On April 20, Governor Bev Perdue released her recommended adjustments for the fiscal year 2010-11 North Carolina state budget. Included in her recommendations are an increase in spending over the current year’s expected appropriations, the elimination of roughly 600 mostly vacant state positions, a cut to public education and public safety, and a misguided attempt to “create jobs” via credits aimed at small businesses.
Justice and Public Safety (JPS) is one of only two major state agencies – K-12 public education being the other – to receive a reduction in Governor Perdue’s 2010-11 budget recommendations.
Governor Perdue’s recommended spending adjustments to the FY 2010-11 budget includes a 7.3% increase for the Department of Natural and Economic Resources (NER), the largest such recommended expansion, percentage-wise, among all state agencies.
On net, the Governor made almost no changes to state funding levels for agencies devoted to performing General Government functions. A slight expansion of 0.3 percent for this department marks the smallest amount of recommended adjustments in her proposal.
Included in Gov. Perdue’s Recommended Adjustments for the 2010-11 state budget was a line item for $15 million for a “Back to Work” incentive fund. The fund was included as part of Perdue’s “JobsNow” proposal to bolster job growth in the state. In her budget, she describes the purpose of the new fund as to “provide a direct rebate to small businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers.”
April 2010 Tax Day Tea Party - Brian Balfour
The final two recommendations in the Civitas Institute 2010 Agenda: “20 Changes for 2010: A Primer for State Reform” focus on cleaning up corruption in state government, enacting meaningful ethics reform and making state government and elected officials’ actions more transparent to its citizens.
In 2009, North Carolina legislators found themselves having to address yet another budget crisis, the second major deficit in eight years. Rather than using the situation as an opportunity to implement meaningful spending reform, lawmakers imposed another round of “temporary” tax hikes – this time totaling more than $1 billion dollars.
The debate over the stimulus bill’s effectiveness rages on. A close inspection of stimulus grants and contracts awarded to North Carolina reveals a rather questionable strategy for the disbursement of stimulus funds. Many projects seem completely unrelated to avoiding an economic “catastrophe,” but rather an ad hoc satisfaction of countless dubious wish lists.
North Carolina’s current BRAC was formed in large part in response to the current state budget deficit situation. Several other states in like situations have formed similar commissions to examine ways to streamline government operations as well. Thus far, North Carolina’s BRAC has met three times and is already examining issues such as reforming North Carolina’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) system, purchasing and informational technology systems and the use of state aircraft.
The first two recommendations in the Civitas Institute 2010 Agenda: “20 Changes for 2010: A Primer for State Reform” focus on policies that will promote job creation. The Problem: High Unemployment and Slow Job Growth
In spite of an already alarming level of debt, Raleigh and Wake County council members continue to max out the taxpayers’ credit card without even asking first for permission. In December, Wake County government completed the sale of $160 million worth of Limited Obligation Bonds (LOBs) to finance a new Justice Center.
Over the last dozen years, state lawmakers in Raleigh have increasingly relied upon targeted tax breaks and handouts under the guise of “economic development.”
What causes poverty? That's what North Carolina's "Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery Commission" -- which met again last week -- claims to be investigating. Specifically, the law that created the commission declares "an understanding of the causes and effects of poverty are critical in the reduction of poverty and economic recovery."
North Carolina’s state budgetary woes took center stage once again this past summer as lawmakers grappled with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Filling most of that deficit was $1.1 billion in unpopular new taxes and billions more in bailout funds from the federal government.