Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper released his recommended budget for FY 2022-2023, Building on Success, earlier this week. The plan presents a budget that builds on the state’s success by investing in North Carolina families, businesses, and communities.
“Families have returned to their lives of work and school after tremendous challenges but find that they still struggle to find affordable healthcare and childcare,” Cooper said. “North Carolina is emerging from the pandemic stronger than before, and we will sustain that only if we invest in a strong foundation for our people: A quality education, good jobs and infrastructure, and access to affordable healthcare. Let’s use this historic opportunity to give families, businesses and communities the tools they need to thrive.”
Building on Success invests in workforce training for high paying jobs, quality healthcare and clean air and drinking water, infrastructure that can power the next generation’s economy and safe, thriving communities.
Empowering Safe, Successful Communities
The governor’s budget invests in safer, more prosperous communities. It helps first-time homebuyers with down payments, including enhanced assistance for educators and protectors like law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel. It also expands affordable housing by supporting the construction and rehabilitation of rental housing.
The budget also helps communities stop violent crime by funding evidence-based interventions and recidivism reduction programs. It invests in local law enforcement, providing grants to fund their purchases of body-worn cameras, gun locks for the public to be distributed by sheriffs’ offices, and gun storage education. It also includes additional funding for equipment for state troopers and community corrections officers.
♦ Read more about the Governor’s plan to bolster North Carolina’s prosperous and safe communities HERE.
Ensuring a Healthy, Resilient NC
The governor’s budget advances clean energy and energy efficiency as the state transitions to a clean energy economy. It prioritizes clean air and water, upgraded wastewater and other critical infrastructure necessary for communities to grow and thrive.
♦ Read more about the Governor’s plan to fight climate change and protect the state’s clean drinking water HERE.
Providing a Sound Basic Education for All Students
North Carolina’s economy is only as strong as its public schools. The Governor’s budget provides resources and supports to help students catch up on learning and invests in educator pay to recruit and retain the best teachers.
The budget supports community-based solutions to help keep schools safe, initiatives to help students in crisis and school safety and mental health training programs. And it recommends ways to ensure every child has a highly qualified teacher in the classroom.
The proposed budget expands access to early childhood education by investing in the NC Pre-K program and high-quality childcare. The budget also provides grant funds for community colleges to host early childhood education centers.
♦ Read more about the Governor’s plan for stronger schools HERE.
Stronger Workforce for Better Paying Jobs
North Carolina is recruiting new jobs at a record pace. This budget continues to invest in our workforce to meet the needs of employers. It expands work-based learning grants, increases job training opportunities and launches innovative pilot programs, supporting communities in every region of our state.
The budget also creates new opportunities for small businesses with investments to help attract and retain talent and expand access to early-stage technology development grants.
For small business owners, especially women and minorities, so many of whom were impacted by the pandemic, this budget offers support they need to develop, grow and succeed, which will help strengthen the foundation of our economy and communities across the state.
♦ Read more about the Governor’s plan to build on North Carolina’s economic success HERE.
Committing to A Healthier North Carolina
The Governor’s budget proposes Medicaid Expansion to provide access to affordable health insurance to more than 600,000 additional North Carolinians, including veterans, working people without insurance, families with children, and others. Medicaid expansion would provide coverage for working people and help strained healthcare providers recover from the pandemic, particularly in rural communities.
♦ Read more about the benefits of Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina HERE.
♦ Read the full budget recommendation HERE.