McCrory signs $22.3 billion NC budget into law

Gov. Pat McCrory (Governor's Office)

MONROE, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory has signed North Carolina budget adjustments for the new fiscal year into law.

He did so Thursday at a ceremony at an elementary school in Union County, southeast of Charlotte.

The General Assembly sent the bill to McCrory two weeks ago on the last day of its annual work session. McCrory’s signing was expected — he never made any public pronouncements against the $22.3 billion plan, which adjusts the second year of the two-year budget approved last year.

The legislature says the measure raises teacher pay by 4.7 percent on average and gives opportunities for third-grade and some high-school teachers to get performance bonuses. Rank-and-file state employees also get a 1.5 percent pay raise and bonuses. There are also income tax cuts through higher standard deductions.

“This budget further fulfills my vision to increase average annual teacher pay to $50,000 for the first time in state history, provides a middle class tax cut, makes college more affordable and makes much needed investments to improve mental health services, all while strengthening our position as one of the fastest growing economies in the nation,” McCrory said. “We look forward to building on our successes through these important investments for North Carolina’s future.”

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, also praised the state budget in a statement released to the press.

“Gov. McCrory’s record during his first term is clear: spurred by historic tax cuts, North Carolina now has the nation’s fastest-growing economy – one that has created almost 300,000 new jobs and slashed the state’s unemployment rate in half from about 10 percent to around 5 percent – all while raising average teacher pay by over 15 percent to over $50,000 for the first time in state history,” he said.

CBS North Carolina contributed to this report.

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