May
20

NC Senate Budget Proposal

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Use this thread for all things budgety. The proposed Senate Budget does not include any tax reform details. Rumor has it that the poor and middle class will be paying more under the coming tax shift, while big corporations and the wealthiest pay less. Keep that context in mind as you read all of the spin. Also bear in mind that education and health care are two of the primary pathways out of poverty and for staying in the middle class. The Legislature will deal with raising taxes on the poor a little further down the road. Here are some bulleted budget points from various sources.

WRAL:
- Senate leaders released a $20.6 billion budget Sunday night

- overall education spending dropping when compared to the current year.

- paves the way for an effort to privatize [Medicaid], something the governor is already studying.

- Among the other proposed changes the Senate budget would make to Medicaid and health services are:
— cuts covered doctor visits on Medicaid from 22 per year to 10.
— raises co-pays for services.
— cuts private nursing services by $5 million.
— cuts mental health drugs by $5 million.
— cuts aids drug assistance by 25 percent, or $2 million. The budget also contains a provisions that would direct the state prisons to seek to use ADAP funding to pay for HIV drugs for those in the state prison system.
— closes the state’s three alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, saving $37 million. In turn, the budget sets aside $10 million to pay for drug treatment services provided through regional mental health care agencies.

- includes a controversial provision that would require applicants for certain welfare programs to undergo drug testing.

- remove class-size caps for elementary school grades.

- would eliminate public “check off” funds that currently go to political parties.

News & Observer:

- move the State Bureau of Investigation to a department the governor’s appointee controls

- reduce spaces in the public preschool for at-risk 4-year-olds by 2,500 in the first year of the budget and 5,000 in the second year, and turn them into subsidized childcare slots.

- dissolve the Clean Water Management Trust Fund

WSOC:

- close the Western Youth Facility in Morganton, a youth detention center, and cut 320 jobs.

AP:

- Operating funds for the nonprofit N.C. Rural Economic Development Center would be eliminated

News Release from Senate Speaker Phil Berger has the NCGOP take on their proposal.


Comments

  1. Gordon Smith says:

    I just saw that, NC! Excerpt:

    “To cut off debate on the most important piece of legislation that this body enacts, it seems to me is a miscarriage of everything that democracy stands for.” – Senator Phil Berger (R)

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  2. Gordon Smith says:

    More:

    No Pay Raise for Public School Educators (or State Employees)

    The NC Senate once again proposes freezing pay for public school educators, which includes no step increase for teachers, no cost-of-living adjustment for classified employees and retirees. The Senate does propose giving $10.2 million to superintendents in 2014-2015 to distribute $500 annual pay raises for tenured teachers opting to enter into a four-year terminating contract that relinquishes all tenure property rights.

    Eliminates Masters/6-Year/Doctorate Degree Pay in 2014-2015 (Grandfathers Degree Holders)

    Beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, all new Masters/6-Year/Doctorate Degree educators will no longer be eligible for 10% enhanced pay. All educators with Masters/6-Year/Doctorate Degrees who are receiving 10% enhanced pay prior to the 2014-2015 academic year will be grandfathered and their pay will be unchanged prospectively by this proposal. National Board Certification is unchanged in the Senate proposal.

    Cuts Over 4,000 Teacher Assistants from Classrooms

    While Governor McCrory proposed a $114 million cut to teacher assistants that would eliminate 3,400 of these K-3 instructors, the Senate proposes increasing that cut to $142.3 million in 2013-2014.

    Makes the $376 Million Discretionary Cut to Classrooms Permanent

    The Senate budget proposal gives the impression it is restoring the $376 million “discretionary” cut to local school districts but look further at the proposal and the Senate is proposing the following line item cuts to local school systems in exchange for a discretionary cut:

    $286.4 million in cuts to classroom teachers
    $16.9 million in cuts to instructional support personnel
    $6.9 million in cuts instructional supplies
    $28.4 million in cuts to school bus replacement
    $14.9 million cut to low wealth supplemental funding
    Add in the $142.3 million cut to teacher assistants and the discretionary cut is made permanent plus new cuts to local school systems
    Increases Class Size in Grades K-3 — Class Size Ratios Repealed

    The Senate inserted policy language on page 58 of the omnibus budget text that allows for local school systems to be pack as many students as they wish into grades K-3. NCAE has written extensively about how wrong this policy is here, here, and here. It’s worth noting that the Senate is inserting this language from Senate Bill 374 into its budget proposal without a full Senate discussion of the policy change. This provision combined with the permanent cuts outlined above means class size in grades K-3 is certain to increase.

