Governor Pat McCrory proposed a balanced budget for fiscal years 2013-2015.
The governor’s $20.6 billion spending plan reflects his vision of a government that focuses on delivering the best possible results, customer service and quality of life for the people of North Carolina, according to a release from McCrory’s office.
-Develops and implements new economic development and branding strategy. Governor McCrory’s budget provides $2.7 million for the Department of Commerce to both develop and implement a new economic development and branding strategy. In an increasingly competitive environment for jobs, tourism and investment, this initiative will help position North Carolina to compete through recruitment, media and marketing efforts, according to the release.
-Recapitalizes the Main Street Solutions Fund. To strengthen the core of small towns and communities throughout North Carolina, the governor’s budget provides $1.8 million over two years for the Main Street Solutions program focused on downtown economic development to support small businesses and job creation.
-Resumes funds for the One North Carolina Small Business Program. The governor’s budget provides funds to assist small businesses obtain and leverage competitive federal funding through matching funds to promote innovation, research and development.
-The governor’s recommended budget restores $1 million in funding for the Agriculture Water Resources Assistance Program over two years, enabling the program to continue assisting farmers and landowners identify opportunities to increase water efficiency.
-Sets aside $76.2 million over two years in the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) to fulfill past obligations made to companies who qualify for performance-based economic incentive grants by growing jobs and investing capital in North Carolina.
-Includes about $14 million in funds for the Job Maintenance and Capital Development (JMAC) program, which is designed to encourage businesses to retain high paying quality jobs and large-scale capital investments in the state.
Governor McCrory’s office says the budget delivers on the promise of building a more efficient state government with a culture of customer service to effectively meet the needs of our citizens.
The Governor’s recommended budget:
-Provides $77 million over two years to the Information Technology Reserve to fix systems and increase customer service. The budget also continues the development of the Tax Information Management System and the state’s core Banking System.
-Re-establishes Drug Treatment Courts. The budget provides $7.2 million for Drug Treatment Courts to break the cycle of addiction that gives rise to violence in our communities and help individuals reclaim their lives.
-Provides a salary increase of 1 percent to teachers and state employees as well as a 1 percent cost of living adjustment for retirees. The budget also provides funds for a salary adjustment reserve to provide for competitive pay increases and retention bonuses for key employees who are not receiving market wages.
-Requires departments and agencies to deliver cost savings of 2 percent to 3 percent to taxpayers.
-Creates the NC Government Efficiency and Reform initiative (NC GEAR) to transform state government. The budget provides funds to establish NC GEAR, an initiative to develop a strategic transformation plan for state government.
-Adds an additional $575 million over two years to Medicaid.
-Provides an additional $13 million over two years to deliver services to individuals with mental illness. This budget also invests nearly $30 million over two years to help open the new Broughton Psychiatric Hospital.
-Compensates eugenics victims. Governor McCrory’s budget provides $10 million to compensate victims of the state’s former Eugenics Board program, which involuntarily sterilized North Carolinians during the 20th century. The budget also continues operations of the Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims to provide ongoing help and counseling to victims.
-Provides $20 million in savings is reinvested in community corrections to fund additional probation/parole officers and reduce the long-term need for prison beds. According to
Governor McCrory’s office, the budget saves taxpayers more than $54 million over two years by realigning outdated and inefficient correctional facilities.
-Provides for a payment of $72 million to the state pension system over two years, fulfilling the state’s pension obligations. Additionally, Governor McCrory’s budget pays $181 million into the state health plan over two years.
A Responsible, Balanced Budget:
Governor McCrory’s office says the budget is consistent with inflation expectations of 1.5 percent and below the overall economic growth anticipated in fiscal year 2013-14. According to his office, his recommended budget also:
-Authorizes no new debt.
-Proposes no state tax increases.
-Stops the use of “one-shot” money and budget gimmicks to fund recurring state programs.
-Provides for a responsible $139 million budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2013-14.
-Maintains and enhances budget reserves. Governor McCrory’s budget sets aside reserves of more than $600 million, responsibly saving for the future and aggressively protecting North Carolina’s Triple-A bond rating.
-Allocates $400 million over two years for the Savings Reserve Account, bringing the total balance to an all-time high of $813 million.
-Provides $300 million over two years for the Repairs and Renovations Account, which will allow us to fix and enhance the state’s buildings and broken infrastructure. An estimated 5,000 jobs will be created for small to mid-size contractors.
-Establishes a Medicaid Risk Reserve in the amount of $180 million over two years to assist with overall Medicaid reform, and to address any potential mid-year shortfalls in funding.
-Adds $20 million to rebuild the Disaster Relief Reserve to provide resources and matching funds to help people recover from small to medium size natural disasters.
-Preserves the integrity of the Highway Trust Fund. Consistent with the governor’s priority of building a long-term, strategic plan for transportation infrastructure, Governor McCrory’s budget does not transfer money from the Highway Trust Fund to the general fund.