Pricey Harrison

Friday, June 17, 2005

Budget Highlights

EDUCATION

Public Schools
* Meets projected increased enrollment of 28,309 students: $9.4 million.
* Provides $30 million in supplemental funding for low-wealth schools and provides an additional $22.5 million to the Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Fund, which was created by Gov. Mike Easley last year in response to Leandro school funding ruling. (Keeps funding at current levels to cover 16 pilot districts.) Therefore, the House budget provides $52.5 million to ensure a quality education for all students in North Carolina, which is mandated by our state's constitution and reaffirmed by Judge Howard Manning in the Leandro ruling.
* Funds ABCs of Public Education teacher bonuses: $100 million.
* Provides $4.2 million to expand Governor Easley's "Learn and Earn" high school initiative to 15 schools with planning money for 20 more. The Learn and Earn program allows students the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and a college degree after just five years of study.
* Funds additional workers at small specialty high schools at eight pilot sites: $1.5 million.
* Establishes school-based child and family support teams to coordinate services education, human services assistance for at-risk students, hire Division of Social Services facilitators: $7 million.
* Reduces 275 vocational education positions due to increased student-teacher ratio: -$13.1 million.
* Reduces 225 seventh-grade teaching positions due to increased student-teacher ratio: -$10.5 million.
* Reduces instructional support positions to reflect higher employee-student ratio: -$5.1 million.
* Allots one assistant principal for every 800 students, down from current 761 students: -$5 million.
* Redirects corporate income tax receipts from school capital and technology fund to operations fund: -$13.1 million.

Universities
* Provides $41.9 million to hire professors, staff and other items to meet projected enrollment of 3,986 students on UNC campuses.
* Funds enrollment growth for UNC distance education programs (less than sought by Senate): $18.1 million.
* Special funding for UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State University to raise per-student level: $8.4 million.
* Additional faculty, staff and equipment to create approved doctoral programs at UNC-Charlotte: $10 million.
* Legislative tuition grants for private college, part-time teaching and nursing students: $2.9 million.
* UNC campuses and program reductions of 2.4 percent, with cuts determined by schools: -$42.3 million.
* Biotechnology initiatives at N.C. Central University and N.C. State University: $4 million.
* Operations, staff and maintenance costs for Friday Institute for Educational Innovation in Raleigh: $1.9 million.
* Focused growth funds for seven UNC institutions: $5 million.
* Special funds for N.C. A&T, UNC-Asheville and N.C. School of the Arts: $2.1 million.
* Teacher improvement initiatives: $2.5 million.

Community Colleges
* Provides $7.8 million to meet projected increased enrollment of 2,449 students at our state's community colleges.
* Raises tuition by 4 percent to $39.50 per credit hour: -$5.6 million. However, tuition remains the lowest in the south and 3rd lowest in the nation.
* Additional funding for four colleges with multi-campus sites: $1.4 million.
* Custom industry training for workers at local businesses seeking to remain competitive: $2.8 million.
* School equipment, including $500,000 to replace boat for marine technology program at Cape Fear Community College: $10 million.
* Operating funds for community college system's BioNetwork initiative: $7.1 million.
* One-time funding for initiatives at four community college campuses: $10 million.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

* Provides $15 million to counties to offset the local share of Medicaid.
* Freezes Medicaid rates for most hospitals: -$62.5 million.
* Cost management initiatives for Medicaid Personal Care Services: -$6 million.
* Increases Medicaid funding for personal care services at adult care homes for Alzheimer's and other special needs patients: $1.7 million.
* Increases Medicaid co-payments for chiropractic, optometry, podiatry and non-emergency ER visits: -$5.4 million.
* Limits Medicaid patients to reimbursements for five name-brand prescriptions in a month: -$2.75 million.
* Community Care of North Carolina managed care projected savings: -$22.2 million.
* Closes one of four state-run mental retardation centers by July 2006: $0.
* Removes enrollment cap on NC Health Choice health insurance plan for children of low-income families: $14.7 million.
* Startup, recurring costs for community-based mental health crisis services for children and adults: $2 million.
* Hires 41 workers to expand mental health facility, adult care home, and home care agency licensure and inspections: $2.95 million.
* Doubles inspection and licensure fees for various mental health and adult care homes: -$1.8 million.
* Increase funding for North Carolina Food Banks: $1 million.
* Hires additional child protective service workers at county level to reduce caseloads: $2 million.
* Hires 30 new public school nurses: $1.5 million.
* Establishes the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care to ensure all school children receive eye exam within six months of entering public schools: $2 million.
* Funds Community-Focused Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative, providing grants to close health gap with Latino, black and American Indian citizens: $5 million.
* Develops N.C. Families Accessing Services through Technology initiative to reduce time on administrative tasks within social services: $4.9 million.
* Expands More at Four preschool program by 3,200 slots over next two years: $16.6 million.
* Provides grants, loans for rural health clinics: $3 million.

