McCrory ready to release first spending plan

RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Pat McCrory released his first spending plan Wednesday morning, outlining how he will spend about $20 million in state tax dollars.

He spoke at the State Capitol this morning in Raleigh to present the 2013-2015 budget proposal.

“We’ve had to make some tough decisions on this budget,” he began.

“In North Carolina, we have a strong foundation, but our foundation has some cracks in it… We need to fill in the cracks.”

The main three topics he addressed were the Economy, Education and Government Efficiency.

“We have some major operational breakdowns in state government at this time,” he continued.

McCrory says he’s spent hours a day for his first 11 weeks in office reviewing every line of the budget and how it affected every department. “I had to make tough decisions,” he admitted.

For education, McCrory proposes:

  • $54.4m more to NC pre-K to serve a total of 30,000 kids statewide
  • hiring 1,800 more full-time teachers
  • $43m more for digital learning
  • $625,000 for Center for Safer Schools
  • $28m more to further the Excellent Public Schools Act
  • $7.5m to remedial courses in grades 8-12
  • $32m more for “high demand” community college courses
  • $28m more for equipment and infrastructure in community colleges
  • $63m to help fund UNC Strategic Directions Plan for high growth sectors

Under government, the Governor wants:

  • ALL state employees (including teachers) get a 1% raise
  • $77m to upgrade IT reserve
  • $7.2m for drug treatment courts
  • $72m to state pension system and $181m to state health plan
  • Sets aside $600m in reserves
  • $400m to Savings Reserve Account
  • $300m for Repairs and Renovations
  • $20m more for Disaster Relief Reserve

Under cost savings, McCrory lists:

  • 2-3% in efficiencies
  • $54m by realigning “outdated and inefficient” correctional facilities

For healthcare:

  • Medicaid – adds $575m
  • Establishes Medicaid Risk Reserve of $180m
  • Mental Health – adds $13m
  • Puts almost $30m to opening Broughton Psychiatric Hospital

Under commerce:

  • $2.7m for branding
  • $1.8m for “Main St. Solutions” – downtown economic development “resumes” One North Carolina Small Business Program”
  • $1m to Agriculture Water Resources Assistance Program (Ag oriented)
  • $76.2m for JDIG (job development)
  • $14m for JMAC (job retention in high paying jobs and large cap projects)

Eugenics:

  • $10m to compensate victims

The budget proposal will be reviewed by lawmakers, who will pass their own spending plan and ask McCrory to sign it into law.