In 2000, the WCPSS operating budget was a mere $653 million. What accounts for the dramatic growth in the school budget? A review of WCPSS budget trends for the period 2000-2009 can help provide some answers.
North Carolina has followed suit in drafting immigration legislation in the wake of the recent Arizona illegal immigration law that enables the state to deal with this growing problem.
It is often theorized that mid-term Presidential year elections are simply referendums on the voters’ satisfaction with the current administration’s term in office. Often though, those mid-term elections, like we are having in 2010 are met with substantial losses for the party in power. In fact, only twice in the past 100 years has the party who controlled the Presidency picked up seats in Congress during that President’s first mid-term year election.
Legislators who support H.B. 1403, sponsored by Reps. Wil Neumann (R-Gaston), Pearl Burris-Floyd (R-Gaston), Darrell McCormick (R-Yadkin) and Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), which would require the collection of DNA upon arrest for all felonies and certain misdemeanors, have only focused on how it would exonerate the innocent.
The North Carolina House of Representatives budget plan would reduce the funding for the UNC System by $98 million for FY 2010-11. The House's proposal differs greatly from both the Governor's recommendations and the Senate's budget, who both recommended moderate budget increases for the coming fiscal year. In spite of the overall spending reduction, however, the House recommends adding 243 new full-time positions to the state payroll. Most of these positions would be for maintenance and security staff for additional buildings being put to use. Major reductions and expansions include: Expansions: Tuition Repeal: $34.78 million. Repeals the legislative tuition rate increase approved during the 2009 legislative session and increases state appropriations to make up the difference Need-Based Financial Aid: $12 million. This increase in financial aid would restore non-recurring aid appropriated the previous year as recurring funds going forward. Building Reserves Restored: $12.2 million. This proposal would restore funding cut in the 2009 Session. This funding would support the maintenance and operations of 55 new or renovated buildings completed within FY 2009-11. The money would go toward the creation of 184 maintenance, housekeeping and security positions. ECU Dental Schools Operations: $6 million. Funds the ECU Dental School as it seeks accreditation, and to meet faculty and operating needs before it opens in the Fall of 2011. Enrollment Growth: $ 5.6 million. Increases funding for UNC enrollment growth due to an increase of 441 full-time equivalent enrollees over previous estimates. Aid to Private College Students: $4.6 million. Expands funding for the Legislative Tuition Grant and the State Contractual Scholarship Fund for enrollment growth of 2.9% in FY 2010-11. Reductions: Management Flexibility Reduction: $147 million. This proposal would impose a mandatory reduction on the UNC operating budget with an emphasis on non-teaching related positions. This reduction would take effect on top of a $100 million management flexibility reduction authorized in the base budget for FY 2010-11. Repeal of Non-resident Full Scholarship Tuition Waiver: $15.5 million. The House proposes to halt reimbursements to the UNC system for losses of revenue incurred by affording non-resident students on full-scholarship in-state tuition. UNC Advertising: $2.5 million. The proposal would impose a 24% reduction in the UNC advertising budget. Aid to UNC Hospitals Reduced: $15 million. This would be a reduction of the $44 million per annum appropriations to UNC hospitals, a reduction that could be made up for with part of the UNC Hospital's $500 million in unrestricted reserves. HMCUC Funds Transfer: $525,000. Eliminates the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium Closing the Achievement Gap project and transfers funding for that project to the Department of Public Instruction.
