The State Treasurer’s Office just released its 2012 Debt Affordability Study analyzing the current state debt situation. Some of the major findings contained in the study:
- The state’s credit card is still maxed out. In other words, the study concludes that the state’s debt capacity has been exhausted until next year.
- The state’s transportation debt capacity has been exhausted until FY 2014.
- The state’s exclusive reliance on non-voter approved debt since 2000 continues to threaten the state’s credit rating
I’ve written on these topics extensively, for instance last week I discussed how North Carolina’s per capita state debt shot up 250% in the last decade. I also noted how non-voter approved COP debt is not only unjust to taxpayers but has seriously exacerbated the problem (Note: HB 491 would do away with COP debt instruments).
Also of note is the study’s mention of the state’s $33 billion unfunded liability for state retiree health benefits (a liability that has grown by a stunning $10 billion in just five years). Indeed, the report recommends that “the State should take additional action to fund this liability over time.”
How many more warning signs to state lawmakers need before they begin to reign in thier spending habits?