Following multiple committees, numerous amendments and extended floor debate, the state House passed its two-year budget on Thursday with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority.
In addition to pay raises for teachers and state employees, bonuses for state retirees, investments in disaster recovery and flood mitigation, and funding for infrastructure improvements, the bipartisan budget also includes key items that were secured by House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) to help the people of House District 10 and all eastern North Carolina.
- $800 million for disaster-related programs and projects, including $100 million for long-term flood mitigation and resiliency projects to better prepare North Carolina for natural disasters.
- $215 million for a new ECU Brody School of Medicine.
- $20 million to Wayne County for construction improvements at Rosewood Middle School.
- $10 million for Neuse River home acquisition and buyouts to move families out of floodplains
- $5.2 million for Seven Spring Levee as referenced in the May 1, 2018 Neuse River Basin Flood Analysis and Mitigation Strategy report.
- $5 million for Stoney Creek acquisitions to provide benefit throughout the watershed to the most vulnerable structures and communities
- $2 million to The Independence Fund Inc. for the No Veteran Left Behind Project.
- $1 million for new inmate litter crew pilot project.
- $750,000 to the Town of Princeton for drainage pipe replacement at Princeton High School.
- $600,000 to the Town of Walstonburg for water and sewer infrastructure improvements.
- $500,000 to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office for a new mobile command unit.
- $500,000 to the American Legion Wayne Post 11 to repair damage from hurricanes Florence and Matthew.
- $250,000 to the Wayne Pregnancy Care Center for Cry Freedom Missions, fighting to eradicate sex trafficking through reaching, restoring, equipping, empowering, and employing survivors.
- $50,000 to the NC Troopers Association Caisson Unit to support the mission of the State Highway Patrol Caisson Unit.
- $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro–Wayne to support the efforts to provide qualified families with the opportunity of affordable home-ownership.
- $10,000 to the 135th USCT Research Team for promotion and preservation of the history of the 135th U.S. Colored Troop.
- Naming the bridge on O’Berry Road crossing U.S. Highway 117 in Wayne County as the “Trooper Nolan Sanders Bridge.”
“This is a very good budget for the hardworking citizens of our state, especially in eastern North Carolina,” said Leader Bell. “I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to help secure critical new funding for our local communities. This includes historic investments in disaster recovery, a new ECU Brody School of Medicine and several important projects in Greene, Johnston, and Wayne counties. I look forward to advocating for these items as we continue the budget process.”
The budget will now go to conference where House and Senate members will negotiate a compromise spending plan. If the final changes are approved by both chambers, the budget will be presented to Governor Roy Cooper for his signature into law.