnpike projects unpopular with the legislature: the Garden Parkway in Gaston County ($35 million a year) and the Mid-Currituck Bridge in Currituck County ($28 million a year).
By staff reporters Jane Stancill, Bruce Siceloff, David Bracken, John Murawski, Anne Blythe and Mary Cornatzer
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