Billions of Dollars for N.C. Transportation and Community College Funding Approved by State House

Raleigh, N.C. – Billions of state dollars for the North Carolina Community College System and the Department of Transportation (DOT) were approved by the state House of Representatives on Wednesday as the legislature continues to fund state government priorities blocked by the Governor’s budget veto through stand-alone appropriations bills.

House Bill 100 DOT Budget for 2019-2021 Biennium and Senate Bill 61 Community Colleges Budget/2019-2021 Biennium received broad bipartisan support in the state House. 

H.B. 100 was given final legislative passage and sent to the Governor, while S.B. 61 was returned to the North Carolina Senate.  

H.B. 100 is consistent with the vetoed state budget to adjust appropriations and availability schedules for over $8 billion in the Highway Funds and Highway Trust Funds over the biennium.

The bill also includes spending directives for transportation capital, repairs, and renovation needs, as well as standard statutory language governing DOT’s receipt and use of grant funds and establishing or increasing fees. 

It further provides more than $12 million in general airport funding, addresses budgeting for DOT salary increases, and contains special provisions governing DOT’s operations. 

Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick) said H.B. 100 ensures DOT can continue to accommodate North Carolina’s rapid population and economic growth with major transportation projects to improve the state’s infrastructure.  

“Businesses and families can see the incredible investments North Carolina is making in our infrastructure, from new roads and renovations to airports, ports, and rail projects, that continue to drive relocations and expansions to our rapidly growing state,” Rep. Iler said Wednesday.

“Today’s appropriation to DOT is essential to maintain that success.”

North Carolina dramatically reformed its approach to transportation funding under Republican leadership this decade, moving from direct budget appropriations decided by legislators to the formulaic Strategic Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  

S.B. 61 provides over $2 billion to community colleges in North Carolina and contains special provisions for their operations, including the NC Career Coaches program, instruction in local jails, the system’s reorganization authority, and a tuition waiver for dependents of fallen correctional officers.

The primary providers of workforce training, licensure, and certifications statewide, a recent national study found six of North Carolina’s community colleges were among the 10 best in the nation.  

North Carolina has the third largest community college system in the country, with 58 colleges serving all 100 counties.

“Community colleges are a primary driver helping North Carolinians fill the top-tier employment opportunities our economy is attracting this decade,” Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said. 

“These campuses keep our workforce prepared for the cutting-edge jobs of tomorrow.  This budget maintains our strong commitment to increased funding, capital projects, and innovative programs that will continue to build on their powerful success story.”