- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Highlights of adjustments in the $22.3 billion spending plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year proposed Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory. Monetary figures are adjustments to what the legislature already budgeted for the year in the two-year spending plan approved in September 2015:

PUBLIC EDUCATION:

- hire teachers, staff, equipment and other services to instruct an additional 5,875 public students next fall: $46.8 million.

- increase salaries for most public school teachers by 5 percent on average: $259.3 million.

- provide bonuses of $1,100 or $5,000 for teachers and average 3.5 percent bonuses (capped at $3,500) for other school personnel. The cost of $166.1 million includes $6 million to begin a pilot program providing higher pay to teachers in local districts where leadership roles are established for highly-effective teachers.

- give 3.5 percent average bonuses to principals and assistant principals: $9.6 million.

- take $39 million from North Carolina Education Lottery proceeds to expand digital leaning and pay for more classroom supplies and equipment.

- generate $26.2 million in savings from lower than anticipated community college system enrollment, plowing most of it into equipment purchases and support services to help students complete associate degrees or certificates.

- instruct 3,125 additional full-time equivalent students within the University of North Carolina system: $33 million.

- use $5.8 million in state lottery proceeds to expand K-12 scholarship funds so another 300 students with disabilities can pay for private school tuition, therapy or other needs.

- use $5 million from lottery funds for new merit-based scholarship program offering average $5,000 awards to students attending UNC system schools seeking math, science and health degrees.

- earmark $1 million in lottery funds to complete school construction needs assessment in 50 counties least able to pay for school facilities.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:

- use $4 million more in lottery proceeds to expand North Carolina Pre-K program by an estimated 800 slots.

- spend $750,000 on mosquito surveillance, control and education to prevent the Zika virus and other related viruses. This follows several years in which programs were pared back or eliminated.

- improve county child welfare services and expand services to prevent child maltreatment within homes: $9.3 million.

- adjusts Medicaid funding growth downward by $318.6 million to reflect lower enrollment and service use by enrollees.

- expand program helping Alzheimer’s disease or dementia patients and their families through Medicaid: $3 million.

- implement recommendations of Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Abuse: $30 million.

- hire and train staff for expected June 2017 opening of new Broughton mental hospital in Morganton: $1.9 million

- spend $20 million from sale of Dorothea Dix hospital property in Raleigh for mental health initiatives.

JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

- increase indigent defense funding to hire private lawyers: $3.5 million.

- outsource toxicology texting to help reduce State Crime Lab backlog: $2.2 million

- put finishing touches on western regional crime lab in Edneyville for March 2017 opening: $1.4 million.

- expand pilot program creating student anonymous tip reporting application for school safety: $2.8 million

- improve technology to prevent prisoner use of cellphones inside prisons: $4.6 million.

- increase pay for correctional officers, prison supervisors and administrators: $10 million.

- increase pay for magistrates and assistant district attorneys: $3.7 million.

- provide experience-based salary increases for Highway Patrol troopers and average 5 percent raises for State Bureau of Investigation and Alcohol Law Enforcement agents: $2.8 million.

NATURAL AND ECONOMC RESOURCES:

- implement Governor’s Food Manufacturing Task Force recommendations: $1.2 million.

- pay for ongoing and anticipated litigation expenses related to environmental laws and regulation enforcement: $5 million.

- hire full-time workers for State Archaeology Research Center: $169,000.

TRANSPORTATION:

- more litter removal along North Carolina roadways: $10 million.

- carry out more construction under 2013 law that reworked the evaluation and funding of Highway Trust Fund projects: $29.9 million.

- increase funding for secondary road maintenance: $17.5 million.

OTHER AGENCIES:

- hire eight support positions to meet growing demand for burials at state’s veterans cemeteries and to accommodate weekend burials: $400,000.

- increase state Human Relations Commission funding to hire four additional workers to handle equal employment opportunity complaints: $243,000.

- develop and maintain new electronic system for economic disclosure statements people must fill out under State Government Ethics Act: $870,000.

- establish cybersecurity apprenticeship program for disabled veterans: $600,000.

- create Department of Revenue identity verification initiative designed to prevent identity theft of taxpayers: $3 million.

- hire more State Board of Elections workers and purchase software to meet 2017 requirement for almost all campaign committees to file reports electronically: $593,000.

- carry out implementation of construction projects paid by $2 billion bond package approved by voters in March: $1.1 million.

- increase Salary Adjustment Fund by $27 million to raise below market-value salaries or state employees in high-demand fields.

- offer rank-and-file state employees average 3 percent bonuses, capped at $3,000, with their distributions determined by agency heads.

- fund information technology initiatives: $11.4 million.

__

Source: Office of State Budget and Management; Gov. Pat McCrory’s office.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide