The General Government budget appropriates essentially the same amount of funds compared to the amount tentatively scheduled for use in the second year of the two-year budget plan approved last year, with only a 0.2 percent reduction. As with the proposed Senate and House General Government budgets, the reductions largely result from operating budget cuts and position eliminations and transfers.
The largest expansion in the General Government budget occurs in the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services. Other programs being expanded include the NC Museum of Art, the Military Morale and Welfare fund, the NC Symphony, and funding for the Government Ethics and Campaign Reform Act.
The overall reduction of the House General Government budget was less than that proposed by both the Senate and House General Government budgets. Notable expansions included in the final General Government budget and the House’s plan but not in the Senate’s include $1.3 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 final budget also included the Senate reductions from the Rape Crisis Program and Domestic Violence Program that the House budget did not include.
Significant expansions and reductions include:
- $8.9 million for Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services (CJLEADS); in agreement with Perdue and Senate plans. The program is designed to integrate “criminal justice information” into a centralized computer system.
- $1.3 million for a new North Carolina Museum of Art Building
- $421,018 for the State Board of Elections as part of the Government Ethics and Campaign Reform Act. The funds will be used to hire an auditor and acquire software to develop more transparent reporting of campaign financing.
- $492,702 to increase funding for the State Ethics Commission. This is also part of the Government Ethics and Campaign Reform Act. These funds will be used to hire additional legal staff tasked with monitoring ethics law compliance.
- $500,000 for the Military Morale and Welfare Fund
- $2 million in additional support for the NC Symphony, $500,000 of which is in the form of a grant.
- Operating budgets in every department are reduced along with position eliminations/transfers in almost every department
- $2.5 million 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, and nearly $2 million larger than the House’s plan.
- $151,119 from the Rape Crisis Program
- $243,115 from the Domestic Violence Program