Governor’s proposed budget could mean new changes for Carteret County

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ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina lawmakers are looking to strengthen education, public safety, health and connectivity.

Friday, they laid out their budget plans for the state, starting with education. They are looking to increase average teachers’ pay in North Carolina to more than $50 ,000 for the first time in state history. They are also looking to enhance public safety by investing $2.8 million to support school safety plans and devoting $21 million to increase state trooper pay. The budget also includes adding nearly 30 million dollars for new transportation projects in the state.

The budget also includes adding nearly $30 million for new transportation projects in the state.

One aspect of the budget plan includes protecting citizens along the North Carolina coast. Governor McCrory said he wants to increase water resource projects like dredging, flood protection, and beach nourishment. Increasing these resources could mean good news for the coast with an influx of state tax dollars instead of just local.

WNCT spoke with the Mayor of Atlantic Beach who said he’s glad to see the Governor support beach nourishment to keep our state’s tourism industry flourishing.

“The coast is a huge economic driver for the state of North Carolina and I’m glad to see the governor and the state recognize that and support it,” said Mayor Trace Cooper, adding that, as of now, Carteret County relies on occupancy tax to pay for beach nourishment but more money would help better protect the Crystal Coast.

The governor also said he wants to invest $30 million in order to implement the recommendations of the North Carolina Mental Health Task Force. That includes mental health first aid, court changes, transitional housing, and tools to combat the drug epidemic.

9 On Your Side spoke to Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck who is on that task force. He said, “I’m very hopeful that our recommendations will be considered certainly by the Governor and then we’re hopeful they’ll be considered by the legislature and as many of our recommendations as possible, that we find some way to enact them and fund them.”

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