The NC House released HB259– its $29.7 billion proposed budget. Our state has a budget surplus, which is great news. However, there are critical staffing shortages in every industry. Teachers, state workers, and hospitality jobs are some of the most glaring vacancies this budget attempts to address.
It is important to note that the House’s proposal differs from Governor Cooper’s proposed budget, and that many local items are absent from this draft. The absence of those items that target economic development and infrastructure investments is not because they have been scrapped. Many were purposefully not included because they will likely be addressed in coming weeks during final negotiations. This typically happens because local items are valuable negotiating tools and can help legislators on both sides of the aisle gain leverage for budget measures up for debate.
Proposed Budget Highlights
- A minimum 7.5% raise for all state employees over the next two years
- An act to address shortages in workforce housing
- An average of 10.2% raises for teachers for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years that fall under the umbrella of the two-year budget
- Raises for law enforcement and corrections officers
- A permanent 1% increase for the pensions of retired state workers
- Increased funding for workforce training through community colleges
- Medicaid expansion was signed into law, but will not take effect until an agreement is reached for the FY 2023-25 budget
- $39 million/year to UNC School of the Arts
- $69 million/year to Winston-Salem State University
- Significant funding for megasite development and infrastructure projects
- A personal income tax rate cut from 4.75% to 4.5%
- A cut to franchise taxes for businesses
HB259 will undergo its first committee hearings before heading to the floor for votes. After that, the Senate will finalize its budget, and the leaders from the two chambers will compromise on a final bill that will go to Governor Cooper’s desk. We will continue to keep you updated on the budget and continue to advocate for items that impact our members, Winston-Salem, and Forsyth County.
Public Policy Committee Meeting Schedule
Save the dates for Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.’s 2023 Public Policy committee meeting schedule. Meetings will be held at 3:00pm at the Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. offices at 525@Vine.
- May 19
- July 17
- September 27
- November 29