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Tue July 31, 2007
Governor Signs State Budget
By Megan V. Williams
Wilmington, NC – Governor Mike Easley Tuesday signed the state's new 20 billion dollar budget today at 11am.
The 2007-2008 spending measure passed the House and Senate Monday evening, with support split roughly along party lines.
Majority Democrats highlight the budget's spending on education and health care research and the provision to move Medicaid costs from counties to the state. Republicans are critical of the budget's 9 1/2 % spending increase over last year.
Under the budget public school and community college teachers, university faculty, and judges get 5% raises. Most other state employees will see 4% salary increases.
The spending measure includes several provisions that directly effect the Cape Fear region, including:
- $6.3 million to deepen and maintain Wilmington's harbor
- $7.5 million to improve the port at Morehead City
- $5.5 million to the ferry system
- $2.5 million in funding for the state's aquariums
- $2 million to implement new hog waste technologies
- $250,000 for the state's beach and inlet management plan - $150,000 for the Queen Anne's Revenge shipwreck archeology project.
The legislature is expected to close up shop for the session this Thursday.
(This article contains information from the Associated Press.)