Every outgoing governor is required by state law to forward budget recommendations to the incoming governor. In accordance with the law, Governor Pat McCrory issued the following statement to accompany his recommendations.
"As our state prepares for a new year, it is now my responsibility to provide budget recommendations as required by North Carolina law.
Thanks to our decisive action over the past four years in regards to tax reform, paying off massive debt, investing in our roads, education and our rainy day fund, North Carolina’s economy and financial standing is stronger than ever before in North Carolina history.
Because of this financial strength, the key points of my recommended budget will have a positive impact on North Carolina for generations to come in four key areas.
The first area is transportation.
My recommended budget supports a future transportation bond of over $1 billion that will anticipate and prepare for future road needs.
Like the Connect NC bond, this transportation bond would not require a tax increase.
The second area is teacher pay.
Over the past four years, we provided the largest teacher pay increase in the nation, boosting average teacher pay in North Carolina to $50,000 for the first time in state history.
My budget continues this progress and raises average teacher pay to nearly $55,000 by the year 2018.
This is in addition to a plan to increase much-needed principal pay by more than 10 percent over the next two years.
The next area is Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
I am calling for North Carolina to build upon the progress of our Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use by investing an additional $40 million to support those suffering throughout the state from mental health and substance use issues.
And finally the last area is continuing to build upon and replenish our Rainy Day Fund.
Over the last several months, we have been able to address some of the worst natural disasters in state history thanks to our responsible financial management and record investments in our Rainy Day Fund.
My proposed budget would invest nearly $700 million into our Rainy Day Fund to ensure North Carolina continues to recover from Hurricane Matthew and is prepared for the next natural disaster or possible economic downturn.
By investing in these key areas, I believe North Carolina can continue the incredible progress we have made together.
You know four years ago, the Carolina Comeback began.
Today we can say with certainty that the Carolina Comeback happened.
May God bless you and the great state of North Carolina."