Anyone from North Carolina’s high-tech sector watching Gov. Pat McCrory’s state of the state address on Wednesday might have perked up a bit when they heard him call for a new cabinet-level department focused on information technology.

WRAL’s Mark Binker and Matt Burns reported:

“In the realm of government efficiency, McCrory proposed reorganizing some agencies, such as shifting the state zoo and aquariums from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Department of Cultural Resources. He also called for creating two cabinet-level departments to handle issues that cut across various agencies now: the Department of Information Technology and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

“Let us work together to achieve the best for everyone everywhere in North Carolina,” McCrory said.

Whether IT projects are delivering on promised savings and efficiencies was the subject of a recent critical audit.

McCrory had earlier issued calls for more funding to boost economic development. The administration also is supporting passage of crowdfunding legislation targeting startups. Democrats also have outlined their own desires for an economic incentive package.

“My vision of North Carolina is to have the best of everything,” McCrory said. “We have the best of both Mayberry and Metropolis right here in North Carolina. When we unleash our resources in education, transportation, energy and technology and commit to greater government efficiency and affordability, our state will be second to nobody.”

McCrory listed five priorities for his administration and lawmakers over the next two years:

  • Creating jobs for all who want one
  • Providing all students and adults looking for new careers with the needed skills
  • Connecting the state’s rural and urban areas through both highways and Internet access.
  • Upgrading the state’s health and public safety sectors.
  • Improving government efficiency

In delivering the Democratic response to McCrory’s speech, House Minority Leader Larry Hall said more needs to be done for teachers and others in the middle class.

“Too many families here in North Carolina are still living paycheck to paycheck,” said Hall, D-Durham. “Now is the time to focus on building an economy that works for everyone, not just the very wealthy and a chosen few.”

Hall said teachers shouldn’t have to buy their own classroom supplies and students shouldn’t have to use outdated textbooks and other materials.