The North Carolina House 2010-11 budget recommends spending $2.66 billion on transportation. Most notably, the House budget joins Gov. Perdue's budget proposal in setting up the N.C. Mobility Fund, which would be designed as a funding mechanism for statewide transportation needs. The Senate's plan did not include a Mobility Fund. The House plan differs from the Governor's, however, in that the House does not propose an increase in DMV fees to help finance the Mobility Fund. Moreover, the House would utilize unused Turnpike money along with diverting a part of the annual transfer from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund to finance the Mobility Fund. The House's Mobility Fund would receive initial financing of a reported $39 million, compared to Perdue's desired $95 million. The first project to receive Mobility Fund dollars under the House plan would be a widening of I-85 near the Yadkin River Bridge. Also of note is the House budget's provision ordering the state's Ferry Division to develop a fee schedule in order to cover operating costs, which are budgeted to increase by $11 million in the coming year. The House budget joins the Governor and Senate budget plans in appropriating more than $30 million to reinstate the Driver Education program. Major expansions and reductions include: Expansions: $500,000 to accommodate the transfer of two Department of Commerce aircrafts to the Department of Transportation's Aviation Division. The House budget also would retain $500,000 normally earmarked for the annual transfer to the General Fund in order to pay for the aircrafts $11.3 million in additional funding for Ferry Division operating costs $32 million to partially restore funding for the Driver Education program. The program's funding had been temporarily taken off the 2010-11 budget pending a continuation review Reductions: $3.2 million saved by eliminating DMV positions that have been vacant more than 18 months and DOT positions vacant for six months or more
Much like the Senate's Natural and Economic Resources (NER) Budget, the House NER Budget plan contains several large expansions that are "nonrecurring", or one-time added expenditures. The House proposal reflects an astounding 9.8 percent expansion from last year's authorized spending plan for 2010-11. The primary focus of the House NER Budget expansions is on economic development, notably in the One North Carolina Fund, Main Street Solutions program, the Biotechnology Center, Homegrown Jobs, and the Regional Economic Development Commissions. There is also a significant expansion in the budget for the NC Biofuels Center. In addition to these expenditures, the House Budget calls for nearly $11 million to be raided from special funds and moved to the General Fund. These special funds include the Mercury Pollution Prevention Fund, the Aquariums Fund, the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund, and the Wildlife Resources Commission. There are several key differences between the House NER Budget and the Senate NER Budget. The Senate Budget did not include any of the provisions from special funds or the $2 million for Main Street Solutions that were proposed by the House. The House proposal would appropriate $9 million for the One North Carolina Fund, which is $6 million less than what the Senate budgeted. Also, the House did not include the $12 million appropriation for Lab-to-Market Funds/Commercialization that was included in the Senate NER Budget. Lab-to-Market Funds would go to technology development companies to expedite the process of getting new products on the market. Significant expansions and reductions include: Expansions: $9 million to the One North Carolina Fund $2 million to Main Street Solutions. This is one of the Governor's new programs that provides grants to small business owners in downtown districts of small communities. $5 million to NC Biofuels Center $4.3 million to operating funds for the Biotechnology Center $3.1 million to Homegrown Jobs, as recommended in both the Governor's and the Senate's budget proposal. This provides additional funding for the Rural Center's Building Reuse and Restoration program as well as funding for small-scale regional community development projects. $5 million to Regional Economic Development Commissions, this amount is equal to that called for in the Senate plan and roughly twice the expansion requested by Perdue. Reductions: Operating Costs and Position Eliminations in most departments $1 million from the sale of Forest Resources Aircraft $2.5 million from the operating budget of NC Aquariums $800,000 from transferring the Executive Aircraft Division within the Department of Commerce to the Aviation Division within the Department of Transportation. This transfer was approved in the Senate Budget as well.
The House budget plan would reduce overall Justice and Public Safety (JPS) Budget by about 3 percent compared to the spending plan put in place last year. As with the Senate JPS Budget, the majority of appropriations shifting occurs within the Department of Corrections, the largest department in JPS. The largest reductions come from inmate medical costs and a lower-than-projected inmate population. The most significant difference between the House and Senate JPS budgets is that the House allocates to the Department of Corrections about $12 million less than the Senate to correct for an inmate population now projected to be lower than the estimates used last when the two-year budget plan was put in place. Corrections, however, would see an increase of 803 full-time positions under the House budget. Two other notable discrepancies between the House and Senate budgets are the $3.5 million expansion in the House Budget to restore the Samackland Youth Development Center, which is absent from the Senate Budget, and the $2.35 million in the Senate Budget to expand prisoner education not included in the House Budget. Significant expansions and reductions include: Expansions: $9.77 million to the operating reserves at the Central and Women Prisons' hospitals as requested in the Governor's budget proposal $3.5 million to restore the Samackland Youth Development Center. This is an alternative correctional facility for juvenile offenders. $2.2 million to restore the Sentencing Services program as requested in both the Governor's and Senate's spending plans Reductions: $27.2 million from the Department of Corrections because of lower than expected inmate population $20.5 million from linking inmate medical costs to a fee schedule based on rates authorized by Medicaid. This reduction was included in the Senate's and Governor Perdue's proposals $5.75 million from the Private Assigned Counsel (PAC) program. PAC consists of private legal counsel who have been assigned to provide indigent legal services. This reduction was also included in the Senate Budget. $5 million from the technology services program and administration budgets of the Judicial Department. This too was included in the Senate Budget.
