State budget talks leave NCRC money in flux
Editor’s note: News Molecules are designed to give readers occasional tidbits of information about the N.C. Research CampusBy Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó Additional funding for the N.C. Research Campus remained in flux Monday as state budget negotiations stalled over a teacher pay raise.
In the Senate’s version of the budget, the N.C. Research Campus would receive an additional $7 million a year.
But the House’s version gives the campus an additional $3 million a year.
“I think we’re in as good a position as we probably could be at this stage,” said Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, an advocate for the N.C. Research Campus.
It’s not unusual to have a discrepancy between the House and Senate, Hartsell said.
The budget subcommittees on education from both the House and Senate had recommended $7 million for the Research Campus, Hartsell said.
“That gives me confidence,” he said. “There’s a broad level of support for that level of funding.”
An additional $7 million per year would bring annual state funding for the Research Campus to about $20 million, Hartsell said. The public universities with a presence on the campus have said they will need $27 million annually once the campus is in full operation, he said.
The money will pay for salaries, programs and rent. Billionaire David H. Murdock, founder of the Research Campus, will lease his state-of-the-art buildings to the state for use by at least eight public universities.
The stymied state budget process leaves no question, however, on funding for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, which also will have a presence on the Research Campus.
Both the Senate and House have appropriated an additional $1 million per year to the community college, bringing total annual funding to about $3 million, Hartsell said.