Rep. Wray’s Raleigh Report

This was a busy week in the General Assembly, beginning Monday night with Gov. Perdue visiting to deliver her State of the State address and ending with her office introducing her budget proposal.

I also committed myself to supporting an agenda that I believe you support and will tell you more about that below.

Thank you for your interest in North Carolina and our work in the legislature. Please contact me any time you have questions or believe I can be of service.


The governor introduced a balanced budget proposal Thursday that addresses a $2.4 billion shortfall.

The plan:

  • Reduces spending throughout state government, but draws a line at the classroom door, and proposes no layoffs, furloughs or pay reductions for teachers or teacher assistants. Per capita spending in the state is down 11 percent compared to just three years ago.
  • Reduces the state sales tax by a quarter-cent on the dollar.
  • Allocates an additional $150 million to state’s Rainy Day Fund, raising its balance to $300 million.
  • Provides $65 million unemployment insurance tax credit to 135,000 small businesses that employ over 650,000 people throughout North Carolina.
  • Invests $75 million to put North Carolina construction and repair companies back to work.
  • Will help to create an estimated 10,000 jobs over the next three years.
  • Uses $46 million in federal funds to leverage $800 million for North Carolina small businesses.
  • Includes $3.2 billion in savings throughout state government.
  • Consolidates 14 executive branch agencies into eight, and identifies areas for further consolidation and elimination.
  • Provides $75 million to strengthen North Carolina’s mental health system through the Mental Health Trust Fund, which will be used to provide cost-effective treatment alternatives for individuals currently residing in institutions.
  • Closes most state parks two days a week.
  • Trims services covered by Medicaid.
  • Reduces state funding to a number of non-profits.
  • The final plan will not be approved for many months, but the governor has provided a good starting point for these discussions. I am particularly pleased she found a way to protect our classroom teachers and assistants and I will be working to preserve that element of her plan as it makes its way through the General Assembly.

    For a full copy of the governor’s plan, visit here.


    My fellow Democrats and I are committed to a caucus agenda that will guide our work this session. The plan is based on four main priorities this session:

    1) Save jobs, create jobs and enhance North Carolina’s status as one of the best places to do business.

    2) Protect our education system from cuts that would devastate public education and our children’s future.

    3) Help our most vulnerable citizens. We will fight to preserve the critical services needed as our economy recovers. We will not turn our back on those in our community who are struggling.

    4) Respect and protect the rights of all North Carolinians.

    I believe these are ideals that you support also and that I am representing you by pledging to pursue these goals.

    State of the State

    Gov. Perdue delivered a State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly this week that was a preview of her budget. She let us know about her plan to protect teachers and to reduce the corporate tax rate. She also said she planned to start a program that would allow qualified students to earn associate’s degree free of charge.

    For full text of the speech, visit here.

    Please remember that you can listen to each day’s session, committee meetings and press conferences on the General Assembly’s website. Once on the site, select “Audio,” and then make your selection – House Chamber, Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room.