The state House has given final approval to its two-year budget plan that would spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars to educate schoolchildren and college students.
The plan would also continue a building spree started last year.
Lawmakers went late into the night before giving their approval by a 68-to-51 vote along party lines. A second vote after midnight brought approval by a 67-to-50 vote.
The 20 billion dollar plan, which covers the fiscal year beginning July first, also moves teacher salaries toward the national average and gives most state employees higher raises than Governor Easley sought in his budget request.
The chamber heard more than 20 amendments by the early evening,
rejecting an attempt to eliminate free university tuition for students who attend the N-C School of Science and Math in Durham. House members did approve a floor amendment that would give another 40 million dollars to counties to help them with the costs of Medicaid, raising next year's total to 100 million dollars.
Highlights of the $20.3 billion 2007-08 state spending plan given approval early Friday. The figures reflect increases or reductions to base budget expenses, some of them based on projected rises in recurring spending.
Salaries and benefits
-- Average 5 percent salary increase for public school teachers;
5 percent for community college faculty and judges; 4.25 percent
for most state employees and university workers: $558.1 million.
-- Additional 31-year salary step for public school teachers:
-- Two percent cost-of-living adjustments for state retirees:
-- Fifth and final installment of retirement funds intercepted in
2001 to narrow budget shortfall: $45 million.
-- Higher patient out-of-pocket costs, cash influx to cover
projected shortfall in state employee health plan: $134 million.
-- Replace 151 fewer school buses next year: -$4 million.
-- Student performance bonuses for teachers: $70 million.
-- Provide more funding for low-wealth school districts: $20.3
-- Expand "Learn and Earn" high school initiative to 12 more
schools: $3.4 million.
-- Deliver college courses electronically to high school students
through Gov. Mike Easley's Learn and Earn Online program: $6.4
-- Upgrade public school broadband connectivity: $12 million.
-- Hire school safety officers at middle schools and high
schools: $2 million.
-- Increase school district funding for instructional supplies
and materials: $3 million.
-- Increase district funding for academically and intellectually
gifted programs: $1.8 million.
-- Increase district funding for children with disabilities: $5
-- Provide additional money to help small-county school
districts: $1 million.
-- Support mentors for beginning principals: $2.9 million.
-- Hire 60 literacy coaches in schools with eighth grades: $3.4
-- Support pilot programs for Chinese, Farsi and other critical
foreign languages: $1 million.
-- Establish district dropout prevention competitive grant
program: $7 million.
-- Supplement funding for elementary school cafeterias operating
in a deficit: $7.5 million.
-- Train mathematics teachers in financial literacy: $250,000.
University of North Carolina system
-- Direct campuses to cut 188 middle management positions: -$18.7
-- Eliminate N.C. Progress Board: -$228,000.
-- Reductions of 23 positions, other spending cuts recommended by
President's Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness:
-- Provide tuition grants to 1,000 additional students attending
private colleges in North Carolina, raise grant to $1,950 and
expand to part time students: $5.5 million.
-- Provide need-based financial aid for more than 46,500 students
at UNC campuses: $27.6 million.
-- Indigent care services at East Carolina University outpatient
center and UNC Hospitals: $3.5 million.
-- Equipment for UNC-leased buildings at North Carolina Research
Campus in Kannapolis: $1 million.
-- Improve N.C. Central University law school to address American
Bar Association accreditation recommendations: $2.5 million.
-- Begin Education Access Rewards North Carolina Scholars
program, which provides up to $4,000 grants to low-income college
students: $25 million.
-- Fund enrollment for additional 2,300 students: $3.3 million.
-- Increase community college tuition by 6.3 percent: -$7.5
-- Additional funds for Allied Health programs: $2 million.
-- Improve community college broadband connectivity: $3.9
-- Purchase of instructional equipment: $10 million.
-- North Carolina Motorsports Consortium funds: $500,000.
-- Operational funds for N.C. Military Business Center: $500,000.
-- Competitive grant program for campuses for facility and
equipment needs: $13 million.
Health and Human Services
-- Sustain provider network that coordinate free care for
low-income uninsured patients: $2.3 million.
-- Reduce child care subsidy waiting list by 2,000 children: $8.4
-- Fund 1,050 scholarships for child care providers studying
early childhood education or child development: $1.1 million.
-- State match to purchase more than 650,000 treatment courses of
antivirals in case of pandemic flu and create climate-controlled
storage space: $9.7 million.
-- Fund HIV prevention and activities, including counseling and
testing: $2 million.
-- Help local health departments: $4 million.
-- Family planning services to uninsured women ineligible for
-- Hire 80 public school nurses: $4 million.
-- Fund tobacco "quit line": $1 million.
-- Reduce Medicaid provider inflationary reimbursement increases
by 50 percent, with some exceptions: -$27 million.
-- Medicaid cost containment activities, including increased
fraud and abuse detection: -$13.3 million.
-- Eliminate Medicaid coverage of orthotics and prosthetics for
-- Two hundred additional slots for Community Alternatives
Program: $3 million.
-- Expand Medicaid coverage for foster care adolescents age
-- Create N.C. Kids Care, which provides health care coverage to
11,800 children in families that earn between 200 percent and 300
percent of poverty level: $4.7 million.
-- Fully fund N.C. Health Choice program: $7.5 million.
-- Reduce funds for mental health, developmental disabilities and
substance abuse services based on historical availability of funds:
-- Realign mental health, developmental disabilities and
substance abuse services for other programs: -$21.2 million.
-- Reduce budget of Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh to account
for anticipated closure in the fall: -$32.6 million.
