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Perdue pitches education, compensation for eugenics victims in final budget proposal

Gov. Bev Perdue has submitted a budget proposal to Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, a step required under state law.

The proposal is a symbolic parting shot for the outgoing Democrat, and spokeswoman Chris Mackey acknowledged the goal is to put focus on issues the governor holds close.

In adjustments to the biennial budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, Perdue singles out early childhood education funding, compensation for victims of eugenics and adult care programs, among other issues that have recently been points of contention.

"As the economy continues to recover, we need to preserve and maintain our long history of fiscal discipline, but at the same time, we must continue our tradition of investing in North Carolina and its nearly ten million residents," Perdue said in a statement. 

Below are a few of the highlights, and you can find the full proposal on the governor's website:

Early Childhood Education

  • $8 million in recurring funds for assessment tools for grades 8, 10, 11 and 12 to guide the use of individualized student instructional strategies in English, writing, math and science.
     
  • $2 million in recurring funds for student reading camps for students who did not demonstrate proficiency on the 3rd grade End-of-Grade (EOG) test.
     
  • $50 million to expand NC Pre-K program by adding 9,175 all “at-risk” four-year-olds to high-quality pre-kindergarten classes.
     
  • $15 million in funding to expand student access to the Smart Start program.

Eugenics

  • The Governor’s budget includes $10.2 million over two years to compensate 200 verified victims in the amount of $50,000 each.

Aging and Adult Services

  • $39.7 million for the adult care and group home resident populations. These funds will be used to pay monthly stipends to adult care and group homes for residents who are no longer eligible to receive Medicaid-reimbursable personal care services.
     
  • $2 million is recommended for the Home and Community Care Block Grant for funding of services such as in-home aides and meals.
     
  • $500,000 is recommended for Project C.A.R.E. and its Alzheimer’s support services.
     
  • $200,000 is recommended for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Industrial Commission

A recent review of the state’s handling of worker’s compensation claims recommended a number of changes.

  • $1.5 million to implement policies, procedures and processes that identify noncompliant businesses and ensure they obtain and maintain required worker’s compensation coverage.

Salaries and Benefits

  • A one percent salary increase for state-funded public school, community college, university system, and state agency employees effective July 1, 2012.
     
  • A one percent cost-of-living adjustment to retirees in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and Consolidated Judicial Retirement System effective July 1, 2012.
     
  • Contribute $36.9 million in each year of the biennium to the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and Consolidated Judicial Retirement System.
     
  • Funding to cover required State Health Plan premium increases of 1.9 percent in both years of the biennium.

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