House Approves 2012 Budget
Special Report - June 4, 2012
This week, the State Senate will begin work amending the $20.3 billion budget that was approved by State House members last Wednesday and does not include a tax increase sought by the governor. The House passed HB 950Modify 2011 Appropriations Act on May 30 by a 7346 vote in which the same five Democrat members that voted with the Republican majority on the 2011 budget joined all 68 Republican members. That total is one vote more than the 72 that would be needed to override a potential gubernatorial veto. During more than seven hours of debate on Wednesday, House members considered 22 amendments, passing seven of them.
The House budget spends four percent ($800 million) more than originally budgeted for the year, according to analysis by the John Locke Foundation, but spends three percent less than Governor Perdue’s proposed to spend in her budget draft. Republican budget-writers rejected Governor Beverly Perdue’s (D) three-quarter cent sales tax hike. Instead, Republican lawmakers filled in the budget with $438 million in unspent and surplus funds from the current fiscal year, $41 million in unexpected judiciary fees, $22 million in other unanticipated non-tax revenue collections, $42 million in extra lottery funds, and $30 million from the One NC Fund. Among the highlights included in the House budget are:
- Ending the ability of the State Department of Health and Human Services to sign contracts with organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, that provide family planning or pregnancy prevention services. Instead, the State will contract directly with local health departments to provide family planning or pregnancy prevention services.
- $333 for K-12 education to make up for expired federal stimulus funds.
- Increased funding for the state’s prekindergarten program.
- Restoring state funding for the Teaching Fellows program and Governor’s School.
- $10 million for a community college program that provides worker training to citizens who are unemployed long-term.
- $250 one-time bonuses for teachers and school employees, funded by a portion of the $121 million in the Compensation and Performance Pay fund that was established last year to fund a new merit pay system for public school teachers and other state employees.
- $617,000 for a new tax credit for businesses that donate to nonprofits that provide education scholarships.
- A significant reduction in the amount of money school districts must to return to the state.
- Eliminating funding for five extra days of public school instruction that was included in last year’s budget, and that is expected to be included in the Senate budget.
- $50,000 in compensation for victims of the state’s eugenics program that forcibly sterilized citizens between 1933 and 1974.
Among the concerns in response to the budget are its use of $226 million in one-time non-recurring funds for education, a lack of funding for enrollment growth in the UNC system, a lack of substantial easing of budget cuts to the UNC system implemented in 2011, and the elimination of funds for drug treatment courts.
The Senate will now begin the process of considering and amending the budget as passed by the House. Once both the Senate and House approve an identical version of the budget bill, it will go to the governor.
Scholarship Funding Corporate Tax Credit - May 29, 2012
Moms Support School Vouchers - May 22, 2012
Statewide Education Reforms Proposed - April 25, 2012
School Choice Lowers Crime - April 5, 2012
NC Students Struggle to Compete - February 9, 2012
NC Test Scores Released - November 7, 2011
2011 Legislative Review - June 22, 2011
Education Day at the Legislature - June 10, 2011
Condition Of Education Report Released - June 2, 2010
Report Evaluates Education Innovation - November 18, 2009
NC Public Schools Leaving Children Behind - August 14, 2008
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