AASHTO Journal, 18 September 2015
The North Carolina General Assembly backed a two-year budget agreement that increases spending on roads and bridges but requires the state Department of Transportation to eliminate 50 positions.
The Senate gave its approval of the accord on Sept. 15 and 16; the House gave its final approval early Sept. 18 and sent it to Gov. Pat McCrory to sign into law.
It would boost transportation spending by a reported $705 million over two years, partly paid for by the first increase in motor vehicle licensing and registration fees in a decade and partly by ending a $216 million annual transfer of highway funds to the general fund for the Highway Patrol.
In addition, the bill says: “It is the intent of the General Assembly to reduce costs and increase efficiencies within the Department of Transportation. To achieve this intent, the General Assembly finds that the elimination and reorganization of certain positions, units, and programs is necessary.”
The measure lists 29 specific positions that are to be eliminated, and directs the NCDOT to cut 21 more “that are centrally or regionally based and that perform administrative, managerial, supervisory, or oversight functions.” But it protects such jobs that are within the department’s 14 highway divisions.
The legislation limits state funding support for any light rail transit project to $500,000, which reportedly threatens the financial outlook for a planned $1.5 billion light rail line that would operate from Durham to Chapel Hill.
And it lays the basis for a $2 billion bond referendum for improvements across state government to go before voters in 2016, news reports said.