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The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further

The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further and to increase the rainy day fund. These choices are particularly stark in a context of steady budget cuts since 2009. The cuts have left every state agency starved for funding increases and struggling to provide adequate services with budgets that have not returned to pre-recession levels. While neither plan fully addresses these problems, the House plan is preferable overall.

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The Big Picture - The Senate released its budget on Monday revealing sharp differences with the House on major spending items including Medicaid, teacher assistants and state employee raises. Overall, the Senate spent less than the House and increased spending by 2% while the House increased it by approximately 5%.

Senate Releases Budget The Big Picture Courts LEO/Corrections/Juveniles Indigent Defense Jails Justice MH/DD/SA Minority Health

It Could Be a Long Hot Summer - The Senate has set major policy changes in both the Revenue and spending side of the budget. This sets the stage for a long hot summer as the two chambers negotiate their differences.

Some of the biggest differences between the House and Senate center around:

The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further
The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further

Budget Links Below

The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further
The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further
The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further

Senate Releases Budget

  • Senate Budget

  • Provisions

Senate Special

June 17, 2015

The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further
The Senate chose to use the additional $400 million in revenue to reduce taxes even further
In This Issue
In This Issue

A reduction in the personal income tax rates and a change in corporate taxes that will reduce revenue by $971 million for the biennium and $1 billion annually after that. This will further restrict the revenue available at a time when state agencies are starved for sufficient funds. North Carolina will be one of the few states that is not moving closer to pre-recession funding.

Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC). The Senate moves entirely away from CCNC, the provider led award-winning structure for medicaid delivery. Medicaid would be transferred to an outside agency that would be overseen by a board appointed by the House, Senate and the Governor. This is a totally different approach from the House.

Major cuts to Teacher Assistants - The Senate proposes to reduce class sizes by hiring new teachers at th e same time it cuts 13,881 Teacher Asst. positions. Starting pay for new teachers is raised to $35,000 and while the average increase in teacher pay is 4%, the most experienced teachers can expect little to no increase.

Further Tax Cuts Jeopardize Our State's Health - Further tax cuts are bad for North Carolina's future. Our state cannot sustain yet another billion dollar cut and keep needed state services in justice, public health, education and mental health in a healthy condition.

Courts Law Enforcement Pay Raises Corrections Juveniles Indigent Defense Jails Justice Mental Health/ DD/SA Minority Health Veterans

COURTS Technology - After a plea for funding by the new Chief Justice, Mark Martin, the House increased funding for Court technology by nearly

State Employee salary increases - The House provides 2% pay raises to state employees and the Senate does not. The Senate plan allows for some targeted increases in positions that are hard to fund.

Click Here to find your Senator and let him or her know that you value a healthy North Carolina and that further tax cuts jeopardize our state.

A redistribution of how sales tax income is allocated between rural and urban areas.

A complete change in how Medicaid is organized and elimination of

Scroll below for items in:

House and Senate.

much-needed step.

Senate funds at lower level.

Superior Court Judges Cut/ Business Courts Added - The Senate

Samarcand Training Facility - Start-up funds are allocated for this facility designed for Corrections personnel. Minor Differences.

$19 million over the biennium . The Senate did not. Instead, the Senate appears to be including Court technology needs in a statewide

There are STEP increases across Asst. and Deputy Clerks, Magistrates, and the Highway Patrol. House and Senate

LAW ENFORCEMENT Use of Force Training - Funds for Use of Force training are spread across the all state and local law enforcement agencies. This is a

Correctional officers received increases amounting to $25 million by 2017 that are associated with position reclassifications based on custody levels. House and Senate

Family Courts - We're glad to see Family Courts continued in the Senate budget. These Courts need to be expanded statewide; they have proven to be an effective way to expedite family issues in less time through a process that helps families. Senate and House.

cut 3 Superior Court judges and added funds for Business court judges and staff. This appears to be a preference for Special Superior Court judges who are assigned to Business court. The House funded the Business Courts without cutting existing Superior Court Judges.

PAY INCREASES There is no 2% pay raise for all state employees as was provided in the House. There is a provision for targeted raises to continue staff in hard to hire positions. Senate Only.

consolidated technology plan. At this writing, it is unclear what that might mean for the courts and even if such a plan might be litigated since the Courts are a separate branch of government. This is a matter of top priority to the Courts, so stay tuned for more information. House and Senate differ.

Special Asst US Attorneys - Minority Leader Sen. Dan Blue wondered in committee if the $713,514 allocated for this item would place 6 state-funded DAs in federal offices. The answer appears to be yes and the purpose is to transfer state cases into the federal system where the feds will pick up incarceration costs. We'd prefer to see these prosecutions take place within North Carolina.

