Some preliminary details of the House budget plan were revealed yesterday in various appropriation committees. WRAL has a brief rundown. Some highlights include:
In education, overall spending increased by a little over 3 percent. The funding plan accounts for enrollment growth in public K-12 schools as well as universities and community colleges. As drafted, the plan would put more money into a pair of scholarship programs that help poor and disabled students attend private schools, put more money into textbooks and restore funding for driver’s education in the state’s high schools.
Health spending also increased modestly. The biggest expansions are around $30 million in additional funding for mental health, $20 million in one-time money to help spur development of community hospice facilities and about $6 million to expand foster care programs. Growth in Medicaid enrollment, known as the “rebase,” would add about $287 million, or 7.8 percent over last year’s state Medicaid budget.
Other highlights include:
- Tens of millions for prison mental health
- $2.5 million to help fund Medicaid reform, but no details yet on what that reform would look like
- $50 million set aside in the transportation budget for increased debt service payments in anticipation of Gov. McCrory’s proposed $1.4 billion transportation bond
- Not laid out yet were any details regarding state employee salaries or the restoration of a tax credit for medical expenses for seniors