Governor McCrory sat down with WITN's Dave Jordan Friday at the station for a one-on-one interview on a wide ranging number of issues.
It's the news teachers across the state want to hear. Governor Pat McCrory says not only is he and state lawmakers working on a pay raise for teachers...but he anticipates it will be significant.
He says having teacher pay rank 46th in the country right now, with an average starting salary of $30,000, is unacceptable.
McCrory says, "We're gonna change it. I've made a committment, this administration, teachers only had 1% pay raise in the last 6-years and hopefully at the beginning of my second year as governor, we're gonna give a pay raise to teachers."
McCrory says there will be a special emphasis on teachers just starting out, or on the job for five-years. But he says all teachers and all state employees will see a pay raise.
So how will we pay for it? He's not ready to say just yet, but says expect some announcements soon. He added, "But we also have to understand that we have to wait for some revenue projections in the upcoming months."
Revenue is exactly what the NC Ferry Division is trying to raise as well to replace vessels. One way is through new or increased tolls...something many in Eastern Carolina have been expressing opposition to during public hearings.
The governor says the Department of Transportation will make recommendations following the hearings, but that's all. He says, "I'm gonna let the local decision makers determine the ferry toll issue and amount of money that should be raised from ferry tolls and if they make the decision they don't want ferry tolls then the money has to come from somewhere else in the local area."
Many in Eastern Carolina are hoping one thing that will be going down is their power bill.
Duke Energy is looking into purchasing the generation assets of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, which supplies power to 32 cities through the umbrella organization ElectriCities.
McCrory says that purchase would be good for Eastern Carolina. He says, "I've expressed a very strong opinion to Duke Power executives, a company I used to work for, that one of the biggest challenges to economic development in Eastern North Carolina is the price of energy and we need your help."
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