NC Senate's budget proposal for 2013-14
Highlights of the North Carolina state Senate's $20.6 billion budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
According to budget documents, the spending plan would:— set aside $217 million for a tax overhaul plan not contained in the budget that would reduce tax rates, subject many more services to the sales tax and eliminate the estate tax. Sets aside $5 million to implement proposed overhaul.
— eliminate the $376 million annual spending cut for local school districts in which they're expected to return a portion of money they've received as a cost-saving measure.
— spend $142 million less on teacher assistants. The revised allotment for assistants in kindergarten through third grade will now cover assistants in kindergarten and first grade.
— eliminate state support of ongoing operations at North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching and continues the phase-out of the North Caroilna Teaching Fellows program.
— raise community college tuition by $2.50 per hour for residents and nonresidents.
— direct $48 million in reductions across the University of North Carolina campus system, with cuts as determined by school leaders.
— close minimum and medium-security adult prisons in Bladen, Duplin, Robeson, Wayne, Buncombe and Orange counties that contain nearly 1,600 beds and close the 708-bed Western Youth Institution in Morganton for young offenders. The change would eliminate more than 800 positions and save nearly $25 million.
— close two juvenile detention centers in Buncombe and Richmond counties and the youth development center in Lenoir County, eliminating nearly $100 million and saving more than $5 million.
— provide funding for dozens of currently vacant state trooper positions, at a cost of $2.1 million.
— fund eight new state parole commission positions and 175 new probation officer positions to carry out 2011 Justice Reinvestment Act, at a cost of nearly $6.7 million.
— transfer most of the State Bureau of Investigation from the Department of Justice to the Division of Law Enforcement in the Department of Public Safety. Keep state crime laboratory within the Justice Department. The lab would receive 19 new positions.
— eliminate 12 Special Superior Court judgeships.
— set aside $1.5 million to help the State Board of Elections carry out a bill expected to become law that would require voters to show photo identification to cast ballots in person.
— give $3 million to local school districts for its share of state proceeds from live poker and other table games at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians casino. The legislature, then-Gov. Beverly Perdue and the tribe agreed to the annual distribution last year.
—repay $27 million debt owed by the Global TransPark in Lenoir County to the Escheats Fund.
— shift $12.4 million for 2,500 North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program slots to help reduce the child-care subsidy list by 2,600 children.
— close three-state operated alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers effective July 1, eliminating about 550 positions. Some resulting savings would be allocates to local mental health organizations for similar services.
— establish a statewide "telepsychiatry" program to provide more mental health services in rural and medically underserved areas.
— create "shared savings" plan in Medicaid to offer $15 million incentives to medical providers to provide effective and efficient care that results in positive patient outcomes.
— increase the number of personal care hours per month for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia living in special care units.
— provide another $434 million for increased Medicaid expenditures to continue the Medicaid program at current levels.
— spend another $50 million next year for almost 70,000 new Medicaid recipients expected to enroll after learning about the Affordable Care Act but qualifying under current eligibility rules.
— merge the Natural Heritage Trust Fund and Clean Water Management Trust Fund to create a new Water and Land Conservation Fund a new panel to oversee its expenditures.
— create a new Division of Rural Economic Development within the Department of Commerce to address rural needs.
— eliminate $16.6 million in operating funds to the nonprofit N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, cut state general fund spending to N.C. Biotechnology Center in half, cut or eliminate other direct state aid to economic development organizations.
— add three positions to Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
— eliminate Displaced Homemakers Program and transfers funds collected from divorce filing fees to fund for domestic violence centers.
— spend $1.4 million to help expand extended weekday and Saturday hours at 20 driver's license offices.
— increase road system preservation, general maintenance reserve and contract resurfacing program by more than $100 million each.
— carry out Gov. Pat McCrory's new prioritization formula for road projects.
— increase state retirement system contribution by $36 million for state employees, teachers.
— set aside $31 million for information technology reserve fund.
— place $24.4 million in Job Development Investment Grant reserve for economic recruitment incentives.
— provide no pay raises for state employees or teachers.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.