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:
- $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
- $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