-- Reduce budget of John Umstead Hospital in Butner to account
for anticipated closure in the fall: -$33.9 million.
-- Open and fund new central regional psychiatric hospital in
Butner: $61.9 million.
-- Transfer half of forensic unit from Dorothea Dix Hospital and
Broughton Hospital in Morganton: $4.7 million.
-- Fund local substance abuse programs: $7.3 million.
-- Fund local crisis services to mentally ill and find employment
for mentally ill, developmentally disabled and substance abusers:
-- Nonrecurring assistance to counties to pay Medicaid expenses:
Natural and Economic Resources
-- N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust
Fund, designed to prevent loss of farmlands: $8 million.
-- Hire two agricultural safety officers to conduct migrant
housing inspections and train farmers: $125,000.
-- County grants to adopt local programs to enforce statewide
private well construction standards: $300,000.
-- Test private wells for contamination and pay for alternative
drinking water supplies: $615,000.
-- Shift funding for N.C. state aquariums from appropriation to
admission receipts: -$3.2 million.
-- Matching funds for clean water, drinking water revolving
funds: $9.4 million.
-- Market Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th anniversary: $100,000.
-- Eastern and western North Carolina film commission funds:
-- Promote state's grape-growing industry: $1 million.
-- Create N.C. Green Business Fund, providing no-interest loans
to small private business to encourage environmentally based
economy: $1 million.
-- One North Carolina Fund for economic development: $13 million.
-- One North Carolina Small Business Fund for economic
development: $4.8 million.
-- Operate N.C. Center for Automotive Research in Northampton
County: $3.5 million.
-- Help Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte: $1 million.
-- Increase funding for N.C. Institute of Minority Economic
Development: $1 million.
-- N.C. Community Development Initiative: $5 million.
-- N.C. Minority Support Center: $4 million.
-- Support Defense and Security Technology Accelerator, a
business incubator to boost economic development in homeland
security and defense industries: $1 million.
-- Expand N.C. Rural Economic Development Center Economic
Infrastructure Fund and establish Rural Economic Transition
Program: $19 million.
Justice and Public Safety
-- Create two new positions for Judicial Standards Commission:
-- Hire 30 assistant district attorneys, nine victim witness or
legal assistants: $3.4 million.
-- Funds 58 new deputy clerk positions in Superior, District
courts: $2.3 million.
-- Funds for new three District Court judge positions: $443,000.
-- Raise hourly rate for privately assigned attorney for indigent
defendants in non-capital cases: $5 million.
-- Hire more sworn agents, staffers and technicians at State
Bureau of Investigation, startup cost for Triad regional crime
laboratory: $1.6 million.
-- Staff and contractual service costs for flood plain mapping
program: $4.1 million.
-- Grant to N.C. Sheriff's Association for technical assistance
and training association with immigration enforcement, contingent
on passage of other legislation: $750,000.
-- Gang prevention, intervention and suppression initiative
grants, contingent on passage of other legislation: $4.8 million.
-- Reduce backlog of victims' compensation unpaid claims: $1.6
-- Reduce Department of Transportation division administration
funds, in part to pay for Interstate 40 resurfacing project: $30.7
-- Purchase one aircraft to upgrade department fleet: $3.4
-- Replace obsolete State Highway Patrol helicopter and establish
airborne unit to perform search and rescue operations during
disasters: $3.6 million.
-- Hire 40 additional ferry division personnel, pay for rescue
boats and generator upgrades to meet Coast Guard regulations: $5.4
-- Reduce expenditures for Triangle Transit Authority's commuter
rail project: -$23.4 million.
-- Create 24 positions to support advanced statewide emergency
responder radio network: $2.8 million.
-- Reduce intrastate and urban loops system money allocated from
Highway Trust Fund: -$5.7 million.
Other agencies and funds
-- Increase funding for rape crisis and sexual assault funds:
-- Funds to Department of Cultural Resources to protect and
preserve abandoned cemeteries: $133,000.
-- House remains of Civil War Confederate ironclad CSS Neuse:
-- International Civil Rights Museum: $500,000.
-- Increase operational support for Queen Anne's Revenge
archaeology project: $150,000.
-- State aid to local libraries: $475,000.
-- N.C. Housing Trust Fund, including money to build apartments
for people with disabilities: $12.5 million.
-- Continue home foreclosure protection pilot program: $1.5
-- Hold special bond referenda in November: $300,000.
-- Reserve for morale, recreation and welfare fund distributed to
military installation: $1 million.
Reserves and capital projects
-- Continue upgrade of state's human resources, payroll and
financial systems: $20 million.
-- State Energy Office reserve: $10 million.
-- University of North Carolina Distinguished Professors
Endowment Fund: $6 million.
-- N.C. Court of Appeals building renovation: $10.5 million.
-- N.C. Museum of History chronology exhibit: $6.3 million.
-- Equipment for state secondary data center: $7 million.
-- Construct new buildings at eastern and western agricultural
centers: $8 million.
-- N.C. Ports improvements in Morehead City, Wilmington: $7.5
-- Phase II construction of UNC-Chapel Hill genomics building:
-- Appalachian State University education building: $9 million.
-- Special indebtedness for construction projects, including
prison additions, construction of new Department of Environment and
Natural Resources building, Tryon Palace visitors center and
university projects: $449 million.
-- Extend state portion of sales tax at 4.25 percent: $258.4
-- Extend individual income tax rate for top wage earners at 8
percent: $40.8 million.
-- Reserves for energy tax phaseout provisions, military tax
relief and work opportunity tax credits: -$24.5 million.
-- Renew long-term care insurance tax credit: -$7 million.
-- Adoption tax credit equal to 50 percent of federal credit: -$3