From Raleigh to DC: Wake Tech Legislative Affairs
State Senate to Roll Out Budget Proposal
The state Senate is expected to release its budget proposal early this week. The House has already passed its version of the two-year spending plan and the Senate is expected to act quickly to adopt its version of the biennial budget for the next two years. Once this is done, a conference committee will be appointed to work out the differences between the two versions. Details will be provided here as soon as they are announced, possibly as early as May 29.
State Budget Process Moves Forward
The House has voted to approve its version of the state's budget for the next two years. The House plan would provide for community college personnel salary increases in accordance with policies adopted by the State Board that can be used for (1) merit pay, (2) across-the-board increases, (3) recruitment bonuses, (4) retention increases, or (5) other compensation increases. It also provides full-time employees with 5 additional days of one-time bonus leave similar to what was granted in the previous budget. The House would provide $8 million in FY 2019-20 to fully fund short-term workforce training, increasing to $11.5 million in FY 2020-21, and would permit colleges to earn regular budget FTE for instruction offered to prisoners in local jails. The House plan would also create a 'High Achieving Tuition Scholarship Program' that would provide a full scholarship to high school students with a GPA of at least 3.5 to attend a community college for two years and then transfer to a UNC institution. The Senate will now unveil its vision for the spending plan, the two versions will be reconciled by a conference committee and then sent to the Governor for his consideration.
State Budget Development Process Begins
Hearings began last week at the North Carolina General Assembly that will eventually result in the portions of this year’s budget that deal with education. The Governor’s budget proposal was presented by the Office of State Budget and Management and proposes a salary increase for all state employees of $500 or 1.5%, whichever is greater. Additional recommendations include:
- Creation of a scholarship program to encourage students to complete an associate degree at a community college before transferring to a UNC institution ($2.6 million)
- Parity for funding of short-term workforce training programs ($11 million)
- Beginning of modernization of community college system-wide computer infrastructure ($15 million)
- Establish 2 advanced analytics positions at System Office
- Funding for Multi-Campus Centers, including Wake Tech RTP, Forsyth Tech, Guilford Tech, and Richmond
- Increase funds for NC Career Coaches program and adjust local matching requirements based on economic tier status of counties