Governor Pat McCrory (R—NC) released his first budget proposal this morning, outlining spending recommendations for 2014 and 2015.
Left-leaning North Carolinians braced themselves for the announcement, fearful of the influence of McCrory’s budget director, the ultra-conservative Art Pope. The good news is the news isn’t all bad. The budget calls for increasing infrastructure development, state savings and new teacher hires, and it allows for a 1% bump in compensation for teachers, state employees and retirees. This reinforces the idea that the new governor is at least more moderate than the NC legislature.
The bad news is that most state agencies will face cuts. Most notably, the University of North Carolina system will face funding reductions of $143 million. At the same time, McCrory calls for repealing the Estate Tax, which would deprive the state of $54 million per year and would only benefit the richest sliver of the population. And of course this is only a proposal — and an early one at that. With the Republicans holding a supermajority, it’s hard to imagine the budget moving anywhere but further right.
- Increases the State Repair and Renovation Fund by $300 million, with an eye towards infrastructure development.
- Reduces funding to the UNC system by $143 million.
- Cuts most state agencies/departments by 1-3%.
- Teachers, state employees and retirees would receive a 1% increase in compensation.
- Repeals the estate tax at a cost of $54 million per year.
- Increases the state’s Rainy Day Fund by $400 million.