The House's 2010-11 budget recommendations would include total Health and Human Services (HHS) spending of $5.04 billion, once more than $1 billion in federal stimulus funds are factored in. The House plan appears to spend $3.97 billion, but the more than $1 billion in federal funding - mostly for Medicaid - appears in the state budget as a "cut," and therefore does not accurately reflect the actual amount being spent on state HHS programs. One particular sticking point of the House plan is that it relies on roughly $500 million of anticipated federal Medicaid funds that have yet to be confirmed for disbursement. The House budget plan also includes an additional $430 expansion of state Medicaid appropriations to accommodate unanticipated growth in the program. This expansion is in addition to the $273 million expansion already planned for in the biennial budget approved last year. On net, the House budget plan would reduce the previously approved 2010-11 HHS appropriations by $351 million. The House budget proposal is different from the Senate's and Governor's proposals in several ways. The House proposes to increase funding for NC Health Choice, a state-funded health insurance program for children from low-income families that make too much to be eligible for Medicaid, by $3.3 million - an amount significantly less than the Senate's expansion of $6.5 million and the Governor's $8.5 million. The House also differs with the Senate and Governor budgets regarding the in-home Personal Care Services (PCS) program. The Senate and Governor sought to eliminate the program, which provides assistance to seniors with everyday activities like cooking and bathing, and replace it with a program focusing only on those "with the most intense needs". Conversely, the House wishes to keep the program intact but find $34.5 million in savings from "independent assessments" of caseloads intended to root out unnecessary care. Major expansions and reductions include: Expansions: $430.5 million: Further increase of General Fund appropriations to Medicaid budget to accommodate a previously unanticipated 5.6 percent expansion in newly eligible individuals $14.2 million: Additional funding to increase enrollment in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program $3.3 million: To expand enrollment in the NC Health Choice program $1.6 million: Additional state funding for rural hospital operations and maintenance Reductions: $489.8 million: Itemized as a reduction in state spending because it is expected the federal government will replace the state spending through an extension of a federal matching fund program enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for six months $79.4 million: expected savings in Medicare part D through federal funding ARRA $34.5 million: Reduction to Personal Care Services due to "independent assessments" designed to eliminate unnecessary care. $23.6 million: Replaces state funded child care subsidies with federal Temporary and Needy Family (TANF) emergency contingency funding $28 million: Savings desired from "care management programs" administered through Community Care Network of North Carolina (CCNC) which manages much of the Medicaid program $10 million: in expected savings by adding mental health drugs to the Preferred Drug List $41 million: in expected savings from management changes in Enhanced Mental Health Services $36 million: in expected savings through Program Integrity Initiatives to reduce fraud and waste in Medicaid
The General Government Budget would be reduced by 0.7 percent in the House proposal. The majority of the reductions are reflected in operating budgets and position eliminations or transfers within most departments. The largest expansion in the General Government Budget is granted to the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services. Additional expansions occurred within the NC Museum of Art, the Military Morale and Welfare fund, a grant for the NC Symphony, and the Governor’s proposed Good Government Package. The overall reduction of the House General Government Budget was less than the Senate proposed. Notable expansions included in the House Budget but not in the Senate’s plan include $1.4 million in appropriations for the new North Carolina Museum of Art building, $500,000 more for the Military Morale and Welfare Fund, and a $500,000 grant for the NC Symphony. Meanwhile, the Senate Budget contained reductions to the Rape Crisis Program and Local Library Grants that the House Budget did not include. Significant expansions and reductions include: Expansions: $9.5 million for Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services (CJLEADS). The program is designed to integrate “criminal justice information” into a centralized system. This expansion is in agreement with Perdue and Senate plans $1.4 million for a new North Carolina Museum of Art Building $450,000 for the Governor’s Good Government Package: this would be used to develop software that would make reporting on campaign finances more efficient and reliable for candidates. $547,600 to increase funding for the State Ethics Commission. This is also part of Perdue’s Good Government Package. $500,000 for the Military Morale and Welfare Fund $500,000 grant for NC Symphony Reductions: Operating budgets in every department are reduced along with position eliminations/transfers in almost every department $525,903 from the Home Protection Program under the Housing Finance Agency, in anticipation that these funds will be replaced with federal funds. The Program offers interest-free loans from the state to people who have lost their jobs. The loans are to be used to pay mortgage payments and other related expenses like homeowner's insurance during a temporary period of time. This is a smaller reduction than proposed by the Senate.
