“Our balanced budget invests in key priorities that benefit all North Carolinians,” said Gov. Pat McCrory while submitting his spending recommendations for fiscal 2017.

BRADENTON, Fla. - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has recommended a 2.8% upward adjustment in the state budget for fiscal 2017.

McCrory submitted a $54.6 billion budget to lawmakers Wednesday, which includes a general fund budget of $22.3 billion, a 2.8% increase over the current year.

The governor said his spending plan is benefiting from a projected a $237 million revenue surplus in the back half of the state's two-year budget cycle due to Medicaid and public school enrollment figures coming in under budget as well as reduced spending by state agencies.

"Our balanced budget invests in key priorities that benefit all North Carolinians by strengthening education, enhancing public safety, improving the health of our citizens and building new roads that connect our communities," McCrory said. "I look forward to working with legislators to make these needed investments."

The governor's budget also provides for the implementation of the voter-approved $2 billion Connect NC general obligation bond plan, which will finance capital improvements at universities and community colleges, research labs, the state's parks and zoo, and public safety agencies as well as local water and sewer projects.

The state has said that the GOs likely will be issued in four tranches of 20-year bonds with issuance to start as early as this July.

"The [bond issuance] schedule is still being developed based on the cash flow needs of the different projects," said Melanie Jennings, spokeswoman for the Office of Budget and Management. "We expect to have a list of projects for Council of State to approve later this summer."

McCrory's recommended budget does not include any tax or fee increases.

It adds $300 million to the state's rainy day fund bringing the total to $1.4 billion or about 7% of overall state spending.

Teachers would see an average annual 5% base pay increase while state workers would get an average 3% bonus, according to budget documents.

McCrory also added $30 million for new road projects and $27.5 million for highway maintenance in the $3.4 billion transportation budget.

The General Assembly's session began Monday and runs through mid-July.

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