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  3. TJ says:

    I used to think “it’ll work out,” whenever some injustice popped up.
    I used to think if one worked hard enough, anyone could succeed.

    The first thought was tempered by past experiences in my life.

    The second is recently disturbed by the insane moves made by the party that my parents worshiped, and, which I have never really understood.

    Supposedly, they represent some of the people in our state, but, as I watch and listen, I see them display more of a sense of “entitlement” than anyone I have ever met who depend on those “entitlements,” to simply live.

    It’s almost like they’re trying to create a scenario that can be the basis for a new disaster movie. After all, NC has been a popular location for films.

    Armageddon has already been taken, as has been many other titles.

    What would be an apropos title for a state government sponsored implosion?

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  4. Keith Thomson says:

    “The recent unpleasantness?”

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  5. Keith Thomson says:

    For anyone who missed the reference, the “recent unpleasantnesss” is what my dowager great Aunt Tish called the Civil War, aka, what an NRA leader recently referred to as the “War of Northern Aggression.”

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  6. mcates says:

    This part was interesting:

    “One of the biggest spending increases is for Medicaid, the government insurance program for poor children, low-income pregnant women, the elderly and disabled. The Medicaid budget will increase by about $340 million next year.”

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  7. Gordon Smith says:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/05/tax-reform-proposals-not-sitting-well-with-nc-voters.html

    NC does not like this proposal, but Gov. McCrory’s favorable rating is steady.

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  8. Tom Sullivan says:

    Too bad PPP didn’t mention the Medicaid budget increase. Might have helped the NCGA.

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  9. Roger Hartley says:

    We are missing an important narrative in this budget cut debate. Revenues have improved…State controller notes by in the hundreds of million over last year (so far). We have cut deeply…very deeply throughout this recession. Efforts to cut now are not needed. We need to be restoring budgets. THAT is the narrative that citizens of this state should be pointing out. My take in this week’s Citizen-Times Sunday edition.

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130519/OPINION03/305190018/Improving-NC-state-budget-picture-begin-restoring-damaging-cuts

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  10. Roger Hartley says:

    And this from a network of nonprofits:

    Senate Bill 402 is sponsored by Senators Peter Brunstetter, Harry Brown & Neal Hunt (co-chairs of the Appropriations/Base Budget committee). The bill has the following results:

    -Eliminates the existing Displaced Homemaker programs.

    -Eliminates funding from Divorce Filing Fees for displaced homemaker programs.

    -Requires the transfer of any displaced homemaker state appropriation not spent as of June 30, 2013 to the Domestic Violence Fund

    In this climate of economic uncertainty, this budget eliminates programs that train over 5,790 women & men to qualify for jobs, achieve self-sufficiency goals such as community college certification and financial literacy. Thirty-five counties will lose funding for vital services to help women transition from domestic violence to independence.

    Women’s centers in Alamance, Guilford, Mecklenburg, & Orange counties as well as the YWCA of Buncombe County are just a few of non-profit agencies that will lose funding and the ability to support children, women, men and strengthen families.

    Other counties that will lose program/services include: Brunswick, Catawba, Chatham, Cherokee, Cleveland, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Durham, Iredell, Jackson, Johnston, Jones, Macon, Mitchell, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rockingham, Rutherford, Sampson, Swain, Surry, Stokes, Transylvania, Wake, Warren, Wilkes, Wilson & Yadkin.

    The Senate will vote on Senate Bill 402 and if adopted, send it to the NC House. The House will create its budget. If the budget proposals are different, the NC General Assembly will create a committee to develop one budget. If the House and Senate approve the budget, it is sent to the Governor for signature. The Governor can adopt the budget or veto it.

    Help the NC Council for Women identify the impact of this proposed budget to women and consumers you serve.
    Your impact letters will be shared with members of the Council for Women Commission and the Department of Administration. Send specific impact statements to your CFW region director.

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  11. N.C.Rohan says:

    Moffitt/ McGrady grow hearts to get insurance coverage for Autism? Doubtful…while it is a good , necessary bill I would bet their involvement is solely due to an ALEC affiliated drug company pushing the agenda. What a bonanza the lifetime medications provide, (and they’ve made sure they aren’t liable for any injury caused with “tort reform” bills). Make sure to squash funding for research finding non-drug intervention and therapies.

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