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McCrory's budget plan draws mixed reviews during Wilmington visit


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Gov. Pat McCrory today made his first trip to the Port City since taking office in January.

The governor was the keynote speaker at the Wilmington Biz Expo. He also attended the groundbreaking for Cape Fear Community College's Fine Arts Building.

Gov. McCrory's visit comes one day after he announced his budget plan for the next two years, which CFCC says will take a bite out of a signature program.

"The first job of a leader is to admit you have a problem," McCrory said. "We have a problem, but by gosh we're going to get out of it, and we're going to be even stronger in the long run."

Gov. Pat McCrory says he is prioritizing state needs in his budget proposal and mending a currently broken system. He says he needs to fix the cracks in the foundation before moving forward.

Some constituents are hopeful of his plan and believe the future of North Carolina is in great hands.

"He needs to get the ship righted, so it can get in the direction it needs to go," Ted Hardean of Coldwell Banker said.

Part of the governor's budget plan focuses on education. He hopes to add 1,800 teaching jobs.

McCrory says under his plan, community colleges statewide will get extra money for tech programs.

"Cape Fear Tech, by the way, is getting an additional $600,000 in the budget for technical training alone," he told the Biz Expo audience.

CFCC leaders don't see the funds as additional.

"We still see it as a take away from a very, very important and significant program," CFCC President Dr. Ted Spring said.

Spring says even with what the governor says is extra funding, the college will still see a hit of around $350,000 for Cape Fear's Marine Technology program. Local leaders hope the governor and lawmaker rework the budget to include funding for the program.

"I am certainly hoping that once the governor gets an opportunity to speak with Dr. Spring, that that money will be put back in to enable it, because that is a job creation program," Wilmington City Councilwoman Margaret Haynes said.

The budget proposal is just that. Now it goes to the legislature, which will have a great deal of say in how state money is spent.

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