The 2010 House Budget Introduction General Government Public Education UNC System Community Colleges Justice and Public Safety Health and Human Services Transportation Natural and Economic Resources The North Carolina House of Representatives’ FY2010-11 budgetary adjustments for Public Education reduce the originally budgeted allotment by $283 million. This adjustments proposal comes much closer to the Governor’s […]
The North Carolina House of Representatives proposes to increase the amount of funding for North Carolina community colleges by over $36 million in their FY2010-11 budget. This proposal slightly exceeds the Governor's recommended increase of $32 million but falls short of the Senate's proposal of $50.7 million in expansions. The total appropriations for FY 2010-11 under the House's budget would amount to just over $1 billion. Notable unique proposals from the House include large appropriations for Prisoner Education ($26 million total), an almost $1 million expansion for mentoring programs for minority males, and an increase in community college tuition for both residents and non-residents larger than the Governor's and Senate's budget plans. Major reductions and expansions include: Expansions: Fully Fund Enrollment Growth: $85 million. Provides funding needed to fully fund enrollment growth for FY 2010-11. The 2009-10 spring semester census shows that enrollment has increased 15.8% above the 2009-10 adjusted budgeted enrollment of around 215,000, amounting to nearly 250,000 full-time equivalent slots for FY 2010-11. Prisoner Education: $22.5 million. The House proposes to appropriate millions of dollars more to Prisoner Education in Community Colleges than both the Governor and Senate's budget plans. $32 million was eliminated from this program in FY 2009-10, leaving $3 million remaining in the continuation budget for FY 2010-11. This would increase the total expenditures for the Prisoner Education program for FY 2010-11 to $25.5 million. Minority Male Mentoring: $900,000. Funding assists programs for minority males at community colleges that provide services such as personal and academic counseling, drug intervention, and personal growth and development. Equipment and Technology: $4 million. Increases appropriations for the purpose of purchasing instructional equipment and technology at all 58 community colleges. This is an expansion of the $43.3 million already appropriated for this program. Reductions: Management Flexibility Reduction: $22.75 million. The State Board of Community Colleges will distribute the reduction, taking into account the unique needs of each community college. This flexibility reduction will not be permitted to impact funding related to retraining displaced workers. Eliminate Positions: $575,000. This proposal will eliminate seven positions in the Community College system, including: Business Officer, Education Program Director (2), Office Assistant, and Technology Support Analyst. Tuition Increase: $37.15 million. The House budget would increase tuition to $58 per credit hour ($8 dollar increase) and to $250 per credit hour for non-residents ($8.70 increase).
The North Carolina House has approved a spending plan for 2010-11 that increases actual spending over the current fiscal year, adds 861 full-time positions to the state payroll, raids lottery funds to preserve teacher jobs, freezes teacher and state employee pay and offers a misguided package of targeted tax breaks intended to help small business job growth.
Authorizing additional unapproved state debt this year will be not only fiscally irresponsible, but widely unpopular. The public demands a vote of new state debt. An overwhelming 77 percent of voters believe that the North Carolina General Assembly should not be allowed to borrow money without voter approval.
The final 2010-11 state budget provides for a $10.4 million increase in budget appropriations compared to the amount of spending recommended for the UNC system in last year’s two-year budget plan. The dollar amount of the UNC System budget turned out very close to the Senate’s proposal of a $10 million appropriations increase, rather than the House’s proposal for a steep $98 million reduction for FY 2010-11.