Today’s Topic: The governor’s proposed budget for NCDA&CS

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoLast week, Gov. Pat McCrory released his state budget proposal, officially kicking off the budget-writing season in North Carolina.

Commissioner Troxler points out that the governor’s budget includes funding for the Ag Water Resources Assistance Program, or AgWRAP, which is important for helping soil and water conservation districts across the state keep pace with increasing demand for water resources. The budget also restores funding for the department’s Southeastern N.C. Agricultural Events Center in Lumberton and the N.C. Wine and Grape Council. In addition, the governor’s proposal includes money to bolster the department’s food safety efforts.

But, as with most budgets, there are some things that provide cause for concern. Commissioner Troxler says his biggest concern is a proposed “management flexibility reserve,” which instructs the department to find cuts of $2 million in its budget. He says it is becoming more and more difficult to find savings after years of cuts, and he plans to explain this to members of the Senate and House as they begin work on their versions of the budget.

Commissioner Troxler notes that the state budget process is a long one. The Senate hopes to pass its version of the budget by mid-May, and the House will take it up soon after. Legislators’ goal is to have a new budget ready by July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the budget process and find out what some of the department’s needs are.

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Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

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