May 31, 2017
NCGA House Releases Budget Proposal
Last Thursday, House appropriations subcommittees reviewed portions of the
chamber’s $22.9 billion budget proposal – but did not reveal the full
proposal, including tax reforms, teacher and state employee pay, and
commitments to the state’s rainy day fund until Tuesday night. After
receiving the green light from three House committees this week – Finance,
Pensions & Retirement, and Appropriations, the proposal now heads to
the House floor.
House Budget Proposal Highlights
After releasing the full budget proposal on Tuesday night, the House
Appropriations Committee spent all day today debating the bill and
considering amendments to the plan. Sixty-seven amendments were considered
in the committee, 47 of which were adopted. The House is expected to pass
the proposal this week, with votes on the floor on tomorrow and Friday.
Once the proposal is approved, the House will go into the conference
process with the Senate, who passed their
earlier this month. Though both chambers have agreed on a $22.9 billion
spending target, many differences exist between the two proposals. Items
that were included in both chamber’s proposals will be included in the
final budget, which is on track to be sent to the Governor by June 30.
Items that were included only in one proposal will be worked out in a
conference committee over the next few weeks, and may or may not end up in
the final budget.
SB 257: Appropriations Act of 2017
proposes a 2.5% spending increase from last year, with total spending equal
to $22.9 billion. Here’s a glimpse at the House’s priorities:
Average teacher pay raises of 3.3% in 2017-18 and 9.5% in 2018-19.
A one-time 1.6% cost of living increase for state retirees.
$1,000 pay raises for most state employees.
A $263 million investment into the Savings Reserve Fund.
$150 million in disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Matthew.
Reducing personal income taxes by increasing the standard deduction.
Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources
Continues to support the Healthy Food/ Small Retailer program, which
reimburses small food retailers in food deserts, such as convenience stores
and bodegas, for the purchase and installation of equipment necessary for
stocking nutrient-dense foods.
- Establishes a Beehive Grant Program to encourage the establishment of new
beehives in the state.
Extends the sunset of the Job Development Investment Grant program to
January 1, 2025.
Increases funding to the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund by
$1.2 million in 2017-18.
Provides $3 million to the Carolina Small Business Development Fund to
provide small business loans and financial training to start-up and
existing businesses and lending services to community-based organizations.
Creates a grant program to develop industry partnerships with local
school administrative units and charter schools to implement computer
science, coding and mobile application development programs for middle and
high school students.
Expands the existing Career and Technical Education Grant Program to
include sixth and seventh grade students.
Directs the State Board of Education and the Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS) to develop a youth suicide awareness and prevention
training program for all school personnel who work directly with students
in grades six through 12.
Implements a school calendar flexibility pilot program for a selection of
Provides an additional $10 million in one-time funds for textbooks and
Increases annual funding for the Digital Learning Plan by $2.2 million.
Provides $10 million in 2017-18 and $21.7 million in 2018-19 to implement
the School Business Modernization Plan.
Requires all students receiving Opportunity Scholarship grants to
complete the Iowa Test of Basic Skill in order to analyze the learning
gains of participating students and compare those students to public school
students with similar socioeconomic backgrounds.
Directs the State Board of Community Colleges to study the costs of
workforce training and evaluate the state’s existing Apprenticeship
Program, which is being transferred from the Department of Commerce to the
Community College System’s authority.
Establishes a Community College High-Cost Workforce Program Grant to
allocate funds to community colleges to establish new high-cost workforce
courses that require significant start-up costs.
Establishes a scholarship program to encourage top-performing high school
students to attend community colleges.
Directs the Board of Governors to study the feasibility of establishing a
School of Health Science and Health Care at UNC-Pembroke and a physician
assistant program, chiropractic medicine program, and a pilot program for
Basic Law Enforcement Training at Winston-Salem State University.
Establishes a new NC Teaching Fellows program to provide forgivable loans
to students entering the teaching profession and concentrating on STEM
courses or special education.
Provides $500,000 in 2017-18 and $3 million in 2018-19 and beyond for a
competitive grant program for UNC Institutions to implement or expand an
evidence-based strategy to improve retention and graduation rates.
