BTC BRIEF: N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state's growing needs

Senate's proposed state budget misses opportunities to build an economy for all.
 
By Alexandra F. Sirota, BTC Director, with Cedric Johnson, Public Policy Analyst and Luis Toledo, Public Policy Analyst
May 2017
 
The $22.9 billion state budget proposed by the Senate for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year and the $23.4 billion budget for the following year reflects an aggressive pursuit of tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations in spite of increased uncertainty around federal funding to North Carolina and growing unmet needs in communities across the state. 
 
The Senate has been a strong proponent for the flawed limits of arbitrary formulas to guide their budgets. This year, they have continued to use artificial constraints that don’t reflect the reality for families, businesses or communities by keeping year over year spending growth to 2.5 percent over last year.  These figures fail to reflect the reality of delivering public services; for example, the cost of medical care alone has grown by 3.8 percent over the past year. Moreover, the Senate budget fails to fully address the unanticipated damage from Hurricane Matthew, which is estimated at $2.8 billion, and does not invest in skills training, community economic development and services to poor families, even as communities continue to struggle with mass job loss and high poverty rates. 
 
 
 

 

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