SALARIES AND BENEFITS

* The House budget provides much-needed and well-deserved pay raises for our teachers and state employees, which will cost the state $237.3 million. Public school teachers would receive an average 2.5 percent salary increase; rank-and-file workers and university employees would receive a flat $1,086 raise; community college and other state workers would receive a 2.5 percent or $500 increase, whichever is greater; the House budget also creates a minimum wage of $20,112 for all permanent, full-time state workers. Community college faculty and professional staff also would receive an additional 2 percent raise.
* 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state retirees: $13.8 million.
* Repay money withheld from state pension during 2001-02 budget crisis: $25 million.
* Cash influx to cover projected shortfall in state employee health plan: $137.4 million.

NATURAL AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES

* Partially restores funding for Department of Labor's Apprenticeship Program: $663,000.
* Various reductions within Agriculture Department: -$1.35 million.
* Doubles Coastal Area Management Act fees: -$290,000.
* Reduces funding for equipment, vehicles within Division of Forest Resources: -$1 million.
* Funds permanent oyster rehabilitation program: $575,000.
* State matching funds for Superfund, clean water initiatives: $6.3 million.
* Reduces Clean Water Management Trust Fund to $62 million: -$38 million.
* Adds to Gov. Mike Easley's One North Carolina Fund for economic incentives: $5 million.
* Job Development Investment Grant program reserve: $4.5 million.
* Pilot funds for Kerr-Tar Regional Hub, a four-county economic development project: $6 million.
* Promotes proposed live entertainment complex in Roanoke Rapids: $750,000.
* Marketing funds for High Point International Home Furnishings Market: $500,000.
* Promotes Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament in Charlotte: $500,000.
* Supports strategic plan for expanding North Carolina biotechnology economy: $3 million.
* Continues North Carolina Rural Center's rural economic infrastructure fund: $20.8 million.
* Fund Generations Credit Union and Latino Community Credit Union: 43 million.
* Build, operate advanced vehicle research center in Northampton County: $7.5 million.

JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

* Provides $1.8 million to hire 27 State Bureau of Investigation positions to fight methamphetamine production and child exploitation and analyze DNA on a timelier basis at our state SBI labs.
* Provides $3 million in Juvenile Crime Prevention Council grants for gang prevention programs, which was based on recommendations by the interim study commission on gang violence.
* Provides $1 million to increase the Crime Victims Compensation fund.
* Provides $4.5 million to increase the maximum monthly pension benefit for N.C. National Guard members from $100 per month to $150.
* Reduces and restructures Sentencing Services: -$1.2 million.
* Reduces funding for Youth Development Centers, affecting 46 positions, to reflect lower juvenile population and beds in operation: -$1.9 million.
* Eliminates 25 vacant probation/parole officer positions: -$1.2 million.
* Reduces physician, hospital charges for state prisoners: -$4.1illion.
* Purchases new telephone system for Mecklenburg County courthouse: $1.5 million.
* Creates Mecklenburg County Business Court: $225,000.
* Provides travel allowance for appellate court judges, eliminate allowance for Superior Court judges: -$680,000.

TRANSPORTATION

* Continues deployment of VIPER statewide emergency response radio system: $8.1 million.
* Trains and transitions all Motor Enforcement Officer positions to give them the same level of arrest authority and pay as other troopers: $2.2 million.
* Increases maintenance funding: $166.5 million.
* Installs automated driver's license testing system in 23 more DMV offices, raising total to 68: $1 million.
* Increases road contract resurfacing: $27.8 million.
* Global Transpark funding: $1.6 million.
* Ferry maintenance: $1 million.
* Short line railroad rehabilitation projects: $1 million.

OTHER AGENCIES AND FUNDS

* Various funding for historic sites: $3 million.
* International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro: $100,000.
* Library grants: $1 million.
* Kids Voting NC Funds: $200,000.
* Hires 75 revenue Department positions for compliance, enforcement and debt collections efforts: $3.9 million.
* Transfers 47 Revenue Department positions to receipt-supported positions: -$2 million.
* Continues payroll/human resources system modernization within state government through State
* Business Infrastructure Project: $18.4 million.
* Mental health reform trust fund: $10 million.
* Pays for senior prescription drug program until Medicare drug program is up and running: $14 million.
* Reserve to carry out proposed Driving While Impaired task force recommendations: $1 million.

CAPITAL

* Equipment and infrastructure for Wilmington, Morehead City ports: $5 million.
* Water resources development projects: $12.4 million.
* Expansion of Rollins Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory: $10 million.
* Planning funds for UNC-Wilmington nursing school: $2.65 million.

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