Rep. Jake Johnson highlights key provisions of House Budget 

Published 2:14 pm Thursday, July 4, 2024

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RALIGH—In the final days before adjournment, the North Carolina House gave final approval to House Bill 263, the “2024 Appropriations Act,” which passed with bipartisan support. 

The budget would appropriate funds across the state, including significant investments in water and sewer improvements, transportation, school safety, teacher and state employee raises, and an economic/workforce development initiative. 

Rep. Jake Johnson (R-Polk) serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee. When asked about the impact of this budget on North Carolinians, he said, “This is a budget that I believe will benefit all North Carolinians. The fact that we are able to make this kind of investment in our communities while still lowering taxes is a testament to the sound economic policy we have implemented and the results it has produced.”

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He went on to highlight some key budget provisions: 

  • Meets critical needs in education, health care, infrastructure, and childcare without tapping into the rainy-day reserve fund. 
  • Fully funds the Opportunity Scholarship backlog to ensure all families in North Carolina are empowered to make the best education choices for their families, regardless of income status.
  • Increases investments in public education, teacher pay, school safety, and school construction.
  • Ensures that every public school classroom has a qualified educator who is properly compensated by raising teacher pay, including a starting salary of $44,000.
  • Provides an additional across-the-board raise for state employees, as well as a cost-of-living bonus for state retirees. 
  • Directs additional compensation for correctional officers to fill vacant positions and funding to keep childcare centers open to ensure parents can remain in the workforce.
  • Includes funding for key capital projects across Western North Carolina. 

Key Highlights from HB 263 


  • Eliminates waitlist for Opportunity Scholarships program.
  • Raises starting teacher salary to $44,000 (12.8% increase).
  • 4.4% average raise for teachers.
  • 4% raise for state employees.
  • 9% raise for correctional officers.
  • Restores master’s degree pay for teachers.
  • 2% cost-of-living bonus for state retirees.
  • $135 million to extend childcare stabilization grants.


  • $18.5 billion in overall education funding (58% of entire budget).
  • $68 million for school safety equipment and training.
  • $4 million in financial aid for students in high-demand training programs.
  • $2 million for career pathways programs serving students with intellectual disabilities.
  • $10.5 million to aid students at risk of dropping out due to unexpected financial hardships.
  • $50 million for public school construction.


  • Allocates $7.75 billion in overall funding for health care programs and services.
  • $135 million to extend childcare stabilization grants.
  • Enhances reimbursements for freestanding psychiatric hospitals.
  • $41 million to combat the opioid epidemic.

Public Safety

  • Allocates $3.87 billion overall for justice and public safety initiatives.
  • $2.4 million for the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
  • Increases the benefit paid to firefighters diagnosed with cancer.
  • Increases retirement pay for N.C. National Guardsmen.
  • $4.85 million for training local first responders on rescue operations.
  • $20 million to enhance cybersecurity initiatives across state agencies.


  • Allocates $5.85 billion in overall transportation funding.
  • $73.3 million for highway and road maintenance programs.
  • $64.5 million for continued development of the state’s transportation infrastructure.
  • $40 million for local street-related financial assistance, such as paving and resurfacing.

Broadband Connectivity 

  • North Carolina Dept. of Information Technology continues to disperse funds allocated by the North Carolina General Assembly to the tune of:
  • $350 million for the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program.
  • $450 million for the Completing Access to Broadband (CAB) Grants. 
  • $100 million for the Pole Replacement Broadband Initiative. 
  • Passed legislation (SB743) to enable the acceptance of $1.5 billion in additional Broadband funds. 

Submitted by Megan Klutz