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N.C. General Assembly Passes 2022 Budget

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Raleigh, NC – Today, the N.C. General Assembly gave final approval to the 2022 budget, which appropriates $27.9 billion to meet critical needs across the state, including significant investments in school safety, teacher and state employee raises, infrastructure, economic development and water and sewer improvements.


The budget, which earned overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, also sets aside funding to prepare for a potential recession due to runaway federal spending and inflation. The Governor will have ten days to either sign or veto the budget before it automatically becomes law without his signature.


“This budget has taken reasonable steps to prepare for an economic downturn or recession, to help with rising costs, runaway inflation, supply-chain breakdowns, labor shortages, COVID uncertainties, gas prices, and other pressures,” said Rep.

Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth), who is a Senior Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.


“This is a responsible budget that responds to our current needs and plans for an uncertain economic future,” said Rep. Dean Arp, another Senior Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “No one can predict what will happen with the economy in the year ahead. But I can assure you, the people of North Carolina, that we will continue to make responsible adjustments.”

Key highlights include:


Overall

  • Budget appropriates $27.9 billion for FY 2022-23 (7.2% increase from FY 2021-22).

  • Increases Rainy Day Fund balance to $4.75 billion by the end of the biennium.

  • Transfers $1 billion into a newly created “State Inflationary Reserve” in anticipation of a recession.

Salary Increases

  • 3.5% pay raise for state employees (6% increase over the biennium).

  • 4.2% average pay raise for teachers (9.1% increase over the biennium).

  • 5.7% increase in the starting salary for entry level teachers.

  • 4% pay raise for non-certified school support staff or an increase to $15/hour, whichever is higher.

  • $80 million for state agencies to provide targeted salary increases to attract and retain employees.

  • Adds $70 million to the state-funded teacher salary supplement for low-wealth counties ($170 million total over the biennium).

  • Additional 1% one-time retiree supplement (4% total over the biennium).

K-12 Education

  • Total $16.5 billion for education in FY 2022-23 (6.7% increase above FY 2021-22). Amounts to 59% of the entire budget.

  • $581 million for school construction and capital improvements in FY 2022-23 ($1.1 billion over the biennium).

  • Provides funds to cover copays for students qualifying for reduced-price lunches.

  • Funds additional 124 literacy coaches and early learning specialists to aid in early literacy efforts.

  • Expands funding and eligibility for Opportunity Scholarship Program to increase school choice options for low-income families.

  • Creates $250,000 recurring grant for schools to purchase feminine hygiene products in schools.

School Safety

  • Adds $32 million in School Safety Grants to support students in crisis, safety training, and equipment in schools ($41.7 million total).

  • Expands funding for school resource officers by at least $41 million.

  • Additional $15 million for the School Resource Officer Grant program for elementary and middle schools.

  • Increases state match for the School Resource Officer Grant program to $4 per every $1 for low-wealth counties.

  • Increases the At-Risk allotment to reflect the current salary necessary to provide one School Resource Officer for each high school.

  • $5 million for cybersecurity and bomb threat preparedness at North Carolina’s six HBCUs.

  • Requires the Center for Safer Schools to gather additional data on school safety systems, policies, and procedures, and to report information and recommendations for improving school safety to the General Assembly.

Transportation, Infrastructure and Economic Development

  • Provides $883 million for water and wastewater infrastructure projects ($2.5 billion over the biennium).

  • $250 million reserve to help cover cost overruns for state capital projects due to inflation.

  • Additional $120.8 million for capital grants to local governments and non-profit entities.

  • $876 million to support major economic development projects.

  • Adds $5 million to the GREAT grant program to expand rural broadband access.

  • $38 million for airports, $600,000 for dam repairs, $7.8 million for hospitals, and $5.6 million for parks and recreation projects.

  • Redirects 2% of sales tax revenue ($193.1 million) to the Highway Fund to support transportation needs and improvements.

  • $1 million to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) to identify megasites for advanced manufacturing locations.

Health Care

  • Total $6.5 billion for Health and Human Services in FY 2022-23 (12.5% increase above FY 2021-22).

  • $14.8 million for mental health programs.

  • $3 million for recruitment and retention incentives for primary care providers in rural areas.

  • $95 million to continue temporary COVID-19 rate increases for skilled nursing facilities and personal care services.

  • $1.3 million for the 988 Crisis Helpline.

  • $14.8 million to combat opioid crisis, including treatment, prevention, research, and strategic planning activities.

  • $3 million to increase funding for Child Advocacy Centers, which provide services to abused children.

Agriculture

  • Total $770 million for Agriculture, Natural, and Economic Resources in FY 2022-23 (4.9% increase above FY 2021-22).

  • $1.2 million for the Forest Service to maintain and repair emergency response equipment used in fighting wildfires.

  • $1 million for both the Forest Development Program and Prescribed Burning for grants to assist landowners with forest management.

  • $1.3 million for seven positions and lab service agreements for testing related to emerging compounds, such as PFAS.

  • $2 million to the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for the Go Outside Grant Program, which provides grants to schools for outdoor learning opportunities.

  • $200,000 to perform seasonal field sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease each year.

Justice and Public Safety

  • Total $124.3 million for Justice and Public Safety in FY 2022-23 (3.6% increase above FY 2021-22).

  • Funds additional 38 judicial support staff, 93 Deputy and Assistant Clerks, 13 Magistrates, 11 Assistant District Attorneys and 19 specialized mental health and reentry Probation and Parole Officers (PPO).

  • $4.5 million to the State Highway Patrol to replace outdated and out-of-warranty tasers and related equipment.

  • $2 million to State Bureau of Investigation for equipment and information technology needs.

  • Provides $35,000 grants to eligible volunteer fire department to help mitigate revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • $2 million to extend and expand the Public Safety Broadband Network.

  • $2 million for Cyber Security and Risk Management, as well as $550,000 for the state match for federal cybersecurity grants.

Other Items

  • $215.8 million for disaster recovery and mitigation efforts to prepare for future flooding and natural disasters.

  • $1.8 million from the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant to update and maintain voter lists and to continue enhancing election technology and security improvements.

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