McCrory unveils budget and files ethics report

Photo Courtesy of NCDOT Communications/Flickr

Photo Courtesy of NCDOT Communications/Flickr

By Spencer Schneier, Staff Writer

Published in print Mar. 17, 2015

Budget

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s 2015 budget proposal will lead to increased costs for students across North Carolina, the News and Observer reports.

The plan, which was outlined last week, will include a 2% cut in the UNC system budget and includes increased tuition for community colleges.

The News and Observer reports that part of the plan includes an expected enrollment growth in the UNC system, which lowers the hit in the expected budget to around 1.2%.

The implementation of the cuts will be left up to UNC system leaders, as the only provision for how the cuts must be made is that they cannot impact financial aid.

Outgoing UNC system President Tom Ross responded to the budget announcement with the following remarks: “We are disappointed to see an additional cut of 2% proposed and no salary raises for faculty and staff as the state’s economy continues to recover and grow.”

An element of the budget is McCrory’s Venture Multiplier Fund, which will help provide capital to start-ups in North Carolina.

McCrory has advocated for programs that will help North Carolina’s start-up economy and the Venture Multiplier Fund is a program he specifically discussed in his State of the State Address.

The Fund would spend $15 million a year, and another measure that will be introduced is a $7.5 million program to help convert university research into marketable products.

As reported by The Carolinian, the UNC Board of Governors recently approved a budget plan for UNCG that will hike tuition dramatically over the next two years.

McCrory’s budget kept his promise, however, to raise secondary education teacher salaries across the state.

Ethics report

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory filed new ethics reports that revealed $13,000 in unreported expenses, the New and Observer reports.

The expenses were released after a political organization – Progress NC Action – protested the lack of disclosure on the governor’s expense reports from 2013.

The group, which describes itself as an organization to “promote public policies that make NC a fairer, healthier, more equitable state,” filed the complaint on Monday, Jan. 12 with the State Ethics Commission.

The group has made requests in the past for McCrory to be more transparent.

The issue centers around these sums, which are travel scholarships, because he was supposed to report them on his spending report. The group is described as “left-leaning” by media outlets such as National Public Radio’s WUNC.

Progress NC Action highlighted the portion of the form that McCrory was supposed to fill out in response to his public statements about how he followed all the directions on the form.

The News and Observer reported that the governor’s office noted that his presence at these events was widely known and covered by members of the news media, implying that it is not an issue of transparency.



Categories: News, spencer schneier

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