Implements a pilot Finish in Four program aimed at counseling students
through course selection to encourage on-time graduation.
Provides an additional $2 million for need-based scholarships for private
Increases the standard deduction for personal income taxes. The standard
deduction would be raised from $17,500 to $18,500 for married couples
filing jointly, with similar increases for other tax status categories.
Reduces the franchise tax rate from $1.50 to $1.40 per one thousand
dollars of the required base.
Exempts mill machinery from retail sales and use taxes and directs the
Revenue Laws Study Committee to study ways to clarify the scope of the
Creates sales tax refunds for urban and rural small research and
Increases the amount of interest paid on a mortgage that a person can
deduct on their personal income taxes from $20,000 to $22,000.
Provides $15 million in 2017-18 and $30 million in 2018-19 to the Film
and Entertainment Grant Fund program, which encourages the production of
movies, TV shows and commercials in the state.
Appropriates $4.2 million to the Economic Development Partnership of NC
in 2017-18 and $955,503 in 2018-19 and thereafter to promote tourism and
economic development in NC through advertising and marketing and to replace
Access NC, a building site search tool for businesses interested in
locating in the state.
Health & Human Services
Directs the Division of Public Health to study the prevalence of eating
disorders in NC and identify strategies for treatment.
Provides $100,000 for NC law enforcement agencies and the NC Harm
Reduction Coalition to purchase opioid antagonists.
Provides $350,000 to continue the Community Paramedicine Pilot Program.
Directs DHHS to plan for a future pilot program or statewide plan that
would provide home visits for pregnant women and families with young
children as part of the Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs.
Provides an additional $1.2 million in 2017-18 and $3.9 million in
2018-19 and beyond to increase access to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
and “Reach Out and Read,” a program that supports doctors in their efforts
to “prescribe” reading to young children and families.
Provides $750,000 to support the Angels Watch Program through Eckerd
Kids, which provides voluntary, temporary custody of young children whose
parents are unable to provide care during a short term crisis.
Appropriates $500,000 to two existing smoking cessation programs –
QuitlineNC and You Quit Two Quit – and provides $2 million to develop
strategies to prevent the use of new tobacco products, like e-cigarettes,
Directs the Department of Information Technology to continue to develop a
fully consolidated statewide enterprise resource planning system.
Increases funding to the Broadband Infrastructure Office by $250,000.
Justice and Public Safety
Creates a pilot program with the City of Wilmington to establish a Quick
Response Team to address the needs of opiate and heroin overdose victims
who are not getting follow-up treatment.
Appropriates $1 million to provide matching grants to local and county
law enforcement agencies to purchase body-worn or in-car video cameras.
Eliminates funds for inmate litter crews and road squads.
Provides funding for a 200-bed facility dedicated to housing female
offenders who have violated the terms of their probation.
Provides $250,000 to support a statewide school panic alarm pilot
Increases Indigent Defense Services attorney fees to retain private
Military & Veterans Affairs
Provides an additional $1.4 million annually to grant scholarships to
children of veterans killed or disabled during wartime.
- Appropriates an additional $2 million for community investment efforts to
sustain and maintain NC’s military programs.
Provides $2.5 million to provide transportation grants to charter schools
where at least 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Provides $25 million annually in matching funds for construction needs on
state and city maintained roads for new, relocated and expanded public
schools, including charter schools.
Reserves $75.3 million to be spent in the 2018-19 fiscal year on future
Increases funding for capital improvements at commercial airports by
Appropriates $40 million annually for contract resurfacing.
Establishes a Blue Ribbon Committee on Transportation Infrastructure
Provides $2 million to continue and enhance the Department of
Transportation’s contract for transportation analytics services.
Revises the weighting structure used to select Strategic Transportation
Investment projects to give additional input to Metropolitan and Rural
Transportation Planning Organizations.
Establishes a Megaproject Fund to be used to fund regional or statewide
transportation projects that exceed $200 million in total costs.
Removes state funding limits on light rail projects.