Budget details

 Governor Easley is discussing his proposed 2008-'09 budget. You can read the whole thing here. Among the noteworthy provisions:

-Big teacher pay raises (around 7%). He says this gets us to the national average.

-Only 1.5% plus a $1,000 bonus for other state employees.

-Expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (though this seems problematic given the questionable nature of the federal "match" money).

-More mental health $ — though undoubtedly not enough to "fix" the crisis.

-New alcohol and cigarette taxes (with the former linked to mental health and the latter linked to teacher pay).

-Reductions in the so-called Highway Trust Fund "transfer" — this means more money for new DOT sprawl and less for essential services. He says this are is "in flux." 

-New $ for foreclosure prevention and helping farm and poultry workers.

-Reductions in the rate of growth of Medicaid reimbursements.

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