CORRECTIONS Community-Based Services - TECS (Treatment for Effective Community Services) and substance abuse services are funded at the current levels in both the House and Senate. This fund is being renamed to Recidivism Reduction Services (RRS) and should have sufficient funding to continue the 5 pilot Re-entry council sites. House

House level of funding to provide behavioral health treatment units at

INDIGENT DEFENSE Capital Defender's Office Cut - One of the few budget cuts is aimed at the Capital Defender's office. Seven positions are targeted for an 18.9% reduction. This is a costly move in the wrong direction as IDS has been able to show that dollars are saved by using salaried staff in this position. Senate Only.

Increased Electronic Monitoring - The Senate provides a 17% increase in electronic monitoring in 2015-17 with a total of $4.9 available for this purpose. The increase appears to be related to additional electronic monitoring for post-release supervision. Supervision alone - without treatment or services - has not been shown to reduce recidivism. Senate is at a lower level.

Electronic Medical Records - Corrections is moving in the direction of electronic medical records which will hopefully provide both prisons and communities necessary information to improve treatment.

The Broaden Access to Community Fund includes $1.359 in much-needed substance abuse funds that will be carried into 2016. This is a non-recurring allocation initially proposed by the Governor.

Private Appointed Counsel Increase - Indigent Defense has been struggling with a shortage in private appointed counsel funds and this 7.1% increase is welcome. Senate Only.

No funds for Automated Kiosks - The Senate chose to study the option of automated kiosks for meetings with public defenders. The House funded a pilot site at $1.6 million. Senate lower than House.

Correctional plus positions at the Diagnostic Centers to improve the assessment of inmates' mental health status. House is at a higher level.

facilities. This increases the total available for juvenile community programs by 11%. Senate Only.

Education Funds Reduced- The Senate decreases the Inmate Education budget by 5.6%. even though education has a positive

Fewer funds are allocated for an outside vendor in the Senate. Senate is at a lower level.

and Senate.

Prison Mental Health Funds Reduced - The Senate provides the

$2 million is allocated for Level II beds in contracted and state-run

Instead, it provides one behavioral treatment unit at Maury

funds to open 72 mental health beds by 2017.

8 close custody prisons. House and Senate.

impact on reducing recidivism.

Senate is at a higher level.

It does not provide the

House and Senate.


outsourcing toxicology and DNA analysis - both of which have been

JAILS Misdemeanor Confinement Fund - The Misdemeanor Confinement Fund for sentenced misdemeanants confined in local jails has been completely transferred to the General Fund in an amount of $22.5 million. The fees that supported the Misdemeanor Confinement Fund will now go the the General Fund. Senate and House.

Foster Care Expanded to 21 - Funds are included to expand Foster care to age 21. This is a positive move for 18 - 21 year olds who are at risk for becoming involved in the justice system. House has higher funding levels.

Three-way Psychiatric Beds - This increases funding for psychiatric beds in community hospitals by 7%. Unfortunately, it does not fund operating costs; when the same situation existed in the prison system, the beds were not able to be used for patients with psychiatric needs.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Centers - These treatment centers are being incorporated into the LME/MCO structures. As a result they will not receive direct general fund appropriations. There funds will be allocated through the LME/ MCOs. Senate and House.

Behavioral Health and Public Safety Study - The Legislative Study committee will study the intersection of Justice and Public Safety and Behavioral Health. Senate and House.

Crime Lab Technicians - Six new technicians are added to the crime lab making it possible to increase the lab turn around time. House and

Substance Abusers) was not earmarked for funds in 2016 -17 as it was in the House. Senate and House - different approach.

retaining balances that Senators consider too high. As a result, they cut funds to LMEs by $185 million which will require them to spend


grant process for non-profits to apply for programs providing a variety

LME Balances Reduced - The Senate has been unhappy with LMEs

Forensic Analysis Outsourcing - The Senate allows $750,000 for


Non-Profit Competitive Grants Process - The Senate retains the

TASC Increase -Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities

TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for

(TASC) is increased by $1.86 million.

Senate. Senate and House.

of statewide services.

down the balances.

Senate and House.

Senate Only.

Senate Only


Senate lower than House. Minority Health and Human Relations Commission Two targeted eliminations that have a
Senate lower than House.
Minority Health and Human Relations Commission
Two targeted eliminations that have a negative impact on the minority
community are the Office of Minority Health and the Human Relations
Commission. The Senate eliminates 3 positions in Minority Health
and transfers grant administration to the office of the DHHS secretary.
Recent events around the nation continue to demonstrate the need and
importance of effective Human Relations Commission
Senate and
Veterans Services - A New Department
The focus on merging, saving and cutting does not extend to Senate
and House proposals to establish a new Department in state
government. This will be the Department of Military and Veterans'
Affairs; it will be a small Department with the function of coordinating
and highlighting services for Vets. Senate and House.
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(919) 682-1149

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